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Attention Artists, Activists, Community Organizers & Social Justice Advocates
You have the right to conduct purely expressive activities on traditional public fora, under the full protection of the First Amendment. Fully protected expressions, and in some cases, items inextricably intertwined with those expressions, can be exchanged for remuneration without a business license, street vendor permit, or other regulatory restrictions that do not pass the strict scrutiny of judicial review.
That means you can use parks and sidewalks in your community to share the ideas and causes, or subjects and medias, that you are passionate about, and receive the social and financial support you need to further your expressions, without having to apply for a license, pay a fee or request permission from a government agency.
Not all forms of expression rise to the level of the full protection of the First Amendment. Please click on the links below to learn about two types of purely expressive activities, artistic self-expression and particular message expression, and everything you need to know before conducting your first fully protected, public display of expression.
“ The First Amendment's fundamental purpose...is to protect all forms of peaceful expression in all of its myriad manifestations.”
Bery v. City of New York,
97 F.3d 689, 694 (2d Cir. 1996)
“We hold that an artist's sale of his original artwork constitutes speech protected under the First Amendment"
White v. City of Sparks,
500 F.3d 953, 955– 56
(9th Cir. 2007)
"The Supreme Court has held that fundraising for charitable organizations is fully protected speech.”
Gaudiya v. City of San Francisco,
952 F.2d 1059, 1063
(9th Cir. 1991)