SOMERVILLE – The How To Fix The World Festival brings together art and activism to consider ways we can improve our communities and the larger world. The FREE event will be presented by the Somerville Arts Council in the city’s Union Square from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 18 (rain date: July 8).
Produced with funding from The Boston Foundation’s Live Art Boston (LAB) grant, the festival will showcase music (including Tef Poe, the St. Louis rapper and current Harvard University fellow who rose to national prominence as an activist at the forefront of the 2014 Ferguson, Missouri, protests), dance, visual art, talks, sign-making, letter-writing and other participatory activities. The festival also will offer ways to engage with local activist groups and community organizations addressing racism, sexism, global warming, the flaws of capitalism and other major problems.
The How To Fix The World Festival will culminate with a 3 p.m. parade, in which all are invited to join in. It will be led by the Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band, Asociación Carnavalesca de Massachusetts, and the Boston Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The parade will end with a 3:30 p.m. rally in which artists, activists and community groups will lead participatory chants.
The festival is being organized by a planning committee that includes Deidra Montgomery, Marissa Molinar, DiDi Delgado Greg Cook and Nina Eichner.
Festival highlights include:
• Tef Poe, the St. Louis rapper and current Harvard University fellow who rose to national prominence as an activist at the forefront of the 2014 Ferguson, Missouri, protests in the wake of a police officer fatally shooting Michael Brown.
• Danza Orgánica, the Boston-based social justice oriented dance company, performing “Running in Stillness,” a dance-theater piece based on the impact of mass incarceration on women and their families—and inspired by the group’s work with people who’ve directly experienced incarceration.
• The Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band, a New Orleans-style street band based in Somerville and Cambridge, will lead the concluding parade. The band combines music with social action, performing at protests and peace rallies, as well as helping organize Somerville’s annual Honk festival of activist street bands.
• Dancing by Asociación Carnavalesca de Massachusetts, a Lawrence-based group that brings the carnival traditions of the Dominican Republic to the United States. Its diablos cojuelos (limping devils) and the fabulous, ruffled attire of its other masqueraders are part of a tradition whose roots include satire of Europeans who colonized the island nation.
• The Boston Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Boston branch of a gay activist group founded in San Francisco in 1979. They describe themselves as a “modern order of nuns” devoted to fostering joy, eliminating guilt and serving their community.
• Boston artist Ife Franklin, leading her “Ancestor Slave Cabin Workshop” in which visitors are invited to craft small structures reminiscent of slave cabins to honor the ancestral spirits of Africans who were enslaved throughout the early centuries of America.
• Ben Echevarria of Somerville’s Welcome Project, leading a discussion about Somerville’s sanctuary city status and rapid response planning for protecting undocumented immigrants.
• Somerville activist Katie Gradowski, discussing how to make your voice heard in local government.
• Cambridge puppeteers Trudi Cohen and John Bell performing their toy theater show about the clash between government urban planner Robert Moses and community activist Jane Jacobs in the mid-1960s New York.
• To help us envision threats from global warming, Boston artist Jason Turgeon will construct an installation that visitors can enter that depticts an office waiting room that’s been flooded.
• Boston artist Ria Brodell will share “Butch Heroes” cards, based on iconic paintings Brodell has made illustrating the lives of people assigned female at birth, but who presented as masculine as they grew up, and had documented relationships with women.
• Jere Pilapil, Gloria Rose and Kwasi Mensah, performing stand-up comedy about the state of the world.
And more! Check out http://www.somervilleartscouncil.org/artsunion/2017/fixtheworld for full line-up
For questions about the festival, please contact Special Events Manager, Nina Eichner at 617-625-6600 ext. 2998. For press inquiries, photos or interviews contact Greg Cook, freelance event producer, 781-388-2665.
Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s Director of Human Services, Nancy Bacci, at 617-625-6600 x2250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.