Freedom of artistic expression is fundamental to a free and open society. Uninhibited creative expression catalyzes social and political engagement, stimulates the exchange of ideas and opinions, and encourages cross-cultural understanding. It fosters empathy between individuals and communities, and challenges us to confront difficult realities with compassion.

Restricting creative freedom and the free flow of ideas strikes at the heart of the core values of an open society. By inhibiting artists’ ability to move freely in the performance, exhibition, or distribution of their work, United States President Trump’s January 27 Executive Order, blocking immigration from seven countries to the United States and refusing entry to all refugees, jettisons voices which contribute to the vibrancy, quality, and diversity of US cultural wealth and promote global understanding.

The Executive Order threatens the United States safe havens for artists who are at risk in their home countries, in many cases for daring to challenge repressive regimes. It will deprive those artists of crucial platforms for expression and thus deprive all of us of our best hopes for creating mutual understanding in a divided world. It will also damage global cultural economies, including the cultural economy of the United States.

Art has the power to transcend historical divisions and socio-cultural differences. It conveys essential, alternative perspectives on the world. The voices of cultural workers coming from every part of the world – writers, visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, and performers – are more vital than ever today, at a time when we must listen to others in the search for unity and global understanding, when we need, more than anything else, to imagine creative solutions to the crises of our time.

As cultural or human rights organizations, we urge the United States government to take into consideration all these serious concerns and to adopt any regulations of United States borders only after a process of deliberation, which takes into account the impact such regulations would have on the core values of the country, on its cultural leadership, as well as on the world as a whole.

PEN America (USA)

Aide aux Musiques Innovatrices (AMI) (France)

Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts (USA)

Arterial (Africa)

Artistic Freedom Initiative (USA)

ArtistSafety.net 

ArtsEverywhere (Canada)

Association of Art Museum Curators and Association of Art Museum Curators Foundation

Association Racines (Morocco)

Bamboo Curtain Studio (Taiwan)

Cartoonists Rights Network International

Cedilla & Co. (USA)

Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Social Difference

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (USA)

Common Field: Network of Artist-Run and Artist Centered Spaces
and Initiatives
(USA)

College Art Association (USA)

Creative Time (USA)

Culture Resource – Al Mawred Al Thaqafy (Lebanon)

DutchCulture

European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA)

European Council of Artists

Freemuse: Freedom of Expression for Musicians

Geneva Ethnography Museum (Switzerland)

Index on Censorship: Defending Free Expression Worldwide

Independent Curators International

International Alliance of Independent Publishers

International Arts Critics Association

International Biennial Association

International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN)

International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM)

International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts

KLYS – the Swedish Council for Artists (Sweden)

Levy Delval Gallery (Belgium)

National Coalition Against Censorship (USA)

New School for Drama Arts Integrity Initiative (USA)

Observatoire de la Liberté de Création (France)

On the Move | Cultural Mobility Information Network

Professional Association of Cultural Managers of the Canary Islands (Spain)

Queens Museum (USA)

Roberto Cimetta Fund

San Francisco Art Institute (USA)

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) (USA)

Tamizdat (USA)

Vera List Center for Art and Politics, New School (USA)