Lawn Sign Event: For Freedoms: 50 State Initiative

Monday, September 17th, 2018, 12:55-1:45 PM

Hull Plaza, the lawn in front of Schaffer Library

Image © For Freedoms

Utilizing the green space located in front of Schaffer Library, the Mandeville Gallery presents For Freedoms: 50 State Initiative, an event where participants are encouraged to produce and publicly display their own definition of freedom by completing signs that begin with the phrases: Freedom Of…, Freedom From…, Freedom For…, and Freedom To… 
The lawn signs allow every participant, in their own way, to articulate a vision of freedom.

All materials will be provided. Once completed, participants will be able to place their sign on the green between the Nott Memorial and Schaffer Library for the afternoon.

The Schenectady County chapter of the League of Women Voters and members of the Union College Activist Network will be present to register voters and answer voting-related questions.

A selection of signs will be exhibited in the Learning Commons at Schaffer Library from September 18, 2018 to March 21, 2019.

The Mandeville Gallery joins an impressive group of more than 200 museums, universities, and cultural institutions (see list below) staging similar lawn sign events, billboards, town hall meetings, and special exhibitions in all fifty states this fall as part of the 50 State Initiative.

With the motto, “For Freedoms. For Us All,” artists Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman founded For Freedoms in 2016: “as a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States. 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 — we seek to use art to deepen public discussions of civic issues and core values, and to clarify that citizenship in American society is defined by participation, not by ideology.”

“In the For Freedoms 50 State Initiative September–November 2018, concurrent decentralized art exhibitions and public events across the country will encourage broad participation in civic discourse and, through lifting up a multiplicity of voices, will spark a national dialogue about art, education, advertising and politics.”

“The 50 State Initiative is a non-partisan, nationwide campaign to use art as a means of inspiring broad civic participation. Along the way, we aim to build a network of artists, arts institutions and civic leaders and to map and connect the cultural and artistic infrastructure in the United States.”

Co-sponsorship provided by the Department of Visual Arts, Multicultural Affairs, American Studies, Film Studies, and Unitas. For more information about For Freedoms please visit


Institutional Collaborators

Anderson Ranch
Art Africa Miami
Arts in Ad Places
Aspen Art Museum
Aperture Foundation
Bowdoin College
Brooklyn Museum
Creative Time
Center for Artistic Activism
Edition Hotels
EXPO Chicago
Flux Projects
Houston Center for Photography
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The International Center of Photography
Into Action
Jack Shainman Gallery
The Joyce Foundation
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
LaGuardia Community College
Magnum Foundation
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Mistake Room
MOCA Cleveland
The Museum of Modern Art
Monique Meloche Gallery
Museum of Fine Arts Boston
New York Live Arts
New York University
Pier 24
Planned Parenthood
Postcards From America
Prison-to-College Pipeline
Project Row Houses
Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art
Summit Co
Triangle Arts Association
Truthwork Theater Company
University of Louisville
Vassar College
W Magazine

50 State Partners

Art Academy of Cincinnati
Ball State University
Bennington College
Brooklyn Museum
California College of the Arts
Chicago EXPO
Cincinnati Art Museum
Clark Atlanta University
Colby College
Colorado College
Columbia Museum of Art
Delaware Art Museum
Di Rosa
Duke University
Eastern Illinois University
Florida State University
Harvard University
Haverford College
Herron School of Art and Design
Joan Mitchell Center
Kansas City Art Institute
Keene State College
Maryland Institute College of Art
MASS Design
Memphis College of Art
MOCA Cleveland
New York University
Opa Locka Community Development Corporation
Oregon State University
Plains Art Museum
Portland State University
Princeton University
Randolph College
Rhode Island School of Design
Skidmore College
Stanford University
SUNY Purchase College
The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design
Tougaloo College
Tufts University
University of Nebraska
University of Chicago
University of Arkansas
University of Idaho
University of Louisville
University of Massachusetts
University of Michigan
Utah State University
William Paterson University
Williams College
Winston Salem State University
Young Arts



September 17th, 2018

12:55-1:45 PM


Mandeville Gallery

Nott Memorial, 2nd Floor

Union College, 807 Union St. Schenectady, NY 12308

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