Constance Hockaday
Constance Hockaday
Artists-In-Presidents: Fireside Chats for 2020
Conceived by Constance Hockaday and Commissioned by CAP UCLA
Sep 15 – Nov 3, 2020

Artists-In-Presidents: Fireside Chats for 2020 is an art project inspired by Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Depression-era Fireside Chats. Artists, writers, performers and musicians from a wide range of cultural realities have been invited to assume an authority over our collective future and to define what we could become together as a nation. Each artist will create, write and record a “State of the Union Redress” that describes their vision with dramaturgical advice from retired presidential speech writers.
Beginning in September 2020 up to the 2020 election in November, each Fireside Chat will be shared on the CAP UCLA website, via social media and as a podcast.
FDR took office during the Great Depression at a time when the nation’s economy was decimated and trust in government was at an all-time low. He united the country around his vision by speaking directly to the public through a series of radio broadcasts called “the Fireside Chats.” His words stirred the hearts of Americans by delicately addressing their greatest concerns and describing in poetic detail a vision of a unified American public that transcended fear and cynicism, calling upon people to participate in democracy as an act of faith.
The project seeks to recast the office of the president as a multivocal entourage. We are not calling for a Fireside Chat re-do, but rather an acknowledgement that many of the national narratives of liberation have erased Indigenous voices and the voices of people that make up the majority of this country—LGBTQIA, people of color, persons with disabilities, and women. The time for an update is overdue.

To learn more about this project, click here to read an in-depth interview with Constance Hockaday.

Funds provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and TED.

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