An Artist’s Burden in a Time of Political Unrest

“When things get really bad, artists respond.” – Cyndi Lauper

Art sends a message. Art gives people hope. Art is literally creating something out of nothing–the realization of one a mere thought or dream. The potential of a human being exists within art. You can create anything you want and you can send any message you want.

Therein lies our responsibility as artists and creators.

We can change the course of history. We can change minds. We can persuade the masses. We can make a difference.

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It is clear how we, as artists, must create–and continue to create–in this time of political unrest. As this administration continues to roll back protections and embolden hate we must fight back not only with our art, but with our thoughts, actions, and worldview.

Art helps not only to push other people to think critically. It helps to push ourselves into consciousness and continual growth.

This is our burden.

We carry the weight of the world on our back, in our paintbrushes, our piano keys, our poems, our storytelling, our crafts, our photographs. We create to alleviate the burden–or perhaps we create to distribute the weight.

This is a call to all artists–which, despite what some might say, really means everyone because everyone has the power to create. The time is ripe for your art to empower the marginalized and uplift the downtrodden–just as art has done since its inception. This is a call to create–anything. ANYTHING. Anything that you create can inspire something in someone else. As artists we have a responsibility to breed consciousness within ourselves and the masses.

Because when we create, we are alive. When we create, we are breathing. When we create, we are changing.

I urge you today to create something. Whether it be something traditionally thought of as art like a poem, song, painting, photography, or a craft of some kind. Perhaps you can take a different route and rethink art as being creative with how you spend time with your partner, family, or friends.

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Maybe you think you don’t have in you to be creative. Maybe you think you don’t have the time… To that I respond:

Times are tenuous and society is ridden with political unrest. We are anxious for change. Perhaps the thing to create–or recreate–is you.

You are your own work of art. Get creative.

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