Got Green is sharing this statement to publicly acknowledge & apologize for printing art and collecting donations while distributing art without artist permission at our screen print station this past weekend.
Got Green apologizes to BrownBartBaby for using your art without permission at our screen print station this past weekend and collecting donations while distributing this art. Additionally, we want to apologize to Juxtaposition Arts – a Black-led youth arts organization based in Minneapolis, who have the exclusive rights to BrownBartBaby’s piece. The piece is called “Pégalo, Rómpalo, Tómalo” (Hit it, Break it, Take it). Lastly, we want to apologize to the other artists whose work we distributed on Saturday as we did not check in prior about collecting donations as we distributed your art. As many gave direct permission, allowed the public to download & print your work, or gave us shirts to distribute — we realize that receiving donations via distribution was not part of the plan.
In regards to BrownBartBaby’s art, we acknowledge that we inquired about printing their art, did not receive permission, yet went forward with printing the art. We recognize that this was a failure in our process and we did not live up to our standards in respecting the rights and labor of artists and cultural workers. We should never make assumptions about sharing art and plan to do better in the future. We know that movement artists, especially Black and Brown artists, are consistently ripped off, appropriated, and exploited by this violent system. Art is a sacred practice and our actions disrespected this practice.
The plan was to distribute prints & shirts for free at local protests this past weekend. As community members asked how they can donate, Got Green began to accept donations. We re-directed all donations we received to the Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network – the organizers of the event where donations were collected. This was not our place to do so. For the lack of oversight and for the harm that we inflicted on artists and others in the community, we are truly sorry.
As a people of color led organization, we understand that we are not exempt from elements of white supremacy and capitalism that are so deeply ingrained in the non-profit industrial complex, which we are a part of. We are prepared to do what we need to do to make it right, and humbly accept your criticism.
We want to thoughtfully engage all of our staff, board members, and volunteers in this process, so that Got Green as an organization can learn from our mistakes and become better allies/accomplices/leaders to Black liberation and the movement as a whole — especially in this time of uprising.
Got Green’s plan of action with steps towards repair and rectification:
- Circulate this public apology online on social media, website, and our email listserv
- Attempt to contact those who received BrownBartBarby’s print and encourage them to donate to Juxtaposition Arts (early July)
- Communicate with the BrownBartBaby, Juxtaposition Arts, and the other artists to determine appropriate compensation. (July with support from GG’s Board)
- Develop a policy for sharing art and working with artist, from printing to social media — permission, compensation, credit, and more. Update and unite on our decision-making processes (by end of Summer).
- To fight against anti-Black racism and increase our accountability in supporting Black-led movement building, we are undergoing internal organization-wide trainings addressing anti-Black racism (Ongoing/underway – intensive training for Fall)
- We are also working to shift our organizational culture in regards to communication and collaboration, moving from silos and individualism to an effective and clear collective leadership model (longterm, this summer develop plan)
For questions & comments