“It’s amazing how times change.” That’s how Marc Schiller from the website Wooster Collective, a stalwart booster of international street art, began a letter to their readers explaining why they had been invited to the White House, why they accepted, and what they found there (namely, that there are graffiti artists working in the White House).
Here’s an excerpt from the letter:
When Sara and I started the Wooster Collective eight years ago, it felt to us at the time that the ONLY lens the media was providing as a way into understanding street art and graffiti was vandalism.
We want this to change.
Last month when we received an invitation to attend a briefing at The White House (yes, that one), we were at first a bit shocked, definitely skeptical, and finally, after giving it a lot of thought - absolutely delighted. To be included in the conversation at the level of The White House, we felt, was a huge testament that our voice (meaning our collective voice) was being heard.
Yesterday, along with about sixty amazing organizations who are committed to grassroots arts initiatives, we met with various officials in the Obama Administration, to listen and learn what the administration was thinking in regards to the Arts, to ask questions, and then to participate in working sessions on issues that we felt passionate about. (Ours was the need to better understand the issues around public and private space)