Give me an artistic license so I can sing to my captors in Syria. Let me embroider an eiderdown pillow for the Rutgers gay student to fall onto under the George Washington Bridge. Let me create a magic dragon with a special cape to protect the young unarmed black teenage boy in Florida before he is shot point blank and killed. Let me make a painted shield of protective wildflowers for the 3 Jewish children and their rabbi father killed by the madman in Paris. If a work of art can bring awareness towards changing these horrors let us begin the act of creativity now – It is not too soon!

Karen Finley, performance artist and activist, in a speech made on March 21, 2012 at the opening of Because Dreaming Is Best Done In Public: Creative Time In Public Spaces, which features her 1998 work 1-800-ALL-KAREN.

Words can’t describe how moved I was both emotionally and towards action, and those sentiments were widely present throughout the room. It’s incredible how people can wield words into powerful tools to, in all seriousness, change the world.

Karen, by the power vested in my by nature of existence, I grant you artistic license to keep using your voice to creatively shape public discourse and influence society’s actions.

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