Four|For Freedoms article

Each July, Americans celebrate our Nation’s founding, and freedom from Great Britain. On a day marked with parades, barbecues and time off, it’s easy to forget the real drivers of that event.

In the Declaration of Independence, it is stated that “…all men are created equal… with certain unalienable Rights…” and yet it took nearly 13 years to further codify these in the Bill of Rights, another 76 (!) years to actually include “all men” … and another 55 years to include women.

In 1941, Franklin Roosevelt declared that four essential human freedoms – Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom From Want and Freedom From Fear- should extend to any person, anywhere in the world.

As an arts organization with a social mission, we believe in Freedom of Expression (i.e., Speech), and are committed to bringing you #ArtsWithPurpose.  So for July and August this year, O1ARTS has partnered with, an international arts project, to bring a special For Freedoms exhibit to our PLATFORMS site at 25th & Adams.

For Freedoms is a platform for creative civic engagement and discourse, inspired by Norman Rockwell’s paintings depicting Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms.  In 2018, For Freedoms launched the 50 State Initiative: the largest creative collaboration in U.S. history… and O1ARTS is bringing a subset of that to PLATFORMS, opening Friday July 5.

Our partnership with For Freedoms uses art to deepen public discussions on civic issues and core values, and to advocate for equality, dialogue, and civic participation. Like ForFreedoms, we believe citizenship is defined not by ideology, but by participation. Or in our case, #ARTicipation. 

The artworks on display, (resized from 50 State Initiative billboards), variously address Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms … by exhorting us to vote (Freedom of Speech), or calling attention to the environment (Freedom from Fear? Want?), mental health issues, immigration and more.

Once again, we ask the community to #ARTicipate, by using the supplied sharpies to add your input – what do you seek Freedom OF or FROM?

We also encourage any citizen or organization with ideas for further events and partnerships around these ideas to drop us a line at and let’s see what Change we can make – together.