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Each month, the OVPR highlights the past month’s sponsored research funding awarded to Tufts’ investigators, including both a list of funded awards and one or more featured project abstracts.

You can download the list of December’s awardees by clicking the button below. In December, Tufts researchers received 41 awards for extramural funding from federal, foundation, and corporate sponsors.

To submit a recent award to be highlighted, please use the "nominate a project" button below.

This month we are highlighting Dina Deitsch, Director and Chief Curator of the Tufts University Art Gallery, for her project titled ‘Art for the Future: Artists Call and Transnational Solidarity in the 1980s’ funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc. Please see the abstract for this project below.

Art for the Future: Artists Call and Transnational Solidarity in the 1980s

PI: Dina Deitsch
Funder: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc
Title: Art for the Future: Artists Call and Transnational Solidarity in the 1980s
Abstract: In June 1982, Group Material, in collaboration with the community center Taller Latinoamericano and a number of other likeminded cultural groups, organized ¡Luchar! An Exhibition for the People of Central America at 19 West 21st Street in Lower Manhattan. Comprised of contemporary U.S. and Latin American art works and artifacts, the exhibition made a political statement against the Reagan administration’s interventionist policies in the region. It also recognized and supported the culture and art making practices of Central Americans and was described by critic Lucy Lippard, in a speech at the opening, as “art for the future.” Today ¡Luchar! and the transnational solidarity activities that it initiated in the 1980s remain largely forgotten.

Art for the Future: Artists Call and Transnational Solidarity in the 1980s seeks to rectify this oversight by focusing on the seminal 1984 nationwide activist campaign Artists Call Against US Intervention in Central America that grew out of the friendships, solidarity networks, and political organizing set in place by ¡Luchar! Consisting of exhibitions, performances, poetry readings, film screenings, concerts, and other cultural and educational events in over 27 cities across the United States and Canada, Artists Call was intended not only to oppose the Reagan administration’s interventionist policies in Central America but also to raise money for and awareness about Central America as well as to build international solidarity amongst artists and other cultural workers. In short, Artists Call functioned, returning to Lippard, as a kind of “literacy campaign,” by which she meant that, like the National Literacy Crusade of post-revolutionary Nicaragua, Artists Call was envisioned as a consciousness raising effort that would do more than just educate North Americans about Central America or protest U.S. military involvement there. More significantly, it was organized to bring disparate groups of people in dialogue together in support of the possibility of cultural freedom everywhere. As the slogan for Artists Call makes clear: “If we can simply witness the destruction of another culture, we are sacrificing our own right to make culture.”

Organized by Tufts University Art Galleries (TUAG) curator Abigail Satinsky with guest co-curator Erina Duganne, Art for the Future will be on view in the main exhibition galleries at the Aidekman Arts Center on the school’s Medford/Somverille campus for the fall 2020 semester. TUAG will present this exhibition in conjunction with nationwide efforts to organize politically motivated and inclusive exhibitions around the 2020 US presidential elections with the Feministic Art Coalition (FAC) and will plan to travel the project to up to two additional university venues.