Steve Lambert

is organizing for a people's vaccine


What I am doing now

updated May 10, 2020

I am staying at home. I have kept my studio in our home and workshop in a small barn/garage for the past few years. The Center for Artistic Activism has always operated remotely, so there’s not much change day to day.

There are many exhibitions that I was working toward over the next year that have been cancelled or are in doubt. I’ve been developing a new project: a public game show that provides a fun structure for difficult topics. Over the past months I have talked to a couple producers about showing a version in 2019 and 2020. This may or may not happen.

I also made a choice in late February to take an unpaid leave from my position as a Professor at SUNY Purchase for the 2020-21 school year – no pay, no benefits. At the time it felt risky, touching on some deeply held fears I have about money and security – but ultimately worth it so I could pursue other important projects. The landscape fundamentally changed and I’m trying not to look back at the decision.

Free the Vaccine for COVID-19

In mid-March (pre-safer-at-home orders) I started collaborating on a global program to make COVID-19 treatment, testing, and an eventual vaccine sustainably priced, available to all, and free at the point of delivery. I’ve been doing this within the Center for Artistic Activism in collaboration with Universities Allied for Essential Medicines.

We had 300 volunteers from 29 countries and we’re making progress. You can learn more about the campaign and check out

New developments with past projects

The book Stephen Duncombe and I have been working on for years is being sent around and we’re in a holding pattern.

The ANC has resolved to decriminalize sex work. and just won the South African election. This policy is exactly what we’ve been advocating for in the work I’ve done with the C4AA and SWEAT in South Africa over the past few years. I talked about this specifically in the closing talk at the EYEO Festival I gave last summer.

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