For Freedoms is a platform for artist-driven civic engagement, discourse, and direct action. Founded in 2016 by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, the organization believes that citizenship means engaging deeply with each other in an open and inspired conversation on the issues that define our world and the values that motivate us. In 2018, For Freedoms launched the 50 State Initiative, the largest creative collaboration in U.S. history, to inject an anti-partisan arts-based perspective into the political landscape. The 50 State Initiative included over 700 decentralized activations across the country with over 250 partners, reflecting a multiplicity of voices and sparking a national dialogue about art, education, commerce, and politics.
For Freedoms’ initial work was primarily been focused on visual arts and artists. Over the next year, and with support of the Collaborative, the organization will expand its footprint and create new relationships with filmmakers, musicians, fashion artists, videomakers, and other artists and culture creators. The result will be a blossoming of new interdisciplinary, high visibility digital and offline art and media collaborations in 2020.
Culture drives society and artists drive culture. In order for us to achieve a more perfect nation, we need to imagine and design a society that is geared more strongly toward liberty and justice for all. The creative community is especially equipped for this responsibility. For Freedoms intends to galvanize the energy of our diverse and intersectional constituency to shape public dialogues around the 2020 Census, Primaries and General Election. — Hank Willis Thomas, Co-founder, For Freedoms