POSTED Thu. Dec 10, 2015
New Orleans Hosts a Night of 'Art for Rights'
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN
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On Saturday, December 12th, visual artists from around the world will come together for the inaugural Art for Rights event in New Orleans. Murals and creative installations from a dozen artists will call attention to specific human rights cases in honor of International Human Rights Day (Dec 10).

The show will take place at StudioBE (2925-2999 Royal Street), a large warehouse in the Bywater.

The event is an extension of the Art for Amnesty’s yearly “Write For Rights” campaign, which is a massive, grassroots effort to inform and affect change on a variety of human rights issues through letter writing. This year, the organization partnered with local artist Brandan ‘BMike’ Odums to bring together twelve artists from all over the country and world.

Each artist has created a piece that represents a case chosen for the “Write for Rights” campaign. Some of these topics focus on issues such as torture, forced marriage, forced eviction, LGBTI rights, solitary confinement, and more.

“The idea behind ‘Art For Rights’ is to shed a spotlight on a community with both a strong arts background, and a place where people are grappling with social issues,” said local arts advocate Rob Lalka.

New Orleans was chosen to host the event not only because of its thriving artistic community, but also because of Louisiana’s incarceration system – according to organizers, the state imprisons more of its people, per head, than any other state in the nation.

Other incidents explored at Art For Rights include the imprisonment of Danilo Maldonado Machado, a Cuban graffiti artist who produces satiric artwork, and Lunar, a Malaysian political cartoonist facing persecution for tweets criticizing the Malaysian government.

Throughout the free event, both activists and artists will give short talks beside their murals as a way to discuss their work, the social issue it was inspired by, and the global impact of art on human rights activism. Organizers recently announced that R&B singer Usher will make an appearance and speak.

Art For Rights is a collaboration between Art For Amnesty and Brandan “BMike” Odums. It takes place on Saturday, December 12th at StudioBE (2925-2999 Royal St) from 10am-6pm. For more information, click here.

image courtesy of Art for Rights.

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    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.

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    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.

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    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

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