Art Heals: Worldwide Responses to an Orlando Tragedy

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Candles sit on the edge of Lake Eola in Orlando Florida. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images via ArtNet News.

The news broke early Sunday morning.

It’s always startling, to say the least, waking up to a tragedy. Sundays resonate a tone of relaxation, rest, and prepping for the week ahead. Instead, the world woke up to news of a tragedy in Orlando, Florida; a mass shooting (the largest in our nation’s history) had occurred at Pulse, a gay Nightclub, in the wee hours of Sunday morning. The attack left 50 people dead and at least 53 others hospitalized with injuries. In the midst of a month dedicated to celebrating the LGTBQ community, our nation woke up to what is speculated to be an act of terrorism, and what is undoubtedly a hate crime.

Moments like this tear at your heartstrings; leave you feeling hopeless and helpless. You’re thinking, ‘What can I do to help?’ and racking your brain for acts of humanitarianism. Meanwhile flags are being flown at half-staff and lines to donate blood in Florida are out the door; but what kind of impact can YOU have?

The outpouring acts of kindness, solidarity and support shown to the Orlando and the LGTBQ community through social media is truly heartwarming. It’s not just kind words and a hashtag that stick with those impacted during such a difficult and dark time, though. Art heals, too. Rainbows and hearts have been flooding news feeds everywhere to display solidarity and show love and support. The colors and imagery are not only visually appealing, but a way to restore faith in humanity.

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A musician sings and plays guitar during a vigil at the Legacy of Love statue in Dallas Texas on June 12, 2016. Photo by Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images via ArtNetNews.

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David Mateos, Orlando City Soccer player shared this image via Twitter.

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A candlelight vigil at Newtown Neighbourhood Centre on June 13, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images via ArtNet News.

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Lin Manuel Miranda, creator and star of Broadway’s “Hamilton”, read an emotional sonnet onstage at the June 12, 2016 Tony Awards in New York referencing tragedy and urging “love and love and love…” Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP via the Naples Herald.

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Photo by Max Whitaker/Getty Images via TeenVogue

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James Gold Crown street art. Image tweeted by Daymond John.

Celebrities including WWE Wrestler, Alexis Bliss, Lance Bass, Enrique Iglesias, and rapper, Lil’ Kim, among others tweeted beautiful images of solidarity through artwork to show their support. And although kind words and beautiful artwork cannot undo acts of violence, it’s a way to express condolences and support to anyone affected. It continues the celebration of LGTBQ pride and furthermore instills solidarity with the hurting communities.

“In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another,” said President Barack Obama, addressing our mourning nation from the White House. “We will not give in to fear or turn against each other. Instead, we will stand united as Americans to protect our people and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us.”

Hate won’t win.

Our United Arts Campaign is underway! Join today to make an impact on the arts in your community.

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