Artworks for Freedom/Easton Debuts September 8

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Artworks for Freedom/Easton is a multi-media exhibit that uses the arts to inform, educate and transform public perceptions about the rapidly growing crime of human trafficking and modern day slavery, and to give a voice and support to survivors. The exhibit will run from September 8 through October 1, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (closed Mondays) in the Waterfowl Building in Easton.

The event will also include curated films, a panel discussion and lecture in collaboration with Frederick Douglass Day Celebration, as well as educational and interactive art experiences. Films will include Food Chain, a film investigating agricultural servitude, and I Am Jane Doe, a film exposing the collusion of Backpage with online sex trafficking. All events are free to the public.

The Waterfowl Building, located at 40 South Harrison Street in Easton, will serve as headquarters for the event, with art in varied mediums by survivors, internationally recognized artists, and specially created installations by local artists. Educational materials from global and local partners, and interactive art opportunities will also be featured. An outdoor mural, “What You See Is Not Who I Am,” created by high school students from New York, will be in place across the street from the Waterfowl Building during the three-week event.

Maryland consistently ranks among the top 10 states in per capita incidents of human trafficking. Human trafficking is also a growing problem on the Eastern Shore, reflecting the fact that, globally, the rapid proliferation of modern slavery is second only to drug trafficking. In response to this problem, the Artistic Insights Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, in partnership with Artworks for Freedom (artworksforfreedom.org) is staging this multi- media art event.

Artworks for Freedom is a global initiative that uses the arts to:

*Raise awareness of human trafficking in its many, often difficult to detect, applications;
*Give a voice to survivors to enable them to find dignity, freedom, justice and healing;
*Educate the public about the many deceptive ways that victims can be lured into enslavement; and
*Alert parents that teens and preteens, no matter what their socio-economic status, are the populations most at risk.

Carol Gordean and Mary Ann Schindler, Co-chairs, Artworks for Freedom/Easton, comment, “Artworks for Freedom is a global anti-trafficking initiative based in Washington, DC. Easton’s event in September will signal the kick off of an even larger metro wide campaign in DC throughout October. Our goal is to raise consumer awareness of products that abuse human rights, and to unite the diverse Eastern Shore public interest groups in a local grass-roots campaign to provide useful information to the public and continue the fight against modern day slavery.”

Sponsors of the event include the Talbot County Art Council and the Maryland State Arts Council. For further information, contact artworksforfreedomeaston@gmail.com or visit artworksforfreedomeaston.org.

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