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

Yesterday’s Violence in Washington, DC

Dear SAIC Community,

Overnight, the members of the US Congress voted to certify Joseph R. Biden Jr. as president and Kamala Harris as vice president in advance of their inauguration on January 20. Unfortunately, this anticipated and voter-determined outcome was temporarily delayed when domestic terrorists, emboldened to insurrection by false claims of election fraud, forcibly entered the US Capitol building. They vandalized offices and spread chaos, resulting in the loss of life. Though this attempted derailment of democratic process was unsuccessful, it's dismaying and completely objectionable.
As creative individuals engaged in an art school curriculum, we reject violence which seeks to supersede established and lawfully executed representative governance. We know those tactics are ultimately ineffective, and behavior coerced by fear is anathema to the liberty we seek throughout our shared society. We are makers of images, objects, and ideas, and we know that hearts and minds are moved by wonder, insight, the sharing of knowledge, critique and debate, peaceful protest, and working together. As I wrote to you on Election Day, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago we will continue to practice the everyday citizenship that exemplifies the sense of responsibility and mutual respect we bring to living and working together. Yesterday’s events galvanize our belief that artists, designers, and scholars are indispensable practitioners that help guide humanity toward factual truth, emotional honesty, and peaceful coexistence.
If you find yourself in need of talking to someone, please use those supports available to you. Students may contact Counseling Services at 312.499.4271 or counselingservices@saic.edu. Faculty and staff may contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) directly at 800.311.4327. 

Elissa Tenny