You’ve seen the posters. They feature a woman with a stars-and-stripes dotted hijab, a dreadlocked kid, or Helen Red Feather of the Lakota tribe protesting at Standing Rock. Perhaps you know that they were part of the “We The People” poster campaign that swept the nation after the election of Donald Trump and his inauguration in January 2017. Or that Shepard Fairey, Jessica Sabogal and Ernesto Yerena designed them.
But did you know that a Seattle-based nonprofit called Amplifier was responsible?
“That was a historic moment in our American history, and creating imagery that represented the demographics the Trump administration was most violently attacking (…) really shook people. You could tell it awakened them. It resonated and went viral around the world,” says Isabella Sisneros, Amplifier’s operations manager.
A Kickstarter campaign to print and distribute the posters raised more than 1$ million in a week thanks to over 23,000 donors.
“We broke a Kickstarter record for the most small donors,” says Amplifier’s deputy director Cleo Barnett, sitting in one of the brand-new looking couches of Amplifier’s recently opened Central District art lab and offices.
Describing what, exactly, Amplifier does is tricky, because it can easily sound vaguely artsy. Take their website language: “A design lab that builds arts experiments to amplify the voices of grassroots movements” and “art machine for social change.” Continue reading