Swap the art

Representatives from the Tucson Branch and other organizations at the press conference outside Tucson City Hall. Courtesy Deborah Livingston.

By Deborah Livingston, Co-Chair, Tucson WILPF

Tucson WILPF members and representatives from several other organizations held a press conference outside Tucson City Hall on May 3, 2016, in honor of Mothers Day, to request that the militaristic art on display outside the City Council chambers be replaced with a mosaic from the Ben's Bells Project, whose artwork is based on community and intentional kindness. The mission of Ben’s Bells, as stated on the project’s website, is “to inspire, educate, and motivate people to realize the impact of intentional kindness, and to empower individuals to act according to that awareness, thereby strengthening ourselves, our relationships and our communities.”

A number of the organizations represented, including the local chapter of Veterans for Peace, Church Women United in Tucson, Culture of Peace Alliance, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Jobs with Justice, joined with the Tucson WILPF Branch in delivering 150 letters, cards, and email message to the mayor and council, asking that the images of war and militarism on the walls in the City Council chambers be swapped for images of peace. These groups and other organizations have been working with steering committee member Mary DeCamp on this issue.

In her closing remarks at the event, Mary DeCamp said: “I look around and I see a preponderance of grandmotherly types. And I think, just as in earlier eras when conquistadors came through this area and planted their beliefs, that this next wave will be led by grandmothers, wise women who know the value of community and peace and joy and art, the human connection in our lives. So I thank you very much for coming out today.”

No professional journalists or news outlet reported on the press conference. A video of the event, produced by Doctress Neutopia, may be seen on Youtube.



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