In Solidarity

Dex’s Tennis Shoes on Telephone Wire, Corner of Lawton St. and Westview Dr., 2020 [photo: TK Smith; courtesy of the photographer]

Art Papers’ mission is, at its core, to offer words in response to the work of artists. Language often fails to account for the unprecedented, the unknown, or the unconscionable. The only words that feel meaningful now are simple but powerful ones:

Black Lives Matter.

Art Papers condemns police brutality and the systematic disenfranchisement of Black communities. We stand in solidarity against these manifestations of White supremacy in our hometown of Atlanta and across the world, and we support the ongoing protests.

We acknowledge that our core staff consists of three White women. As such, we reflect the lack of diversity found across professions in the arts.

In this calendar year, Art Papers commits to adding Black people and people of color to the ranks of our contributing editors. All future commissions for 2020 will be dedicated to writing by or about Black people and people of color.1 We will honor our commitments to existing commissions, but all further resources will go toward fulfilling this promise.

We will also conduct a diversity audit of our contributor list and of the artists whose work we feature. We will do so to hold ourselves accountable for those numbers and to reveal areas where we fall short of equity so that we can address them. We will make the findings of the audit public.

We know that this work is ongoing and long term, and that it will require changes to our institutional leadership. We will make these changes. Furthermore, we commit to advocating for agents of this change in the broader industry.

In the coming week, we will make the full content of our Spring 2020 issue, Art of the New Civil Rights Era freely available on artpapers.org. 

We invite you to celebrate the voices of Black writers and artists on our homepage, which is now devoted to them.


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1. Edit: this sentence originally read “All future commissions for 2020 will be dedicated to the art or writing of Black people and people of color.” This has been revised for clarity.