Creative Time

Creative Time Statement of Commitment to Universal Human Rights and Free Expression


For over 40 years, Creative Time has operated on the core belief that art and artists matter profoundly to our world, and can meaningfully contribute to shaping civic dialogue and creating a more just society. We support artists in their efforts to move the needle of social justice and to reveal new ways of looking at and understanding our world. As a result, our commissions range from the wondrous and uplifting to the unnerving and provocative.


As we expand our international reach through such programs as the Creative Time Summit, and we find ourselves engaged with geopolitical, cultural, social, and religious traditions that may be unfamiliar to us, we consistently reinforce our commitment to the free exchange of ideas. We are dedicated to closely examining our relationships to these situations in open, inclusive, and respectful ways, with a commitment to universal human rights and international human rights law, as well as to free and open expression.


We also recognize that our programming may at times provoke difficult conversations. Yet no matter how problematic particular topics and conversations may be, it is in keeping with our core values and mission that we maintain an open forum for conversation, learning, and sharing. We believe that doing so is a critical responsibility of cultural and educational institutions. We have never shied away from tough conversations, nor do we intend to do so.


As members of a global community working toward greater social justice and equity, we recognize that others’ values and methods may differ from our own, and we seek to preserve a space where we can all discuss and debate issues of importance to our world, no matter how polarizing or complex they may be.


In contending with any politically sensitive or divisive issue, Creative Time undertakes the following process:


  • • We listen
  • • We clearly relay to invested audiences our process and our core principles: art matters, and artists have a central role to play in shaping public life and discourse; opportunities for experimentation and innovation are crucial to advancing artistic practice; and public spaces are places for free and creative expression.
  • • We research the issue at hand with care and reasonable thoroughness, taking time to understand and weigh the issues, so that our response is considered and informed.
  • • We invite multiple perspectives to the table for open exchange, regardless of differences in views, and are committed to an honest, truthful, and respectful inquiry in which divergent voices can be heard.
  • • We understand the need for a nuanced response to complex issues.
  • • When appropriate, we report back and share our learning and decision-making with our constituents.


May 2014