CAC Donates $10k to Efforts to Advance Civil Liberty

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NEW ORLEANS – The Contemporary Arts Center board of directors and staff said they are donating $10,000 to support local organizations in their efforts to advance civil liberty and end mass incarceration. The CAC staff selected four organizations to support: VOTE (Voice of the Experienced), ACLU of LA’s campaign to end pretrial incarceration, and the Ashe Cultural Center and Junebug Productions’ Creative Response Artist Relief Funds. The CAC is extending complimentary admission to all during the limited reopening of the CAC galleries through June 14, 2020. The CAC encourages patrons wishing to visit the exhibitions to make a donation to local organizations who are in the fight against systemic racism and inequality. Uunderwriting from supporters of the CAC have made both the complimentary admission and the CAC’s support of these organizations possible.

“The CAC stands with our community in demanding justice and equality in the name of George Floyd and the many Black Americans who are and were brutalized, commodified, discriminated against, incarcerated and denied their inalienable rights to life and liberty,” said a CAC spokesperson in a statement. “We echo the people’s scream, and then begin to seek nonviolent, anti-racist, inclusive allyship with a radical creativity that guides us to eradicate systemic racism in America and most immediately in our own communities and institutions.”

“We work with the belief that ‘Art is Essential and Art Makes Us Resilient.’ In the shadow of so much death and surrounded by cries for justice, both staff and board saw an urgent need to share solidarity and funding with our partners working on the frontline to end systemic racism and mass incarceration. In these pursuits, our institution looks to artists whose life and art lay bare all the many social and economic disparities so that we may see. Our work ahead is strengthened by our actions today and the clarity that Black Lives Matter.” states George Scheer, Executive Director of the CAC.

“It is horrifying to see so many people on the receiving end of such violent oppression, and to realize how far we have to go as a collective human society to heal, to understand, and to live peacefully together as one. It is an honor to be a part of an organization that so deeply cares about contributing meaningful solutions to racial inequities. I hope we don’t ever lose sight of the importance of these efforts,” says Bryan Bailey, Co-Chair of the CAC

”This is a transformative moment for our city and our nation, we are seeing young people, business leaders, non-profit organizations and my fellow art workers take a bold stand and call for justice. While we present contemporary works of art, we are clear that the work reflects on the conditions of our communities and that we must connect art with action,” says Laura Tennyson, Associate Director of Communications

“By supporting the work of Black-led organizations who are on the frontlines of dismantling systemic racism, institutions like the CAC are harnessing this moment to reflect and make a direct impact in our community,” says David Thaddeus Baker, Vice-Chair of the CAC Board of Directors.

The limited re-opening provides an opportunity for locals to enjoy the final two weeks of the CAC’s exhibitions currently on-view: critically-acclaimed Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires and Meg Turner: Here and Now — both of which were originally scheduled to close on June 14, 2020.

The CAC’s expansive first floor gallery features Mickalene Thomas:Femmes Noires, which focuses on Black female identity and representation. Black women are at the center of Thomas’ practice with vivid collages, drawing on painting, photography, time-based media, living-room tableaux and other forms that create dynamic compositions that celebrate the complexity and diversity of Black female agency while also tackling issues of inequality and representation. Mickalene Thomas: Femmes Noires Press Kit Images.

The CAC’s second floor gallery presents Meg Turner: Here and Now the first solo museum exhibition by New Orleans-based artist Meg Turner. The exhibition consists of an impressive installation of more than 100 portrait tintypes of activists, teachers, schoolmates, friends, lovers, and near-strangers that Turner documented in an effort to advance and approach the concept of a gay utopia. Photographed with backdrops of fantastic(al) landscapes and fabricated sets, participants and collaborators are invited to embody the politics of gender, sexuality and economic autonomy they desire. Meg Turner: Here and Now Press Kit Images.

The CAC’s revised hours of operation are Sunday through Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm, June 1 through June 14, 2020. Gallery tickets are available by day and timeslot, and must be reserved in advance online at cacno.org. Tickets for Sunday, June 7 and Sunday, June 14 are also complimentary for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation’s Art for All program, but online registration is still required at cacno.org

The CAC’s galleries will temporarily close once again on June 15th for the installation of its 2020 Open Call Exhibition, Make America What America Must Become,which will debut at the CAC on September 18, 2020 and remain on view through January 24, 2021. More information about this exhibition, including featured artists and gallery hours, will be posted on the CAC website in late June.

In adherence to the State of Louisiana, City of New Orleans’ and CDC safety guidelines, the CAC will operate at 25% capacity and implement proactive health and safety measures including online-only timed-ticketed admissions, enhanced sanitization, and proper social distancing measures in the CAC’s expansive galleries. View the CAC Health and Safety Measures, here.

To express our appreciation for medical professionals, the CAC is offering free membership to medical professionals and first responders. This offer is valid through the end of the year and can be redeemed by contacting the CAC Membership team at membership@cacno.org.

As a community art institution, the CAC is committed to supporting artists, our staff and the art organizations that make up the cultural economy of New Orleans and the world. We invite you to visit our website and explore ArtOrbit, the CAC’s digital content online at cacno.org/covid19.

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