Artist: Katie Rubright, editor-in-chief of 3rdfloor magazine
Confronting Bodies: United States government, specifically the International Revenue Service (IRS)
Date of Action: 2004-2006
Specific Location: New York City, USA
Description of Artwork: 3rdfloor magazine is a quarterly radical arts magazine Katie Rubright started in Baltimore and then brought to New York City. The first issue in February 2005 included a collage piece of a Native American Madonna smoking a cigarette, a depiction of George W. Bush with crosses on his shoulders and skulls behind him, and a plastic sculpture of the Virgin Mary dripping with blood from a shotgun wound.
Description of Incident: After launching the small, alternative art magazine 3rdfloor, Rubright submitted an application to the IRS for nonprofit status. Nonprofit status would allow Rubright's small magazine to qualify for grants, solicit tax-deductible contributions and receive reduced postal rates. However, the IRS began making it extremely difficult for the magazine to get such status. While waiting to be approved, Rubright began publishing the first two issues of the magazine. Soon after the second issue was released, Rubright received a letter from the IRS attacking the magazine's content and threatened to deny it nonprofit statues.
Results of Incident: After continual delays by the IRS in granting 3rdfloor nonprofit status - which Rubright believes is because the IRS disapproved of the magazine’s controversial and provocative content - Rubright has hired lawyers and is battling the IRS for nonprofit status.
Source: The New York Review of Magazines
Submitted By: National Coalition Against Censorship