Carrie Mae Weems
Resist COVID / Take 6!

Bennington Museum participates in the Southshire initiative of this public health awareness campaign

RESIST COVID | TAKE SIX! is a national public awareness campaign conceived by Carrie Mae Weems, one of America’s most influential artists. The campaign uses billboards, alternative messaging, public art projects, and other creative means to make the general public aware of staggering death toll of COVID-19 and its negative impact, particularly on people of color. Through these efforts, the campaign underscores the importance of social distancing (TAKE SIX refers to the recommended six feet of separation), encourages public discussion, dispels the myths and dangers of false cures associated with the virus, and finally thanks our front line and essential workers.

Our ArtCountry partners in the Southern Vermont-Western Massachusetts edition of Resist COVID / Take 6! include Bennington Museum, Usdan Gallery at Bennington College, the Clark, MASS MoCA, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Williams College Museum of Art and the 62 Center for Theatre and Dance at Williams College. The Southshire initiative will include yard sign installations, banners at both Bennington Museum and Bennington College, and a large poster at the Four Corners kiosk. The installations will feature Weems’ photography and text.

“Our project is meant to be a public service awareness campaign that in some small way helps to save lives, as a constant reminder of what needs to be done as we push through this pandemic and its extraordinary effect on us,” says Weems. “We needed lawn signs; we needed posters to go into business windows; we used newspaper advertising circulars to deliver messaging directly into the home; we used grocery bags, shopping bags, paper and reusable bags that we could give to food banks and pantries— because we know that with the unemployment crisis this really hit in some of the poorest communities across the nation, where food lines are miles long. And inside the bags would be all kinds of material that could be used and serve as a constant reminder that this is serious, this is not a hoax, this is deadly real.”

The urgency of raising awareness in the communities that need it most, in every state across the country, is both immediate and will be ongoing, as the country continues to grapple with the virus in the months and possibly years to come.