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No lewd, vulgar, political art, says DC Commission on Arts & Humanities

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities has added sweeping language to already approved grants requiring the artists and arts organizations avoid producing work that could be considered lewd, vulgar or political.

In a rare step made after millions of dollars in public funding was approved last month, the local arts commision said it would terminate any grant that supports work the commission deemed “lewd, lascivious, vulgar, overtly political, or excessively violent, constitutes sexual harassment, or is, in any other way, illegal.”

Art leaders expressed shock at the request, which several described as an attack on their artistic freedom.

“My first reaction was just astonishment,” said Sarah Browning, co-founder and executive director of Split This Rock, which was awarded $70,000 in two grants from the commission. Browning herself won a $3,500 grant for poetry. “It’s far outside the reach of anything that I’ve every seen,” Browning said. “To put it at risk is a huge problem for small organizations like ours. That said, we can’t possibly sign this.”

Read the full Washington Post article here

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