Article by Kathy Brew
Art Rising took place at the Trump Tower Public Garden on June 14th, which happens to be Donald Trump’s birthday and Flag Day. It was the latest in a series of actions that have been using this not-so-known public space as a “living lab” to mobilize people around the risks of the Trump presidency—particularly his plan to slash federal funding for the arts.
The event was organized by Take Trump Tower, and curated by Caterina Bartha. As stated in the program notes: “The artists invite you to enjoy the performances and provoke Trump on his birthday inside his home.”
The crowd was mainly a mix of artists and activists, combined with tourists who were coming to the building because it is the home of the POTUS, including some Trump supporters who happened upon the event, along with some Trump Tower security folks hovering on the sidelines, observing with scrutiny (not to mention the presence of police and secret service members as you enter the building).
Things kicked off at noon with Brick x Brick, a group of women dressed in black and white outfits that included text of many of Trump’s misogynist quotes, standing firm as a wall/backdrop for the hour-long event. Lucy Sexton from Dancenoise, who performs as The Factress, was the emcee/host and welcomed Jimmy Van Bramer, the City Council majority leader and chairman of the council’s cultural affairs committee, who spoke of the importance of government funding and saving the NEA. Then the performances began.
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Photo by Kathy Brew