Do you know
about the "Cost of War Art Project"? This was a project of Sacramento WILPF from the summer of 2010 through the summer of 2011.
The Art Exhibit opened on Saturday, October 9, 2010 (part of the Second Saturday Art Walk) and was on display through October 27, at Sol Collective, 2574 21st St., Sacramento.
After the show ended, we looked for people who would like to participate in the Cost of War Art Project by –
- Offering their public space to display one of the artworks for 6 months
- Buying one of the artworks and then displaying it at a specific Sacramento public location for 6 months
- Suggesting a former or current elected official who might support this community education effort of the Cost of War Art Project.
We had followup displays at three locations. In early 2011, two of Vallejo's Mexican Restaurants near the Capitol dislpayed the original and a photocopy of Jose Montoya's ink wash, "Fear and loathing regarding the subject of war / El miedo y odio acerca del tema de guerra". At one of these restaurants we also had a poster explaining the project, and a box to collect cards to deliver to Congresswoman Doris Matsui, on which people could express their preferences for how their federal income tax dollars were spent, on war, or on public services.
After the Cost of War Art Project public display at Vallejo's Mexican Restaurants, we had an exhibit over the summer at Sacramento City College. Artists José Montoya and Kathy Anuszczyk were featured. (see more)
Throughout the project, it , it sparked conversaton and communication regarding Sacramento's priorities: war, or jobs and public services, including fully funded public education.
Mayor Matt Ryan of Binghamton, New York said he can’t do his job, which is to provide public services, due to his city’s funding cuts. Then he said not to worry. He found a new funding source. To educate his constituents about the new funding source, a local group presented him with a “Cost of War Counter,” which he then mounted outside Binghamton City Hall. This counter shows the accumulated dollar amounts of Binghamton’s IRS tax money going to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once his constituents are educated about the new funding source, Mayor Ryan said, they can discuss their priorities. They can decide on whether they want their IRS tax $ to go to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or whether they want that same money to be used for jobs and services, to prevent their city’s infrastructure, their fabric of life, from being ripped apart.
Just as the Broome County Cost of War Committee presented the Mayor of Binghamton with a “Cost of War Counter,” we, the Sacramento Valley Branch Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, plan to present “Cost of War Counters” to community centers, elected officials, businesses, etc. in Sacramento. The purpose is similar, to educate the public about the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, so that they can decide on their priorities: war, or jobs and services, including fully funded public education.
From 10/9/2010 to 10/27/2010, we will hold a public exhibit/sale of the art works submitted for this project. Buyers must agree to post the works in a publicly visible space within Sacramento County for a period of six months from the time of purchase.
If the artists wish, we will seek locations for display of any works not sold during the exhibit. While displayed, the works may be sold with the same obligations to the buyer as those purchased during the opening exhibit.
Where possible, we plan to attach a box to or near the artwork with additional statistics or tradeoffs, along with an interactive activity, a unique sized card with the statement: “I want my IRS tax $ to go to:
__the war in Iraq
__the war in Afghanistan
__jobs, services, including ______ (fill in your need here) _________________________ in Sacramento County.”
_______________________________(your comments here) ____________________________
These will be hand delivered by WILPF volunteers to our local member of Congress, Doris Matsui.