Awards season: The American Bar Association has announced the finalists for the 2014 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts. The ABA awards the Silver Gavel to those artists in film, nonfiction, fiction, and other arts who most closely meet the association’s objectives in advancing public understanding of law and the justice system. This year, the 47 members of the screening committee reviewed 169 entries, selecting 19 finalists for the Standing Committee to review. The ABA began giving out the Gavel Awards in 1958. Among the finalists: See the complete list of finalists for 2014 here. The ABA will announce winners on May 15.
Curtain going up: The Elevator Repair Service will be performing Arguendo, a play based on the landmark case Barnes v. Glen Theatre (501 U.S. 560 (1991)) at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven, CT, from June 18-22. Here’s part of the syllabus for the case:
Respondents, two Indiana establishments wishing to provide totally nude dancing as entertainment and individual dancers employed at those establishments, brought suit in the District Court to enjoin enforcement of the state public indecency law — which requires respondent dancers to wear pasties and a G-string — asserting that the law’s prohibition against total nudity in public places violates the First Amendment. The court held that the nude dancing involved here was not expressive conduct. The Court of Appeals reversed, ruling that nonobscene nude dancing performed for entertainment is protected expression, and that the statute was an improper infringement of that activity because its purpose was to prevent the message of eroticism and sexuality conveyed by the dancers.
The play “[uses] verbatim oral arguments and breathtaking projections by celebrated visual artist Ben Rubin [and] introduces us to the Justices—who try to get to the bottom of this First Amendment puzzle—and the attorneys on both sides who gamely try to keep up.” The play closed recently at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in DC.