College Art Association

CAA News Today

Letter to the Editor at the New York Times

To the Editor:

David Staba’s June 7th article highlights the vulnerability of the freedom of artistic expression since the enactment of the USA Patriot Act. Based on Staba’s report, Steve Kurtz’s detention and the grand jury investigation being faced by him and some fellow members of the Critical Art Ensemble appear unwarranted. Such actions adversely affect art and arts-related institutions and chill the right of Americans to question authority.

The College Art Association urges Congress to carefully review the USA Patriot Act. Since some of these provisions are likely to be abused, we strongly support not renewing the USA Patriot Act.

The artistic freedoms established by America have long been sources of national pride and have been emulated by other nations. Revoking the extreme measures incorporated into the USA Patriot Act will insure that the US once more becomes the standard against which we measure artistic freedom of expression throughout the world.

Ellen K. Levy, President
Susan Ball, Executive Director
College Art Association

Click here to read David Staba’s article in the New York Times

CAA has also sent a letter to the US Attorney in Buffalo, NY involved in this case to express our concern that a Joint Terrorism Taskforce (JTTF) has issued grand jury sobpoenas to call members of the Critical Arts Ensemble before a grand jury. Our letter states that we fear that the JTTF’s actions could exert a chilling effect on speech, including artistic freedom of expression.