The National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER) stands with the people of Ukraine and calls for an immediate end to the invasion and violence being perpetrated upon them by Russia.
War is one of the ultimate disasters and the events unfolding in Ukraine: deaths (at least 1,500 Ukrainian soldiers and 516 civilians to-date), injuries (908 to-date), displacement of over 3 million people who are now refugees, food and water shortages, and the destruction of property, including great cultural treasures, are occurring daily. At the same time, artists from Ukraine and bordering countries perform in bomb shelters and refugee welcome areas, bringing healing; artistic images circulate on social media, encapsulating vividly the meaning of the war and its costs directly to millions; Russian artists protest the actions of their government by resigning their posts, signing anti-war and anti-Putin letters and petitions, and protest in the streets, suffering arrest, along with other Russian citizens. Yet some Russian artists continue to support – or at least fail to condemn -- Putin which has resulted in their artistic engagements being cancelled in different parts of the world, including the U.S.
Artists often play a vital role in crises, as they are now, and NCAPER applauds those who have used their positions to call for an end to this war, help rouse public opinion and raise money to support Ukraine. We call upon those artists who still stand with Putin to be brave and speak out against this unprovoked and unjust war. Your voices matter and influence others. Use them, and also condemn the destruction of invaluable cultural properties like Babyn Yar, which speak to our common human heritage.
Submitted by Amy Schwartzman, NCAPER Steering Committee member