Warhol Foundation Condemns CAH Grant Requirement As a Flagrant Attack on Free Speech

Thursday, November 8, 2018

 Warhol Foundation Condemns CAH Grant Requirement As a Flagrant Attack on Free Speech

Joel Wachs, President of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, today condemned a recent DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities (CAH) grant requirement as a flagrant attack on free speech. The proposed requirement gives CAH the right to terminate funding to grantees who produce work that is “lewd, lascivious, vulgar, overtly political, excessively violent, constitutes sexual harassment, or is, in any other way, illegal.” The requirement goes on to state that the interpretation of these terms is “at the sole discretion of CAH.” CAH emailed the requirement in a proposed amendment to grantees who had already been notified of their awards.

The Warhol Foundation has given significant grants to artist-centered organizations in the region that also receive CAH funding, including Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) and Transformer. WPA and Transformer have indicated that they will not be signing the amendment. The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), a long-time grantee of the Foundation, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of DC intend to ask CAH to rescind the amendment.. .