Newsletter Fall 2016
Editor: Holly Smith
Letter from the President, Leslie Kaufman
Normally, I would be writing a cheerful letter reminding you of all the great Philadelphia Sculptors accomplishments of the past year. But this is not a normal time, and the results of the recent election weigh too heavily to allow me to recount our successes without placing everything we have done and want to do into a larger context.
As with many of you, I went to bed on Nov. 8 with a sinking feeling in my gut. I hoped it would be a bad dream from which I would awaken, but of course, that was not to be. As feared, but not really anticipated, our country will now be led by a man deemed unqualified to be President by the majority of Americans. It is unnecessary to pinpoint every statement he has made challenging the basic tenets of civility, decency, and common sense underlying our democracy. Enough to say that the values he propagates undermine the progressive goals that most of us believe in, replacing them with regressive attacks on immigrants, women, minorities, and the planet itself, to name just a few. His path leads backwards in a country striving to move forwards.
So, where does that leave us as artists? Trump has not articulated any arts-related agendas but maybe that is because he doesn’t understand the strength of the arts communities. We don’t yet know if he will attack the arts if he sees something he dislikes, or will just focus his enmity elsewhere. What we do know is that artists have voices, and are not afraid to use them. We have vision, ideas, and beliefs and can assert the power of art to speak, to disrupt, to change, and maybe, to heal.