Dear Subscribers,

THE ARTS POLITIC’s second issue is here!  BIAS—featuring over 100 pages of reports, essays, poetry, visual art and interviews—is now available here!

issue2cover2Issue 2 Back Cover The stage for this issue? Many happenings at the intersection of arts, politics and bias. Last year, in 2009, President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. Artistic communities debated Emily Sands’s undergraduate thesis findings that female theater producers perpetuate gender biases against female playwrights. Arts departments became the first causalities of recession-related budget cuts at many universities. Uninformed remarks by Rocco Landesman (“I don’t know if there’s a theater in Peoria… but I would bet that it’s not as good as [Chicago’s] Steppenwolf”) led the NEA Chairman to tour Peoria. Parents in a Las Vegas, NV suburb sued to prevent high school students from performing Rent and The Laramie Project. Across the nation, arts groups performed The Laramie Project—about the brutal slaying of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man.

From this stage, Issue 2 of The Arts Politic began. We feature artists who inform us about bias that perpetuates in neighborhoods and communities. Rachel Falcone and Michael Premo curated “Housing is a Human Right: Stories from the Struggle for Home,” and used photography and re-mixed stories to uncover bias against low-income long-term New York City residents.  We feature scholars who use positive bias to improve arts communities. Edward Clapp, a Harvard Education School doctoral student, writes about his use of positive bias to encourage greater age diversity within arts education communities in his essay, “Mistaking Inclusion for Exclusion.”  In Dialogue, we feature interviews with politicians like Minneapolis Councilmember Elizabeth Glidden and Seattle Councilmember Sally Bagshaw to learn more about local arts policy planning. Our regular TAP*MAP section culls the voices of art gender equality activists, a music venue owner, a former mayor, theater directors and community art activists–all speaking about issues at the intersection of arts, politics and bias.  There is also visual art that challenges prejudice, poetry, reports on artists in empty storefront campaigns and performance as a tool for an informed electorate, a policy brief, and more. (For more on this issue, read “Letter from the Editor“).

Who else is in TAP? Melanie Cervantes, Rhoda Draws, Amelia Edelman, Shanthony Exum, Arlene Goldbard, Robert A. K. Gonyo, Malvika Maheshwari, Ashley Marinaccio, Gisele Morey, Bridgette Raitz, Betty Lark Ross, RVLTN, Gregory Sholette and Wendy Testu, Brandon Woolf, RonAmber Deloney, Chris Appleton, Phillip Bimstein, Joshua Clover, Dan Cowan, Maria Dumlao, Kevin Erickson, Joe Goode, Art Hazelwood, Elaine Kaufmann, Danielle Mysliwiec, Judy Nemzoff, Anne Polashenski, Garey Lee Posey, Kevin Postupack, Gregory Sholette, Manon Slome and Robynn Takayama.(Huge props to all of our thoughtful, brave contributors).

Functionally, we are also trying to fight against one long-standing strand of bias: unfair pay for artists. This issue differs from our first in that only limited content is available online. For those seeking to read the entire issue (and we hope you will), we’ve made the full issue available as a dynamic print on-demand purchase or digital download. The print version costs $45, and the download costs $7. We hope that by encouraging readers to buy content, we can pay our contributors for their work.

In sum, browse content onlinebuy the digital or print edition, stay tuned for our semi-monthly line up of online content, and read THE ARTS POLITIC!

With my deepest hopes for the future of arts politics, I thank you for coming along.

Jasmine Mahmoud
a stage for creative/political thinking