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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

NEWS: Settlement of First Amendment Lawsuits between CUAC and Ephraim City.

January 3, 2014
Settlement of First Amendment Lawsuits between CUAC and Ephraim City.
Media contact: 
Adam Bateman 385-215-6768 art@cuartcenter.org
Although CUAC continues to affirm that our eviction from the City-owned granary building in August 2012, which CUAC restored and occupied for 20 years, was due to censorship that constituted a violation of our First Amendment rights, in an effort to put the past behind us and move forward with our world-class offerings in Salt Lake City, CUAC has come to an out-of-court settlement with Ephraim City.
As a condition of the settlement, Ephraim City has agreed to issue this statement recognizing the importance of free artistic expression to our society:
“Ephraim City and its leadership believe that the freedom to create and display artwork, even artwork that may be unpopular or repugnant to some of its audience, is a protected Constitutional freedom worthy of respect. The City does not endorse censorship or repression of artistic freedom, and it is committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of its citizens and artists in the community.”
In addition to that statement, which CUAC feels is an important recognition of Civil Liberties and the importance of the Constitution of the United States, CUAC has received a payment of $60,000 to help offset damages caused by the City’s actions.
CUAC is excited to continue thriving in our new home in Downtown Salt Lake City as we continue to connect the Utah art community with the international art community.
“The CUAC board wishes Ephraim City the best with their future endeavors in the Granary space, and now look forward with pride and anticipation as CUAC Director Adam Bateman and his staff continue their excellent work with CUAC's mission in Salt Lake City. We are also particularly gratified by Ephraim City's acknowledgment of the importance of the First Amendment, and of the essential role that free speech plays in our society. The open exchange of ideas is crucial to our democracy, and CUAC's robust program of contemporary art from the State of Utah, the nation, and the world will continue to contribute to the dialog.” --Matthew Choberka, CUAC Board Chair
“This has been a personally difficult time for me as CUAC’s unlawful eviction has thrown a wrench into my nearly decade-long and often voluntary efforts to connect Ephraim to a statewide and nationwide cultural exchange. I am happy to put this behind me, and to continue our contribution to Salt Lake City’s vibrant downtown and with other Salt Lake City organizations CUAC counts as friends. While it is difficult to leave my hometown in such a way, I am extremely excited by the success we have had in Salt Lake City. We have been received with open minds and open arms. CUAC remains committed to exhibiting cutting-edge art from around the world in Salt Lake City, and to connecting Utah artists and the Utah cultural community in general to an international cultural conversation that legitimizes and celebrates our strong and unique visual tradition in Utah.”

--Adam Bateman, CUAC Executive Director and Curator.

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