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Democratic Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

As voters head to the polls for the Super Tuesday Democratic primaries in 14 states today, March 3, over 1,400 artists, writers, musicians, and creatives endorsed Elizabeth Warren for the presidency in a new open letter dubbed “Artists for Warren.”

Catherine Opie, Deborah Kass, Dawoud Bey, Cady Noland, Anoka Faruqee, and Eddie Aparicio are some of the artists who signed the open letter, which was drafted by painter Anne Harris. Others include Angela Dufresne, Lisa Blas, film producer Treva Wurmfeld, photography historian Greg Foster-Rice, author adrienne maree brown, and critic Aruna D’Souza.

“We believe Elizabeth Warren embodies the qualities our country needs most: compassion, respect, integrity, wisdom, intellectual curiosity, optimism, and the fundamental understanding that when the least among us does better, we all do better,” the open letter reads.

“Warren identifies and articulates systemic problems,” the letter continues. “She crafts workable solutions. She has the persuasive skills to put those solutions in place, and the backbone to stand up to power. She will work for us and fight for us.”

In February, Anoka Faruqee announced her impassioned support of Warren in an article on the Medium titled “It’s Now or Never.”

“I too worried at the launch of Warren’s campaign that she couldn’t get elected because, well, a lefty woman couldn’t possibly stand up against the misogyny, racist slurs, money and power of Trump and the Republican Party,” Faruqee wrote. “I realize that my own reticence to support Warren was entangled with how sexism and internalized misogyny operate so I work hard now to pronounce my support for Warren loud and proud.” Faruqee urged “shy” Warren supporters to actively join the campaign.

On Twitter, singer-songwriter and actor Janelle Monáe showed her support for Warren with a tweet this morning that simply said: “Elizabeth Warren.” She followed up with a tweet saying, “There is no perfect candidate on the dem side. I am still voting for one of the imperfect dem candidates.” Monáe’s tweet prompted a debate between supporters of Warren and supporters of another Democratic contender, Bernie Sanders, with some replying with a tweet stating: “Bernie Sanders.”

Warren also received support from Black Lives Matter’s co-founder, Patrice Cullors, although it wasn’t exclusive. Speaking on MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber, Cullors said that she was giving a “dual endorsement” to Sanders and Warren because progressives need to “make sure that we don’t get people like Mike Bloomberg, people like Biden into the president’s office.”

Last week, thousands of artists endorsed Sanders in a similar open letter dubbed “Artists for Bernie.” Signatories include Nan Goldin, Kara Walker, Nicole Eisenman, Hito Steyerl, Wu Tsang, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Ed Atkins, Kader Attia, Kevin Beasley, and Hannah Black, among others. As of this writing, the number of artists who have signed in support of Sanders has reached 3,425.

Update 3/3/2020 5:29pm EST: Since this article was published at 12:36pm, the list of signatures has grown to 2,203 (updated on the Artists for Warren website at 1:23pm EST).

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Hakim Bishara

Hakim Bishara is a staff writer for Hyperallergic. He is also a co-director at Soloway Gallery, an artist-run space in Brooklyn. Bishara is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital...

9 replies on “Dawoud Bey and Deborah Kass Among 1,400 Artists to Endorse Elizabeth Warren”

  1. Thank you to artist Anne Harris for writing this letter and making this happen.
    You are inspiring!

  2. Thanks for covering this. Just an update that since this morning the artists4warren.org site has grown from 1,400 to over 2,200 signatures. And it’s only been available since late Sunday evening when artist Anne Harris first shared the letter.

  3. Thanks for covering this! Would be great to amend the article, crediting the author of the letter, artist Anne Harris.

  4. I think the key takeaway here is that more that almost three times as many artists have endorsed Bernie, the candidate who hasn’t flipped on single-payer and a living wage, some of the tools that will begin to set artists free. Endorsing a candidate who’s values are so obviously malleable and who won’t even win her own state seems kind of self-defeating.

    1. I wrote this. I posted it online a day and half ago. I think the key fact to take away is that in a day and a half 2500 artists have signed. We’re getting signatures every few seconds. So, if you’re counting, count that.

      1. So interesting that you jump on your numbers and not what was said about Warren’s ever-shifting ethical goalposts or her slim chances even in her own state because the amount of people willing to overlook those things is what’s really important, right?

    2. Andrew, the “key takeaway” is that there are a lot of artists who support Warren! So what if there are more for Bernie, that petition has been circulating a lot longer (this one, only for 2 days). But just forget about claiming a key takeaway. It’s as important that people know how many supporters there are for Warren (And what gives you the inside scoop to announce beforehand that she won’t win her own state?)
      By the way, Warren figured out that single payer can’t be done the day she gets into office. Bernie later revised his claim that he could do it, and adopted her more measured and well-reasoned and analyzed plan that it would have to be done over time. So there. Maybe he (and you) have something to learn from someone who’s done things like create a massive federal agency to help out ordinary citizens. Not something that he has done yet.

  5. I signed the letter, but I also took a pledge to Vote Blue No Matter Who. The real enemy is the Trump dynasty.

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