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We live in a century that began with 9/11, as spectacular and devastating a military attack as any ever conceived; a century that continues to be fraught with political uncertainty, economic insecurity and moral ambiguity---made more intense by a new means of communication that, as fast and useful as it is, often overwhelms us with vast amounts of unverified "news" manipulated by unfriendly governments and unscrupulous politicians.
The Center for Contemporary Political Art, a 501 (c)(3) public corporation, will be the laboratory, central exhibition space and mission control for The Art of Civic Engagement, a new genre of art that emphasizes the social utility and civic responsibility of artists and the art they create, especially during periods of social and/or political upheaval.
Unlike most other classifications, genres or schools of fine art, The Art of Civic Engagement will not have an easily identifiable style or theme or a favored media that defines it.
Rather, its distinguishing characteristic will be its creator's motivation---the artist's reason or purpose for creating it--- and the publicly perceived importance of the civic issue or challenge the work addresses.
The market value and historical importance attached to any given piece of Civic Engagement Art will be partially determined by the measurable or perceived action it has inspired or impact it has had.
The Center for Contemporary Political Art is believed to be the first arts organization in the country founded with a mandate to “actively engage” in the national debate over contentious issues such as health care, immigration, tax policy, presidential leadership, corruption and foreign meddling in U.S. elections.
The Center will develop a sophisticated social media presence; host an Annual Lecture and Awards ceremony; organize a speakers program and conference series at the Center; and allow like-minded advocacy groups to use images of the artwork exhibited at the Center for their own outreach campaigns, free of charge.
The Center’s exhibitions will empower the Nation’s visual artists; providing, for the first time, an institutionalized means by which they can express their political views and use their creativity and talent to actively engage with and influence policymakers and policy outcomes.
The Center believes that facilitating artists’ active engagement will help restore a once-vital part of the democratic process in the United States, the give-and-take of public debate, that’s been largely lost due to the corrosive effect of Big Money and backroom politics, brought about by Citizens United.
Beyond demonstrating the power of fine art to inspire and influence needed social and political change, the Center hopes to serve as a model for other public institutions that wish to encourage the political consciousness and cohesion of America’s Creative Class.