August 17, 2020 An Artist-Driven COVID-19 Public Awareness Campaign Coming to the Metroplex Presented by Artist Carrie Mae Weems & A DFW Consortium of Cultural Organizations
Arts and cultural organizations take a stand against the spread of COVID-19 in communities of color with new project
56 regional partnerships, including the City of Dallas, North Texas Food Bank, Tarrant Area Food Bank, and Fort Worth Arts Council join in the effort
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, August 17, 2020—As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Texas, a cultural consortium of museums and organizations in Dallas-Fort Worth presents RESIST COVID/TAKE 6!, a new artist-driven project aimed at spreading healthcare messaging and combating the spread of the virus among people of color. Artist Carrie Mae Weems created the project to raise awareness about COVID-19 among Black, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Native American communities—who have been disproportionately impacted by the deadly virus—by promoting preventative measures and dispelling harmful falsehoods, while also paying homage to front line and essential workers.
“With the numbers now soaring in Texas, in Dallas-Fort Worth it’s heartening to have a group of dedicated museum professionals led by Laurie Ann Farrell collaborating to bring a message of hope, understanding and compassion to the communities that depend on them for creative expression,” said Weems.
As COVID-19 cases rise in Texas, eight local museums and organizations have joined together to bring RESIST COVID/TAKE 6! to Dallas-Fort Worth. The DFW campaign’s first phase uses billboards, public service announcements, and public art projects in various North Texas neighborhoods to offer information aimed at curbing the spread of the virus. The second phase will include the distribution of reusable cloth face masks to DFW areas with high COVID-19 infection rates. In addition, a series of promotional items—reusable bags, buttons, posters, flyers, and hand fans—will be given away at community centers, COVID-19 testing sites, food banks, and churches. Materials will be produced in English and Spanish. Through these efforts, the campaign underscores the importance of social distancing, encourages public discussion, dispels the myths and dangers of false cures associated with the virus, and thanks our front line and essential workers.
This multi-city project is being led in Dallas-Fort Worth by Dallas Contemporary and a consortium of local nationally recognized museums, including the African American Museum of Dallas, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas Museum of Art, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, The Nasher Sculpture Center, and the newly-formed Gossypion Investments group of cultural consultants.
Carrie Mae Weems, widely regarded as “perhaps our best contemporary photographer” (Megan O'Grady, The New York Times, 2018), created the public awareness campaign RESIST COVID/TAKE 6! during her current artist residency at Syracuse University. The “TAKE 6” in the title refers to the recommended six feet of separation in social distancing. Weems marries her photographs and healthcare messaging in this public art campaign created to spread life-saving information to communities of color.
“We’ve all been impacted by COVID-19. It's an ecological health crisis of epic proportions—an international disaster,” Weems says. “And yet we have indisputable evidence that people of color have been disproportionately impacted. The death toll in these communities is staggering. This fact affords the nation an unprecedented opportunity to address the impact of social and economic inequality in real-time. Denial does not solve a problem. And I thought, ‘How can I use my art and my voice as a way of underscoring what’s possible and bring the general public into a conversation, into heightened awareness of this problem to better the community in which I live?’”
“I am excited to welcome Carrie Mae Weems’ RESIST COVID/TAKE 6! Public Campaign to D/FW,” said City of Dallas COVID-19 Health and Healthcare Access Czar Dr. Kelvin A. Baggett. “Her ability to influence and inspire thought, conversation, and change through her ingenious work is remarkable. This specific campaign accentuates necessary actions to combat COVID-19 and hopefully galvanizes efforts to tangibly address the insidious inequities that have contributed to the virus’ disproportionate impact on communities of color.”
