Without mentioning name, ArtPrize rebukes President Trump’s policies

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — ArtPrize, a competition founded by the son of Betsy DeVos, the nation’s new education secretary, is taking aim at the Trump administration without mentioning the president by name.

The ArtPrize team put out a letter opposing several of the new administration’s policies.

>> READ: Letter from ArtPrize.

The letter maintains that ArtPrize operates according to a set of guiding principles and that recent policy decisions and statements made on a national front have compelled them to reaffirm their commitment to their ideals. Then, they list what they’re opposed to:

  • Discriminate against anyone based on religion, race, gender, sexual identity, physical ability or economic status.
  • Detain or persecute refugees and immigrants.
  • Limit or undermine a free press or freedom of speech.
  • Prevent any child in the United States from accessing a quality education that includes the arts and humanities.

Trump signed an executive order banning travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries just days into his term. A federal appeals court refused to reinstate the ban after a lower court placed a temporary restraining order on it.

The president said he’s considering signing a new executive order on immigration while this one is held up in court.

The letter was released Thursday — just two days after ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos’ mother, Betsy, was confirmed to be the Secretary of Education. Betsy DeVos has previously worked to promote charter schools and school voucher programs, which some critics argue would hurt public schools. She was confirmed in a historic tiebreaking vote cast in the Senate by Vice President Mike Pence.

The president has also routinely calls out media outlets for purporting what he calls “fake news.” A day after the letter was published, Trump called the New York Times “fake news” after they published a story about him speaking with the leader of China.

Now in its ninth year, ArtPrize 2017 is scheduled to happen between Sept. 20 and Oct. 8.

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