In Defense of Art
by Lydia Loren
In Defense of Art is the title of Oregon Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts’ blog, and our motto. OVLA is here for you. Got questions about your art that you want an experienced lawyer to answer? Our volunteer lawyers are here for you.
In times of great turmoil artists communicate the issues we confront with a frankness, an openness, a subtleness or a directness. We need artists to do this. Boldly. We rely on artists to speak truth to power, to raise our consciousness, to give voice to voices that often aren’t heard, or just to wake us up and get us to think. Like the recent Time magazine cover of President-Elect Donald Trump (analysis), we need artists to speak up fearlessly. We need artists to be fearless in enriching our world and being the mirror for society.
Being fearless is a lot to ask. Especially when artists hear stories—stories of lawsuits or the dreaded cease and desist letter—or they just don’t know whether they are on solid legal ground. Artists should have access to advice in order to realistically assess the risks they face and the possible realities.
Lawyers do that for clients all the time. They assess risks and help clients decide what course of action to pursue. Lawyers cost money, but often artists don’t have money and are concerned that money is a barrier to getting good advice and support. Well, we’re here for them. Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts organizations (or “VLA’s” as they are sometimes referred to) are all over this country to help artists get answers to their legal questions.
“In Defense of Art.” It is why I’m involved with OVLA.
If you’re in Oregon and would like to get involved with OVLA – fill out our volunteer form, and sign up for our mailing list. If you’re not in Oregon, check into your state’s VLA – many have them, links are available here. If you are looking for important organizations to support as we head into 2017, consider your local VLA, or, if you are inclined toward Oregon, OVLA’s donation button can help you with that.