Moving Into 2017: Holding Creativity In Our Hearts

Christa Blatchford

Joan Mitchell, Trees, 1990. Oil on canvas, 78 7/8 x 142 inches (200.343 x 360.68 cm). © Estate of Joan Mitchell.

Our CEO Christa Blatchford wrote this letter to our artist recipients to reaffirm our values and commitment to artists in the wake of the 2016 election. We wanted to share it with you—our extended community of artists, partners, and friends—with whom we will continue to move forward together.

Dear artists,

The recent election has brought sharply to the forefront the deep and painful racial, socioeconomic, and geographic divides that exist within our country. With this in mind, we reach out to you, our community of artists, to reaffirm our values and move into the future with you centered or at the forefront of our minds and work.

Our work at the Joan Mitchell Foundation is firmly grounded in our belief in the fundamental importance of equity and nurturing creativity over a lifetime. We strive to support and make space for all the diversity that enriches this country. We celebrate creativity, knowing and honoring the risk inherent within the artistic process. In our view, the president-elect's platform has not and will not reflect these values, and we are deeply concerned by the post-election rise in hate crimes. We further understand that the current climate means that artists' freedom of expression and even personal safety may be under threat.

We know that at times like this, the creativity of artists is and must be an essential component in enabling our community and country to move forward and safeguard against encroachment upon personal liberties.

With all of this in mind, we commit to standing firm, speaking loudly and continuing to work deeply with artists. Through our actions, we will share more broadly the fundamental importance of the creative process and essential role artists play within our communities.

We know that many of you, both as individuals and with organizations, have been doing work around these issues throughout your lives. We want to honor that work, and recognize the exhaustion that comes with understanding how much more work is still to come.

Finally, I invite you as artists to join us - linked arm in arm. Our doors are open to you both physically and virtually: we want to hear from you and move forward through this together. Together we will be stronger, and together we can work better. May we all move forward with creativity in our hearts and the knowledge that by doing so, we have the energy and power to create change.

Christa and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Team

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