Artist March, a Series of Protests Planned Across the Country, Started in Miami

Miami artist Stuart Sheldon, who created the politically charged work above, is working with the organizers of Artist March.EXPAND
Miami artist Stuart Sheldon, who created the politically charged work above, is working with the organizers of Artist March.
Stuart Sheldon

The next phase of the anti-Trump resistance is here. And it started in Miami.

Artist March is a grassroots movement founded by Miami-based artist Alessandra Mondolfi. It has grown into a nationwide series of events, similar to the Women's March and the March for Science, that will land on Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago foyer on Flag Day, June 14, which just happens to be Trump’s birthday.

Marches are currently being planned in Miami, West Palm Beach, Naples/Fort Myers, Boston, and Wichita, Kansas. Mondolfi organized the artists in the progressive group The Artful Activist, founded by fellow Miamian Melanie Oliva. Together, they're working with Miami artists Stuart Sheldon and Emily Dulohery, Florida artists Rolando Chang Barrero and Sandra Yeyati, and Massachusetts artists and organizations including Harmony Kennedy Witte and MASS Artists for Change.

Participants in each city are encouraged to make the march uniquely their own, reflecting the creativity and strengths of the local community. “We have put forth the idea and date, intending to inspire people to organize and own a march in their community. Just like with any work of art, there is no right or wrong! We'd like organizers to exercise their creative license," said Mondolfi. "It could be just one person standing on a corner in costume or with a sign or playing an instrument. It could be an artist collaborative that gets a group together and decides to go to a park and perform. It could be an official million-person formal rally with a stage and featured speaker. The possibilities are endless.”

The Miami Artist March will include Haitian rara bands and dance troupes. The route will wind its way through Little Haiti and end at the Wynwood Yard. Mondolfi and Oliva have also been mulling the most appropriate way to wish Trump a happy birthday on the day of the march. They’ve discussed designing a massive birthday card that details the real-world impact of his policies on Americans.

“Melanie threw out the idea of cardboard box gifts, in which either a performer jumps out of a large box, or maybe smaller boxes that include hearts inside, or the words empathy or compassion,” said Mondolfi.

Other artists are working to create awesome signs and dynamic performances that will make the greatest impact.

“Mary Jo Aagerstoun brought up the idea for lighted signs, since the march will be in the evening. That inspired me to reach out to the genius artist Sean Fountain from Wildchild World to create a large ‘NO HATE’ inflatable sign, which will be lit from the inside,” said Mondolfi.

The organizers say more surprises are in the works, too.

Even though most of Trump’s legislative agenda has been blocked, he and his cabinet wield incredible power through executive orders and the rewriting of department rules that can impact the lives of adults and children of every economic background, but especially the poor. That is why artist Ronaldo Chang Barrero is planning to lead an Artist March to Mar-a-Lago.

"I will be participating at the #ArtistMarch because I do not accept policy changes that would directly affect children and low-income families,” said Barrero. “Many, myself included, agree that many changes need to be made in our country, yet we must find fair remedies. We must continue to lead in excellence. We established food programs in our public schools for children who otherwise do not get the required meals that allow them to flourish. The changes to our voucher program eliminates that without remedy. That cannot happen.”

The creative community is vast and diverse. It’s a microcosm of American culture, Mondolfi says — one that more accurately reflects the millions who voted for a different kind of America last year.

“Artists are intersectional by nature, representing every background, gender, religious belief, sexual orientation, ethnicity, economic status, and age,” said Mondolfi. “There are so many things we can use art to fight for, including health care, immigration, minority rights, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, net neutrality, and environmental protection. Also, what better way to fight for the arts than with art?”

To join or set up your own Artist March, visit facebook.com/artistmarch.


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