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Activism in Art: Overview

Activism through art attempts to incite or reinforce political and social change by raising awareness AND evoking the emotional response that leads to action. While, as a movement, art activism has been identified as beginning in the mid-twentieth century, the history of art as a means for effecting change is much more complex.  Consider political cartoons, popular music, and dramatic performances, alongside physical works of art, and you discover many examples of artists, throughout the ages, who addressed the issues of their day through artwork.  

Powerful Art Activism (a TedTalk Playlist)

The Art of Activism (Political Research Associates)
This site highlights a number activist artists and their work. 

The Center for Artistic Action
Through research and free resources, the center helps build, sustain, and develop the field of Artistic Activism.

Art and Activism (Teaching Tolerance)
This is a set of lesson plans produced for elementary school aged children.  What can you learn by exploring these lessons?

Learn more...

5 Artist-Activist Who are Changing the World by Olivia Burton. The Green Hub, October 4, 2018

Art as Activism: Graphic Art from the Merril C. Berman Collection. Google Arts and Culture (exhibition), Jun 26, 2015. 

Can Art Be a Form of Political Activism?  by Emily Colucci.  Vice, Jan 11, 2015. 

History's Most Powerful Protest Art by Belinda Lanks, Magenta, Nov 23, 2016.

Inside the Mind of a Creative Activist by Alex Limia Dieguez,, July 18, 2018.

A People's Art History of the United States (Book Review) by Nicholas Lampert. We Make Money Not Art, Jan 18, 2016. 

Seeing the Power of Political Posters by Martha Schwendener.  The New York Times, July 30, 2015.

Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

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