Dear Colleagues-

I want to bring your attention to the following important and FREE one-day symposium focused on censorship to take place at the Corcoran Gallery of Art on Saturday, March 26, 10:00am – 5:30pm.  A reception for panelists and attendees will follow in the Corcoran Atrium from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.  Pre-registration is encouraged.  To pre-register, visit


This symposium is related to our Library Bill of Rights and mission to challenge censorship; I hope you can make it.

Press release:

ALA Library Bill of Rights:

Here is the schedule:


9:30-10 a.m.

Censorship Examined

10–11 a.m.

In this presentation, Culture Wars: Then and Now keynote speaker, Robert Storr, Dean, Yale School of Art, will examine visual arts censorship within the context of American culture and history.

(Screening of Linda Lewett’s video Perfect Moment at WPA prior to panel.)

Culture Wars Redux – What did we (what do we) consider offensive?

11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Panelists include Philip Brookman, chief curator and head of research, Corcoran Gallery of Art and former curator of Washington Project for the Arts; Dennis Barrie, director of cultural and interpretive planning, Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement and former director of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center; Jane Livingston, independent curator, author, and former associate director and chief curator at the Corcoran Gallery of Art; and H. Louis Sirkin, attorney and founding member of Sirkin Kinsley & Nazzarine, who represented Dennis Barrie and CAC in the obscenity trial provoked by the 1989 Robert Mapplethorpe retrospective, The Perfect Moment. The discussion will be moderated by Svetlana Mintcheva, director of programs at the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Give me a Revolution: Artists’ Responses to Censorship

Open with screening of Martha Wilson’s October 24, 2008 performance Barbara Bush: All Washed UP and Guerilla Girls’ HERSTORY and/or “animation” piece.

2–3:30 p.m.

Panelists include Mike Blasenstein and Michael Dax Iacovone from the Museum of Censored Art; Orameh Bagheri from LA Raw; Bill Dobbs of Art+; and Marshall Reese of Ligorano/Reese Collaborations. The discussion will be moderated by Victoria Reis, executive and artistic director of Transformer.

Free Speech & Arts Funding

4–5:30 p.m.

Panelists include Nora Halpern, vice president of leadership alliances, Americans for the Arts; Michael Keegan, president, People for the American Way; Robert Atkins, art historian, activist, author, and co-editor of CensoringCulture: Contemporary Threats to Freedom of Express; David A. Smith, senior lecturer in American History at Baylor University, Waco, TX and author of Money for Art: The Tangled Web of Art and Politics in American Democracy. The discussion will be moderated by Andy Grundberg, associate provost and dean of undergraduate studies, Corcoran College of Art + Design.



Mario A. Ascencio
Corcoran Library
Corcoran Gallery of Art / College of Art + Design
500 Seventeenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
t: (202) 478-1543
f: (202) 628-7908