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Art Walk update: I won!

At the meeting with the City Manager, the City Attorney, and the City Chief of Staff, I was told by the City Manager that he "didn't want to fight" me on this issue and that the city would not ask me to remove any nudes from my display at any future Art Walk events. He also told me that while what I was doing was legal, he questioned whether it was "right, given that the event is family-oriented." Seeing as how these three men had allowed themselves almost two weeks to respond to my statements at the October 18th City Council meeting, I told him that I would respond to that question at the following night's council meeting.

At the November 1st council meeting, I made yet another public statement and I included a direct response to the City Manager's inquiry: Not only do I thing it's the right thing to do, I believe it's important for people of all ages to be exposed to art in all its forms. To censor art under the guise of protecting children is to reinforce the idea that nudity is ugly and shameful.

My statement was followed by an address by another citizen whose sister has photographs in permanent public collections around the country. She wondered whether those photos would be restricted if they were shown in a public forum in Ocala.

In the end, the council members had nothing to say. This was stark contrast to last month when the president of the council tried to tell me he felt they had the right to restrict what I can or cannot display.

For now, it appears the city has backed down from this fight. Time will tell whether the council pens a new policy against nudity in public spaces, but since I have nothing better to do with my time than research legal precedents, I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Meanwhile, my Facebook suspension is ongoing at over ten days and counting....


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