Tell YBCA: Stop Censoring Art for Palestine

On Thursday, February 15th, 2024, eight artists altered their work being exhibited in the Bay Area Now show as part of a surprise protest to demand the museum show support, publicly and institutionally, for the people of Gaza. The artists used banners, spray paint, and other creative interventions to update their pieces to reflect solidarity with Palestine.

"In recent years, YBCA created robust programming and community engagement in response to social justice issues ranging from Black Lives Matter to the invasion of Ukraine. Why are they silent on the genocide of Palestinians?” said champoy, a Bay Area Now 9 artist who transformed their boat sculpture into an altar during the demonstration. “Cultural workers and artists across the Bay are dreaming of a free Palestine. We hope that YBCA would want to be included in that vision, not working against it.”

In response, YBCA closed its doors this weekend and canceled Fresh Festival San Francisco, an event centering artists whose work subverts, disrupts, and responds to the tokenizing identity politics forced onto Black creatives by art institutions.

Tell the leadership of YBCA to:

  • Stop censoring artists who stand for the liberation of Palestine

  • Keep the altered works on view until May 5, 2024 when the Bay Area Now 9 exhibition is scheduled to end

  • Commit to collaborating with artists showing at YBCA to create robust programming that centers Palestinian voices and Palestinian liberation

  • Make a public and internal commitment to The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

  • Publicly apologize for censoring artists, both the Bay Area Now 9 artists and the artists of Fresh Festival

  • Reopen your doors and allow the public to see the altered and uplifted works of the eight Bay Area Now 9 artists involved in a Love Letter To Gaza

Letter Campaign by
Chicago, Illinois