Florida Governor’s War on “Wokeness” Hits the Arts

Taylor Michael (Hyperallergic) writes that an exhibition was canceled after the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota deemed works about diversity and inclusion “potentially offensive.”

A traveling outdoor art show has canceled an exhibition at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) after the school requested the removal of certain artworks depicting issues such as abortion, police brutality, and diversity and inclusion. The cancellation comes following Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s announcement of plans to remove diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs from state universities a few weeks ago.

Nonprofit Embracing Our Differences’s (EOD) 20th-anniversary show launched on January 18 in Sarasota, Florida, with plans for a show in Bradenton, south of Tampa, to open on April 26. However, the public college requested that three banners be removed before EOD traveled to the SCF campus in the spring.

The school told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that it deemed “Good Trouble” by Clifford McDonald, a collage depicting a young Black boy, civil rights leader John Lewis, and the letters BLM, “potentially offensive.” The college also reported issues with Diego Dillon’s “Body & Voice,” which portrays a pregnant woman asking a group of men, “Do We Not Have A Voice About Our Own Body?” and a caption for “Being Different Gives the World Color” by Taira Akiko Hiraguri written by Indian fifth-grade student Raaina Chadha that reads, “Diversity and inclusion are like the needle and thread that stitch together the harmonious fabric of peace for humankind.” [. . .]

Executive director Sarah Wertheimer told Hyperallergic that the nonprofit’s board of directors decided unanimously to withdraw their show from SCF’s campus as the college’s request did not align with EOD’s mission to use the arts to promote positive global change.

“Embracing our Differences has remained and will continue to remain true to our core values, and those values include embracing and promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity,” said Wertheimer in a statement. “To do otherwise would betray our mission and turn our backs on those who have supported us over the past two decades.” [. . .]

For full article, see https://hyperallergic.com/802847/ron-desantis-florida-governor-war-on-wokeness-hits-the-arts/

One thought on “Florida Governor’s War on “Wokeness” Hits the Arts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s