Columbia Museum of Art to host For Freedoms Town Hall

Columbia, S.C. – The Columbia Museum of Art announces For Freedoms Town Hall: Freedom of Expression – Arts and Justice, a free event in participation with For Freedoms’ 50 State Initiative, on Monday, September 24, at 6:30 p.m. A panel of artistic and legal experts will discuss this First Amendment right from artistic, local, and global perspectives.

Following the panel discussion, attendees are encouraged to “talk back” with a response wall and to visit the voter registration booth to learn how their voices can be heard this November.

Featured speakers include Nikky Finney, Chad Henderson, Kathleen McDaniel, and Shaundra Young Scott, with Aparna Polavarapu serving as moderator.

Finney is the John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Creative Writing and Southern Letters at the University of South Carolina. She has authored four books of poetry, the last of which won the 2011 National Book Award for poetry.

Henderson is the Artistic Director of Trustus Theatre in Columbia. As a professional theatre artist, he has directed dozens of professional productions at venues across South Carolina.

McDaniel is a founding partner in the law firm of Burnette Shutt & McDaniel. She focuses on administrative and environmental law.

Young Scott is the first African American female executive director of the ACLU of South Carolina. She concentrates on the civil liberties of individuals within the state of South Carolina, including but not limited to racial justice, criminal justice, women’s reproductive rights, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, and youth justice.

Polavarapu is a professor at the School of Law at the University of South Carolina. As part of the Rule of Law Collaborative, she focuses her research on the rule of law and human rights.

For Freedoms is a national platform for greater engagement in the arts and in civil society. Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s 1943 paintings of the four universal freedoms articulated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—For Freedoms seeks to use art to deepen public discussions of civic issues and core values, and to clarify that citizenship in American society is deepened by participation, not by ideology. The CMA is participating in their 50 State Initiative, which models how arts institutions become civic forums for action and discussion of values, place, and patriotism during the lead-up to the midterm elections.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Discussion at 6:30 p.m. Free. Cash bar.

For more information, visit columbiamuseum.org.

About the CMA
The Columbia Museum of Art is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, S.C., the CMA ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. At the heart of the CMA and its programs is its collection, which encompasses 7,000 works and spans 5,000 years of art history. Established in 1950, the CMA now welcomes more than 150,000 visitors annually and is a catalyst for community creativity and education, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds. It is the recipient of a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a National Art Education Association award for its contributions to arts education, a National Park Foundation Award, and two Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina. In order to serve even more audiences, the CMA is undergoing a transformation funded by a successful capital campaign. Though some sections of the building will be affected during some phases of the work, the CMA remains open throughout renovations. The project is expected to be complete in late 2018. To learn more, visit www.columbiamuseum.org.