Proposal Deadline Nears for Artists To Design ‘A Seat at the Table’

Presidential campaign poster for U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm from 1972. (Public Domain.)

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In August, Buttonwoods Museum will mount an exhibit in celebration of National Diversity Awareness Month, called “A Seat At the Table,” which is inspired by Shirley Chisolm’s powerful quote, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

Chisolm holds an important place in American political life. She was a revolutionary figure, breaking barriers to become the first Black woman elected to Congress. Beginning in 1968, she served seven terms representing a district in Brooklyn, N.Y. She was a founding member, and the only woman, of the Congressional Black Caucus, and in 1971 cofounded the National Women’s Political Caucus. But she is perhaps best known as the first Black woman to run for president, and the first woman to appear in a U.S. presidential debate, which happened in June 1972.

It is Chisolm’s legacy of time and again bringing her own chair to the table that inspires the upcoming Buttonwoods exhibit. Its aim is to amplify the voices and experiences of members in marginalized communities, including LGBTQA+, Black, Brown, Native, disabled and female-identified artists. All are invited to submit design proposals for decorating a chair that will be displayed at a large oval table.

Deadline for design submission is this Friday, July 12. Email design ideas to [email protected].

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