A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

Establishing Values & Aims

In June 2021, SAIC faculty, curators, and seven specially chosen graduate fellows began to hold regular weekly meetings to discuss how the arts could be leveraged in the fight for a future free of nuclear arms. In formulating our collective reaction to this issue, a crucial first step was to establish the values and aims that would serve to both unify the narrative and, hopefully, galvanize public support around this crucial issue. The name Start a Reaction was chosen both for its association with the historical setting of the Chicago Pile-1 site, as well as our desire to challenge the dominant ideology that nuclear arms were a necessary facet of international diplomacy.