ARRT! The Artists’ Rapid Response Team (ARRT!) is a project of the Union of Maine Visual Artists. The ARRTists are members of the UMVA who collaborate with progressive organizations throughout Maine to create “visual soundbites,” frequently in the form of banners, to be used to draw attention to important issues. ARRT! is grateful for the support of the UMVA and the Broad Reach Fund of the Maine Community Foundation.
Voting rights, access to voting, and safe voting by mail have become major issues for Americans in 2020. ARRT! has been hard at work creating images for yard signs, to place in rural and urban areas with the collaboration of activist organizations like Lincoln County Indivisible, the League of Women Voters, and civic groups throughout the state.
In the Summer issue of MAJ, ARRT! reported concern over the 100,000 deaths caused by COVID-19. Now, a brief three months later, we are reaching the heartbreaking number of 200,000 Americans lost. The activists at rallies in Portland and Damariscotta worked hard to practice social distancing and wearing masks while raising their collective voices to support safe voting and the institution of the United States Postal Service.
Vigils and caravans supporting racial justice and equal rights were held. The ARRTists gathered together to paint banners again, maintaining social distancing and working outside, while masked, in Bowdoinham, at the Merrymeeting Grange Hall, in September. The group will continue to work, flexibly, finding new ways to contribute in these troubled times. Next session is October 4th.