Why We Bring Art and Politics Together with Libraries

Politics are part of our everyday lives just like art is part of our life. Both influence and impact us on a personal and societal level. The theme of the 2021 EveryLibrary Artist in Residency Program is to bring the context of Libraries and Politics closer to the audience by inserting playful more tangible elements such as art into the framework.

Art is a universal language and speaks to everyone on a different level. Now imagine having 3 different kinds of artists catering to your senses: bringing poetry to your ears, music to your hearts, and art to your souls. The artists are coming from different disciplines. Their goal is to bring people together and remove polarization that has been the theme in the last years. We need to unite as people. We need to see the commonalities instead of our differences. That is what our 2021 Artists in Residence Corinne Lightweaver, Ray Briggs, Victoria Hurtado, and are showcasing with their work.

I found it fascinating to work with the different artists and do interdisciplinary work because I am a true believer that we have more in common than what we think, and we work better together rather than following just one direction and staying in our silos. The power of poetry, music, and visual art together creates an amazing symbiosis that brings us closer and makes us stronger. Each Artist brings their own perspective to the project.

Ray would like to have a conversation and grow and learn from each other stories and challenge each other to get elevated and be “mature citizens”.

“What if we can have our opinion but we remain connected as humans, humanity remains attached.”
- Ray Briggs

Corinne, through her artwork, hopes to share her personal experiences with cancer and mental illness and inspire converations.

“I share my personal experiences so I can connect with others.”
- Corinne Lightweaver

Meet Victoria, a Renaissance woman, an artist, a poet, who is an active community member of Long Beach, CA. She writes about community, connections, feminine and masculine energy and human emotions.

“I am your 80-year-old tour guide, oblivious, yet composed, showing you things like death, sex, and oddities living together in the world I create. It's entertaining, it's unpredictable, and could not have been done more eccentrically.”
- Victoria Hurtado

Libraries need to organically grow and cater to the community, and its needs. When I was growing up, libraries were only for checking out books and one had to be super quiet. Now they are community places where music is performed, poetry jamming is happening, and art is exhibited like in galleries. Libraries need to be supported by the community and need support by funding. EveryLibrary helps local communities understand better why libraries are important, and help libraries learn how to advocate for themselves and be involved more with their local political officials to make sure that they are properly and well-funded. Libraries are access points for many especially for people experiencing homelessness, disabilities and for many during the pandemic nothing replaced these safe places. Libraries are essential.

Magic lies in the spaces of the library, let's do something for them! We need to step up and treasure what libraries have done for us. Be involved with us or your local library. Be a volunteer and check out how you can be a supporter. Anything and everything can happen at libraries.

- Kati Szeker, 2021 AIR Producer 


Learn more about our 2021 Artists and view their works in progress at EveryLibrary's 2021 Artist in Residence page or see some brief introductions below.