Announcing: See America, Reviving The Legacy Of The New Deal Arts Projects

January 03, 2014

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Over 75 years after the government first commissioned posters to showcase the country’s most stunning natural features under the banner: “See America,” The Creative Action Network (CAN) has set out to do it again by launching a new version of See America, a crowdsourced art campaign, enlisting artists from all 50 states to create a collection of artwork celebrating our national parks and other treasured sites. The campaign will kick off with an exhibition in the William J. vanden Heuvel Gallery at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York on January 10, 2014.

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The 13 Moments That Shaped Our First Year

December 30, 2013

We launched The Creative Action Network almost exactly a year ago with the mission of putting our nation’s artists to work making a difference. A year later, who could have imagined we’d make it this far! Here’s a look back at the biggest moments of 2013.

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F@#k Contests

July 11, 2013

Crowdsourcing has come to represent everything unethical about working with creative people. It is almost always synonymous with spec-work, or contests where everyone is making work for free hoping to be named the winner and receive the fabulous prize. Sadly, by design, 99% of the entrants will be labeled losers and the contest organizer will get to chose from a big pool of work that they didn’t have to pay for.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to ethically work with a big, group of creative people. I’d like to talk about how and why to do this.

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Recovering the Classics: A Week of Press & New Friends

June 05, 2013

It’s now been a week since our launch of Recovering the Classics, and it’s been nothing but great news and collaboration. Many thanks to the following publications for helping us launch with so much positive support! 

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Felix Sockwell's Gun Poster Featured in March

June 03, 2013

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Announcing: Recovering the Classics

May 08, 2013

Every great book deserves a great cover. Sadly, many of the greatest classics in the public domain are left with poorly designed or autogenerated covers that fail to capture what makes these books exciting, inspiring, and lasting.

That’s why the we at the Creative Action Network are bringing together illustrators, typographers, and designers of all stripes for Recovering the Classics, our campaign to create beautiful, high-quality covers for 50 of the greatest books in the public domain. With help from our partners at DailyLit and The Harvard Book Store, we’re able to make these covers available as part of high-quality epub files or paperbacks specially printed by the Harvard Book Store.
At a time when battles over copyright are raging, the value of the public domain is clear. We believe that projects like this are an important part of keeping our creative heritage fresh and vibrant. That’s why we’re so excited to bring in new generations of creators to remix, remake, and reimagine art for some of our favorite books.  
We’re already well on our way, but we’d love to get as many people involved as possible. We’re currently seeking submissions before the gallery goes public May 27th, and will continue accepting new submissions after that at 
http://recoveringtheclassics.com/contribute
We hope you’ll submit a cover or two, and come back to check out the gallery on 5/27!

Every great book deserves a great cover. Sadly, many of the greatest classics in the public domain are left with poorly designed or autogenerated covers that fail to capture what makes these books exciting, inspiring, and lasting.

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What A 90 Year Old Government Art Project Has To Offer Today’s Cultural Organizers

March 14, 2013

It’s five years after the financial crisis and America is starved for solutions. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans is unemployed. Ragtag groups of students, unemployed workers, veterans, and the generally displaced, are occupying public spaces around the country. Republicans in Congress have blocked any significant government intervention.  It was in that climate, in the fall of 1932, that we hoped for change with a new president. 

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Why We’re Crowdsourcing Art for Classic Book Covers

March 13, 2013

The idea of the “public domain” goes all the way back to ancient Rome (probably further), where the law prohibited certain things from being owned by citizens because they existed for all to enjoy—like air, sunlight, and the ocean. As societies around the world advanced, copyright laws emerged to protect the interests of the content creators, and soon only work that was too old or uninteresting “fell” into the public domain.

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