Be An #ArtsHero and Counterpoint have partnered to create a series of political cartoons highlighting the value of the arts industry and the jeopardy it faces in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out them out in a gallery below.
“In a movement forged at the intersection of art and politics, who better than political cartoonists to illuminate the plight of the arts and culture sector?,” says Be An #ArtsHero co-founders Carson Elrod, Jenny Grace Makholm, Brooke Ishibashi and Matthew-Lee Erlbach. “Political cartoonists are valuable arts workers who, with razor sharp wit and incredible artistry, help shape the political discourse, expose hypocrisy and change minds.”
Participating artists in the project include Nick Anderson (co-founder and executive director of Counterpoint), Nathan Archer, Robert Ariail, Juan Astasio, Richard Bartholomew, Chris Britt, Michael Egan, Warren “Wee” Elliott, Tom Falco, Mike Lester, Mark Lynch, Steve McGinn, Deb Milbrath, Pedro X Molina, Paul Pinderski, Peter Reiss, Ali Solomon, Scott Stantis, Joe Sutliff, Tom Toro, and Mark Wilke.
“Counterpoint is proud to team up with Be An #ArtsHero to campaign for more awareness about the massive economic contribution of America's arts workers – while at the same time – being uniquely vulnerable to ruinous consequences during economic downturns. It's about time that arts workers made their voices heard,” said Anderson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and executive director and co-founder of Counterpoint.
The grassroots cohort launched a “100 Days of Art & Activism” campaign January 20, kicking off with a series of open letters addressed to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, asking the new leadership to support the arts industry. The letters hailed primarily from theatre authors—playwrights, composers, librettists; while some of their pleas for funding are answered in the new stimulus, other calls to action included cabinet-level representation and nationwide revitalization initiatives akin to the Federal Theatre Project of the 1930s.
On March 11, the President signed a $1.9 trillion relief bill into action, allocating $135 million each to the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, with additional funding and assistance also established to help struggling theatres.
Check out a video of Scott Stantis of Counterpoint drawing a cartoon below.