Funding Women Artists: 100,000 Signatures Needed to Support Equitable Funding for Women Artists by Feb 6th

Funding Women Artists

100,000 Signatures Needed to Support Equitable Funding for Women Artists by Feb 6th

Inspiring Change for Women in the Arts

During President Obama’s administration, the fight for equality has had a renewed energy and significance. The national call for “equal pay for equal work for women” has been heard by the arts community, as well. Women artists have a stake in the call to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, as they often take on day jobs in order to support their families and themselves as artists. Women have the civil and human right to participate equally in opportunities for creative expression in programs supported by taxpayer funds.

The “Cromnibus” bill, recently passed by the House of Representatives, approved $146 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities each; $30 million for the Office of Museum Services; and $25 million for the U.S. Department of Education’s Arts in Education program. What would equitable distribution of these funds mean for women artists nationally? Everything.

To this end, a petition calling for legislation guaranteeing women equal access and opportunity for employment in government funded arts organizations has been launched. At least 100,000 signatures are needed by February 6, 2015 in order to receive an official response from the White House.

People can view, sign and share the petition here:

Equitable Distribution of Funds

The petition states: “We the People petition the Obama administration to enact legislation whereby any nonprofit arts organization or institution that is receiving city, state or federal funding should be mandated to allocate an equitable portion of that funding to women artists across the board, thereby ensuring that women receive grants and/or employment opportunities that are still being denied them.

“For example, studies show that in the American Theatre women receive less than 20% of production opportunities nationwide. With this new legislation, playwrights, directors, designers, dramaturgs, etc. would have a fair shot at working and/or creating in their chosen field. Commercial theatre producers will continue to produce and/or employ whomever they choose—man or woman. But when government monies are involved, the petition asks for a mandate for parity in the disbursement of those dollars for all women in the literary, performing and visual arts.

President Obama said in his 2014 State of the Union address, “When women succeed, America succeeds.” Ensure that women artists can succeed by signing this petition which can change their lives as well as the landscape of work created by women artists for the enjoyment and betterment of arts and culture in communities, cities, and states across America.

Opportunities to sign the petition are open until Feb. 6, 2015.

Again, view, sign and share this petition today here:

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#BringBackOurGirls: Searching for the Lost Daughters of Nigeria

(image via the BBC)

(image via the BBC)

As a general rule, we are quite loquacious here at Black Chick Media, but this tragedy has rendered us mute.  And what words are there to even begin to describe this horrific and sickening event?  We couldn’t find any if we tried.  While details vary from country to country and source to source, what we know with certainty is that on the night of April 14th, at least 234 girls between the ages of 16 and 18 were kidnapped from their school in northeastern Nigeria.  Although no group has claimed responsibility, it is believed, yet not confirmed, the girls have been taken by armed militants of a local Islamic extremist group called Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates to, ”western education is forbidden.”  It has been stated that the leader of this organization, Abubakar Shekau, first threatened to capture women and girls in a video released in May 2013, and not one official in the Nigerian government, including President, Goodluck Jonathan (who, as far as we’re concerned should be investigated…), or the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, took the threat seriously.

As the response from world leaders, especially the leaders of Nigeria, has been less than helpful, many parents, friends and family members have taken it upon themselves to locate the girls, journeying deep into forests and surrounding towns in hopes of finding at least a glimmer of hope.  There are numerous theories surrounding their capture, and it is now believed the girls have been taken to neighboring countries and sold as slaves and/or to militants as wives for the price of $12 each.

(image via the BBC)

(image via the BBC)

Since their capture, protestors have lined the streets in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, chanting the phrase, Bring Back Our Girls, which has since become an international campaign.  Governments around the globe have taken notice, but, in our humble opinion, they’re actually doing nothing at all.  Several activist groups including Change.Org and Amnesty International, are promoting petitions that are circling the globe at the moment, including the one we signed on the White House website: Yesterday, there were a mere 900 signatures, as of this morning, there are almost 3,000. A similar petition can be found here.

(image via the BBC)

(image via the BBC)

Join us in taking to social media using the hashtags #BringBackOurGirls and #BringBackOurDaughters, to demand more from world governments, and ensure the safe return of these young girls.