A photo of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaking at 2019 rally.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at the “Bernie’s Back Rally” at Queensbridge Park in New York on October 19, 2019.
Photo credit: JStone / Shutterstock

On February 24, a community of creatives known as Artists4Bernie released a letter endorsing Senator Sanders for president. More than 650 artists and cultural figures have signed the letter—including Nicole Eisenmann, Julianna Huxtable, Michael Stipe, Hito Steyerl, and Kara Walker.

“We are an international network of people that work within art and culture, and with this letter, we would like to declare our support for Senator Bernie Sanders and endorse his 2020 presidential campaign,” the opening statement of the letter reads. “By endorsing Bernie Sanders we hope to reach out to our American colleagues, friends, and families, and express our enthusiasm in supporting, and voting for, the only candidate we believe can unseat Donald Trump.”

The letter lists several reasons why Senator Sanders is the candidate of choice for those who work within the arts and culture sector.

“Bernie Sanders is leading a working-class movement that transcends ethnicities, generations, and geographies,” the letter reads. “Artists and cultural producers are largely precarity laborers—often struggling without benefits, financial security, at the whim of the market. These fields are therefore more inclined to attract people who are already privileged, at the expense of the less privileged—and, often, more talented. Medicare for all, universal childcare, canceling student debt, and free public college, are just a few of the progressive changes that we support for their soundness and logic, that will spill over into a more equal cultural sphere.”

If elected, the presidential contender vowed to support the creative community by championing arts programs.

“You have my promise that as President, I will be an arts President,” Sanders stated. “I will continue to advocate strongly for robust funding of the arts in our cities, schools, and public spaces. Art is speech. Art is what life is about.”