A Phoenix, Arizona billboard portraying President Donald Trump as a Nazi was financed by American taxpayers.
The billboard features President Trump flanked by nuclear explosion mushroom clouds shaped to look like clown heads. On either side of Trump’s head are dollar signs made to resemble the Nazi swastika.
The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch has uncovered how those inviolved paid for the billboard. The owner of the billboard, an arts patron, has received thousands of dollars in government grants. That money was directly used to pay the artist and install the billboard.
Ironically, the owner of the Trump Nazi billboard was given the grants to fund art that would “diminish barriers.”
The billboard is owned by Beatrice Moore, a longtime art benefactor. The controversial billboard was designed by artist Karen Fiorito, who claimed she has received death threats as a result of her work.
According to records from the city of Phoenix, Moore received thousands of dollars in grants for a program she runs called Grand Avenue Arts & Preservation (GAP), which is where the billboard is located.
The Nazi artwork was debated at an annual local art celebration, Art Detour, that happens to be publicly funded. The event is put on by Artlink, a group founded by Moore with help from the city of Phoenix.
In July 2016, the city of Phoenix granted Moore and her art companies $3,500, and in August 2016, the 2017 Art Detour event received $1,800.
In the documents Judicial Watch obtained, Moore is described by the city as an “artist, community organizer, and arts advocate,” and the public funding for Art Detour was reportedly given to help “diminish barriers.”
Moore commissioned Fiorito for the Trump billboard using “government grant monies,” including the Arizona Commission on the Arts, for artists’ fees.
The artist, Karen Fiorito, posted this statement on her Facebook page. She denies the use of government funds to create the art.
Don’t believe the hype. All lies from Faux News as usual. This project was privately funded. As Beatrice Moore said in her interview, “The right is clearly looking for a way to discredit public funding for the arts which has been part of their myopic right wing agenda for years.” Well said!