“As chair of the City’s Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Social Recovery, it is vital that we let the residents of Dallas, especially those who live in communities of color know how to stay safe and healthy during these challenging times,” said Dallas City Council Member Casey Thomas. “This campaign, created by the talented Carrie Mae Weems, will effectively help us accomplish this goal.” Weems began working on this new project this spring during her current artist-in-residence at Syracuse University, as the extent of the COVID-19 crisis became apparent. The idea came from a conversation between Weems and her close friend Pierre Loving, lamenting what they saw unfolding. RESIST COVID/TAKE 6! can be seen in Syracuse, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Savannah and New York City. The campaign will continue to roll out in additional cities across the country as the pandemic continues to impact BIPOC communities. Weems plans to work with organizations in major cities across the country with large African American, Latinx, and/or Native American communities to amplify the campaign’s message nationally. Weems' project is supported by her longtime producing collaborators, THE OFFICE performing arts + film. For more information on the campaign please visit socialstudiesproject.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weems hopes RESIST COVID/TAKE 6! will be impactful in both its immediate messaging and in prompting wider dialogue about the pandemic and the long-term health of those for whom it has taken the most severe toll. “I’m not a policy-maker. I’m not a politician. I’m a citizen concerned about what’s going on in my community,” she says. “This coronavirus isn’t going away anytime soon, and neither are the underlying issues affecting people of color that it has made even more apparent."
Presenting sponsors include the City of Dallas, Clear Channel, the Dallas Art Fair Foundation, and Geoff Green and Sheryl Adkins-Green. Contributing sponsors include Arts Council of Fort Worth, Big Outdoor, SMU Ignite Arts Dallas, and UBS. Media sponsors include Fort Worth Weekly, Paper City Magazine, and Patron Magazine.
Community partners include 29 Pieces, Andrew “Doc” Session Community Center, Anita Martinez Recreation Center, APAA - Association for Persons Affected by Addiction, Art Tooth, Ash Studios, AVANCE North Texas, Bridgebuilder buildingcommunityWORKSHOP, The Che Clinic—Center for Health Empowerment, Churchill Recreation Center, Creative Arts Center of Dallas, Dallas Mexican American Historical League, Dallas Public Library, Diamond Hill Community Center, Elevate DTX, Ferguson Road Initiative, First Presbyterian Church, Food City, Forest Forward, Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Fort Worth ISD—Department of Visual Arts, Fort Worth Public Library, The Living Room, Klyde Warren Park, Living Harvest Church, Living Word Harvest of Dallas, Mercy Street, North Park Center, Northside Community Center, North Texas Food Bank, North Texas Behavioral Health Authority, Ntarupt, Pleasant Grove Unidos, State Fair of Texas, Step Medical Center, Sunset Art Studios, Tarrant County Black Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc., Tarrant County Food Bank, TCC South Campus Dept of Fine Arts, Teatro Dallas, The Art Galleries at TCU, The Smart Project / The Self Publication, The Stewpot, South Dallas Entrepreneur Center, Thomas Place Community Center, Urban Arts Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Vox Invictus Mentoring, and WellMed Senior Activity Center.
About Carrie Mae Weems
Weems is an internationally renowned artist who has used multiple mediums (photography, video, digital imagery, text, fabric, and more) to explore themes of cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems, family relationships, and the consequences of power.
She was named Syracuse University’s first University Artist-in-Residence, a three-year appointment, in January 2020. In this role, she engages faculty and students in a number of important ways, including in the design, planning, and preparation of major exhibitions in Madrid, Los Angeles, New York, and other venues.
Among her many honors, Weems is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (a.k.a. “Genius” grant) and was the first African American woman to have a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum.
Her other accolades include the prestigious Prix de Roma, the Frida Kahlo Award for Innovative Creativity, the WEB DuBois Medal, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, the BET Honors Visual Artist Award, the Lucie Award for Fine Art Photography, and the ICP Spotlights Award from the International Center of Photography. She was named an honorary fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.
Weems has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Frist Center for Visual Art, Nashville; The Cleveland Museum of Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville, Spain.
2054 Rosedale St, "No te preocupes, volveremos a darnos la mano"
813 Hemphill St, "Don't worry, we'll hold hands again"
2621 Long Avenue, "La Vida es Bella!"?
2100 NE 28th Street, "Life is Beautiful"
2806 E Illinois, "No te preocupes, volveremos a darnos la mano"
3435 E Illinois, "Don't worry, we'll hold hands again"
7065 Great Trinity Forest Way, "Life is Beautiful"
4030 W Davis, "La Vida es Bella!"
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