Preparing to Protect & Defend

Dear Community,

As For the People Artists Collective (FTP) wraps up our work from our first year as an artists collective, we have decided that we are currently at capacity and will unfortunately not be taking on any more art requests or campaign collaborations for the remainder of this year and until further notice.

Since our launch in early January of this year, our artists have commissioned over 33 projects for activists, organizers, teachers, grassroots organizations, and nonprofits in the city of Chicago. Our artists also participated in intensive, local efforts and campaigns, including #ByeAnita, #FundSchoolsNotJails, #RememberRekia, #DontPayDante, #SaveCSU, #BlackOutDepaul, and #StopITOA, some even putting their bodies on the line, risking and taking arrests to disrupt business as usual while our communities are struggling to survive. We’ve collectively created over 19 banners, 18 illustrations, 10 graphic design projects, 8 workshops, zines, and countless more that is not seen on our facebook feeds or at our actions.

In short, our artists know that we need a moment to take one, big, collective breath.

Simultaneously, we recognize that we are in a moment of urgency. Post-election, our communities (Black, Brown, Latinx, Muslim, queer, trans, gender non-conforming, etc.) are processing the blow, and trying to figure out how best to move forward. FTP recognizes that moments of urgency do not always translate into spontaneous action, but rather as a moment to re-group, re-strategize, and prepare as hard as we can to better protect and defend our communities. We know that some of our people are hurt, shocked, and still greatly shaken by the election. We also know that some of our people were not surprised at all, believing that they are continuing to live in a perpetual state of crisis. We also know that some of our people are afraid that Black people & Black struggle will now be forgotten about, hurt by the mass mobilizations just now happening, when Black people, especially queer and trans Black women, have been in a state of emergency.

We hold it all, we see it all, and we are doing what we need to do to love and protect each other.

We thank you and appreciate you for understanding, and we hope to celebrate struggle & resistance with you at Art For the People: FTP’s December Showcase on Saturday, December 10th, 2016 from 5pm to 9pm at the Experimental Station.

We also recommend reaching out to our friends at the Chicago ACT Collective, another rad, diverse collective of artists creating work to support movements, struggles, and communities in Chicago! “The Chicago ACT collective is working to build a collective of socially & politically-engaged artists, to create forms of resistance that promotes collaboration and dialogue across multiple communities, and that reflects on and responds to current and local needs identified by those most directly impacted.”

You can contact the Chicago ACT collective at  

In love, rage, and solidarity,
For the People Artists Collective (FTP)