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Memory and Resistance: A Social Justice Art Show marks IRTF's 40th anniversary

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 to Saturday, January 30, 2021

Memory and Resistance: 40 years

Inspired by the martyrdom of Jean Donovan and Sister Dorothy Kazel in El Salvador in 1980, we will highlight, celebrate, and commemorate our collective legacies of resistance with a series of programming over the next year.

Virtual Show in October and November

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In-person show by appointment only: December 4, 2020  - January 30, 2021

(because of  health conditions in Cuyahoga County, we are offering private viewings only)

ArtiCLE Gallery,  15316 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland OH 44110

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IRTF: 40 Years of Solidarity

IRTF (InterReligious Task Force on Central America & Colombia) was formed by people of faith and conscience in Cleveland, Ohio, in response to the armed violence in El Salvador. The US-trained, -funded, and –equipped military of El Salvador killed tens of thousands of its own people over the course of 12 years. Many in the US heard of the war in El Salvador for the first time on December 4, 1980, when the bodies of four women from the US were discovered in shallow graves. That was two days after Salvadoran National Guardsmen brutally murdered Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke, along with two members of the Cleveland Catholic Mission Team: Jean Donovan and Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel.  The four women lived, worked, and died in solidarity with the people of El Salvador. 

The spirit of IRTF’s 40th anniversary theme, Memory and Resistance, is seen and felt in the juried artwork expressing contemporary justice issues of our time. The  artwork honors the memories of past and present advocates on whose shoulders we have stood and who inspire us to envision a world of peace and dignity for all.

 A note of thanks: IRTF is extremely grateful to our board secretary Diane Pinchot, OSU, the former chair of the Art Department at Ursuline College, for organizing this art show. As an active artist with a studio at ArtiCLE gallery, Diane knows many artists who are excited about this opportunity to show how social justice is an integral part of their artwork.


About IRTF

The InterReligious Task Force on Central America and Colombia (IRTF)  brings together people from various faith and secular communities to act in solidarity with oppressed peoples in southern Mexico, Central America, and Colombia through consciousness-raising and direct consumer and political advocacy.

IRTF was formed as a nonviolent response to the horrific violence of December 2, 1980 when two members of the Cleveland Mission Team in El Salvador were murdered (Jean Donovan and Sister Dorothy Kazel) along with two Catholic sisters from Maryknoll (Ita Ford, Maura Clarke). When they were given the chance to leave El Salvador and avoid their fate, these women chose to stay. It was at that moment that their charity transformed into solidarity.

People of faith and conscience formed IRTF to continue the women’s legacy of solidarity with oppressed peoples as they struggle for peace, dignity and justice.  After 40 years, IRTF continues to stand with marginalized and vulnerable communities in Latin America,  at our border, in immigration detention facilities, in county jails and state prisons, and on the streets of Cleveland. All people—everywhere—deserve dignity, care, and safe communities.