Svetlana Mintcheva, Ph.D.
National Coalition Against Censorship
275 7th Avenue, Fl.15
New York, NY 10001
phone 212-807-6222 ext. 23
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC),
founded in 1974, is an alliance of 50 national
non-profit organizations, including literary,
artistic, religious, educational, professional,
labor, and civil liberties groups. United by a
conviction that freedom of thought, inquiry, and
expression must be defended, we work to educate
our own members and the public at large about the
dangers of censorship and how to oppose them.
Removing Kathryn Barnes painting from the Branch
County Courthouse because people wanted to look at
it is rather paradoxical. (Anti-War Art Sparks
Controversy, July 31) Should the Courthouse remain
open only for art that nobody cares to look at for
more than a second? If the narrow passage where
the work was hung was getting too crowded, surely
there must be another, slightly more spacious
location. We should be pleased that people stop
and look at a painting, we should be delighted
when art creates dialogue ? it is nothing to be
feared. The political or social position expressed
by one of the works exhibited in a government
venue does not compromise its neutrality.
Neutrality means being open to all kinds of ideas,
it does not mean that art which takes a position
and provokes thought should be kept out.