Please Vote: A Letter from Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam

Last January, many of us were together in Park City, preparing ourselves for what we thought was already shaping up to be a tumultuous year. (Little did we know!)

As we kicked off the Festival, we reflected on the fact that, especially in volatile times, democracy and storytelling aren’t separate -- they’re inextricably linked. And having a multiplicity of diverse voices telling independent, authentic stories is as critical to art and media as it is to politics and government.

Over the last several months, we’ve witnessed the power of stories to provide comfort and community, challenge the status quo, shift perspectives, hold the powerful accountable, and help us find meaning in chaotic times. We’ve seen that the world needs artists, storytellers, and fiercely independent voices.

Self-expression has always been powerful. And right now, there is no more important way for each of us to express ourselves than to vote.

We’re just one week from an election that will have enormous consequences for the arts and for our democracy. So click here to get everything you need to make your independent voice heard between now and Election Day. And make sure your friends and family have a plan to vote, too.

This year has been a difficult one -- for our artists and the broader arts community, for our country, and for the world. In a moment like this one, it’s easy to feel discouraged or powerless. But this is a moment that demands our consciousness, our participation, and our voices. This is our chance to be storytellers in a different sense, and help write the next chapter in America’s history.

In her Nobel Lecture, Toni Morrison urged audiences: “Make up a story. Narrative is radical, creating us at the very moment it is created. … Tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light.”

Let’s make sure the story of this moment is one of a community of artists stepping up to ensure the future of our democracy, our rights, and our freedoms. We get to help shape our democracy, and in turn, it will shape us.

That’s the power we have. Let’s use it.

Happy voting,
Keri Putnam
Executive Director, Sundance Institute

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