SXSW Formally Announces Change of Policy
Our first story today is a follow-up on one from earlier this week regarding controversial language in SXSW’s international artist’s contract. Yesterday the festival formally announced its change of policy. After initially defending the contract by stating its nearly half-decade legacy, SXSW General Counsel Heather Liberman told KUT yesterday that the festival realized that given the current political climate, threatening to report international artists to immigration authorities if they play shows outside of official SXSW Showcases has a much different impact than it did in 2013 when the language was originally drafted. Liberman says future agreements won’t have any deportation clauses and only local law enforcement will ever be involved, though Liberman also emphasized the festival has never involved immigration authorities on any occasion in the past. SXSW’s statement apologized and said that the event “is a welcome and safe place for all people.”
Photo: Marshall Tidrick
Four Artists Buy Nina Simone’s Childhood to Preserve Her Legacy
Four prominent black artists have purchased Nina Simone’s childhood home in North Carolina in order to preserve the late singer’s memory. The investors are conceptual artist Adam Pendleton, sculptor and painter Rashid Johnson, filmmaker Erin Gallagher, and abstract painter Julie Mehretu. Located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the house came on the market in 2016, and while under no immediate threat or being demolished or converted, the group of artists intended to keep it that way, describing the purchase as “an act of art but also of politics.” The purchasers have not yet decided exactly what to do with the property, but say it will certainly honor her legacy.