Dear friends and alumni of Peace Press,
We are less than four months away and well into the process of organizing our next reunion and retrospective exhibition, entitled Made in L.A -The Posters of Peace Press. The exhibition will open Saturday, March 12, 2005 at Los Angeles Valley College, with other reunion activities to take place that same weekend. We hope you will come. As we previously announced, in addition to the poster exhibition and reunion, we want to produce a conference, a publication, and continue to document our work through oral histories. The legacy of Peace Press has never been more timely (See attached statement, "Now, More than Ever).
The four of us have been meeting monthly to plan and prepare these activities and to insure that the exhibition and related events will be adequately funded. We are happy to report that the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department has recognized the importance of the Peace Press exhibition by awarding a $17,000 matching grant to the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG), the LA- based nonprofit organization that will spearhead the exhibition. (CSPG is an internationally recognized poster archive -with the largest collection of post World War II political posters in the US-- that collects, preserves, documents and exhibits political posters all over the country.) We need to raise the rest of the funds.
We are writing to you now not only to update you about the events and allow out-of-towners to begin to make arrangements, but also to solicit your financial help in insuring that this exhibition gets enough funding to have the impact it needs. If every one of you could give $100 (more would be great), we would be halfway to our match. If you can't afford $100, give what you can and ask ten friends for $10 each. Please be as generous as possible. Help preserve our legacy, honor our struggle and celebrate our creativity. This is our history.
Please make checks out to Center for the Study of Political Graphics (or CSPG), with the notation, "Peace Press" on the memo line and mail them to Peace Press c/o CSPG, 8124 West Third Street - Suite 211, Los Angeles, CA 90048-4309. Or you can donate through the CSPG website (www.politicalgraphics.org). All donations are tax-deductible.
This is also the time to check your closets, attics, and garages for old Peace Press posters and any other Peace Press publications and memorabilia [i.e. photos, etc.]. We need them now. A list of Peace Press posters currently owned by the Center for the Study of Political Graphics can be found on the CSPG Website at http://www.politicalgraphics.org/exhibitions/Peace Press/peacepress.htm. If you have any other posters please let us know immediately. Poster donations are also tax-deductible.
We will be sending you follow-up emails with more information and to ask for your input in decisions about the event. Please let us know if you want to help out in any way, either before or during the event, or if you would like to join the planning committee. If you do not wish to receive further emails, or have other questions or suggestions, please let any of us know.
Los Angeles Valley College, Art Gallery Director
Peace Press, 1976 -79
Carol Wells, Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Executive Director
Peace Press Archive
Irene Wolt Peace
Peace Press, 1967-87
NOW, MORE THAN EVER
Government and corporate media attempts to stifle opposition to the Vietnam War led to a virtual blockade of the ability of dissenting voices to present their point of view to the public. Balanced coverage was not afforded them by the broadcast and print media. And those commercial printers who had otherwise been willing to print dissenting views stopped doing so after being faced with threats and fear of retaliation. In the face of that wall of suppression of meaningful free speech, Peace Press was founded in 1967 to give a voice to dissent.
In the intervening years, the media have consolidated. Ever fewer corporations exercise ever greater control of the media. Little pretense remains of corporate responsibility to present dissenting points of view, either in news coverage or in the advertising it is willing to accept. Witness Clear Channel's suppression of the free speech of performing artists in the ramp-up to the Iraq War and the refusal to allow anti-Bush political advertising during the Super Bowl..
The nation is in the grip of a pervasive atmosphere of fear. Free speech has been marginalized, with opinions that don't support the actions of this President barely visible to the public or the media. Meanwhile, the executive branch of the government asserts the right to arrest and hold anyone, even a U.S. citizen, without trial or access to legal counsel by simply claiming that he or she is a terrorist. The Republican "Triumph" at the polls can only intensify the assault.
Now, more than ever, the story of Peace Press holds out a beacon to advocates of free speech and diversity. It provides a model for those who would speak out with an alternative point of view in the face of a phalanx of government intimidation and corporate media disinformation. Moreover, presented with an almost daily barrage of incidents of corporate malfeasance, Peace Press' legacy continues to shine brightly as an alternative model for democratic business decision-making and responsible business practice.