This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In his TEDxJacksonville talk, Southworth discusses his experience, as well as the groundswell of community support it evoked, and argues for a re-evaluation of the significance of street art in establishing a city’s identity. Don’t censor street art, he insists: “Let the art go. Let it be cutting edge, thought-provoking, emotional and make statements that will better our lives.”
In 2011, Chip Southworth was at the top of Jacksonville’s local art scene. But the city was experiencing heightened racial tensions because its City Council had once again failed to pass a Human Rights Ordinance. Taking to the streets at night as “Keith Haring’s Ghost,” Chip anonymously painted Keith Haring-inspired pieces on public utility boxes over a seven-month period. The street art sparked conversation and controversy, culminating with a raid on his home and police taking the artist into custody.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)