• Press Release

Usher Joins Art for Amnesty USA for Art for Rights in New Orleans on December 12

December 9, 2015

Usher Raymond IV, in partnership with Sankofa.org, announced today that he will join Amnesty International USA's Art for Amnesty for Art for Rights – a one-day, free, pop-up art event, in New Orleans, to bring attention to human rights abuses happening all over the world. On Saturday, December 12, thousands of people are expected to join Raymond, New Orleans artist Brandan "BMike" Odums, and 12 artists who will highlight the stories of 12 different human rights cases around the world through art and creative installations. Danilo Maldonado Machado, a Cuban graffiti artist known as “El Sexto” will also be joining the event and contributing his work to the exhibit. Maldonado, deemed a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, was jailed for his art and released this year.

“I believe the issues of mass incarceration, prolonged solitary confinement and the death penalty are defining human rights issues for our country. The time for positive and permanent change is here," said Mr. Raymond  "I’m participating in Art for Rights in New Orleans because I know that the passion of artists and activists committed to change is a powerful force.”  

Alongside the murals, installations are also planned as well as programs featuring musical and spoken word performances, children’s activities and New Orleans style food trucks.

WHAT: An art cultivation and exhibit hosted by Art for Amnesty and Amnesty International USA

WHO: Usher Raymond IV, Robert King, Artists Brandan "BMike" Odums, Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado Machado, Alexandre Keto, Bayunga Kialeuka, Brian "BK" Kirhagis,, Douglas Miles, Hebru Brantley, Jessica "J Hand" Strahan, Jerome Lagarrigue, Katie Yamasaki, Kristy Sandoval, Ricky Lee Gordon, Sophia Dawson, Baz Dreisinger, Hank Willis Thomas, Jesse Krimes, Ron Therin


Media Preview: Friday, December 11th, 2015, 10am – 2pm CST (Robert King, artists and Amnesty International USA reps only)

Art for Rights: Saturday December 12th, 2015, 10am – 6pm CST

WHERE: Studio Be, 2925-2999 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA

Art for Rights is part of Amnesty’s Write for Rights campaign, which runs from December 4 – 18.  During that time hundreds of thousands of Amnesty International members and supporters around the world will send letters, emails and tweets supporting individuals who are facing human rights abuses.

In 2014, hundreds of thousands of people in more than 200 countries and territories participated in Write for Rights, sending 3,245,565 messages offering support or calling for action on the cases of 12 individuals and communities experiencing human rights abuses. More than a million messages have been sent in support of jailed Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi since the campaign first raised his case. This year, Raif Badawi’s lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair, is one of the 12 cases.