THE DISSIDENT ARTS FESTIVAL
Now, in the midst of right-wing fear-mongering and teabag hysteria, progressive artists speak out for social justice. The Dissident Arts Festival, now in its fifth year, is a platform for cultural workers to sing, recite, improvise, act and orate against war and inequity, on behalf of human rights and environmentalism, and in honor of the struggle of workers and the globally oppressed. Event organizer John Pietaro, a cultural and labor organizer who writes for progressive publications and fronts the ensemble the Flames of Discontent, is now bringing the Dissident Arts Festival to Manhattan’s Brecht Forum this November 6.
Originally based in upstate New York, the Festival began life as ‘the Dissident Folk Festival’ in 2006. Its primary goal was the establishment of an annual showcase of progressive protest music, poetry and performance art--perhaps the only such fest in the nation. But this Festival has always sought to bring together a wide variety of sounds and styles, bending rules and infusing all of the arts with the strongest, most progressive activism. Featured among our past performers and speakers have been Malachy McCourt and Pete Seeger and we presented tributes to Woody Guthrie and Paul Robeson, Bertolt Brecht and Phil Ochs. And while we are proud of the successes upstate, the resources of a site like the Brecht Forum and a location like downtown Manhattan help to grow the concept of the Festival. This year, we mix folk-protest song with dissentful jazz, left-wing cabaret and revolutionary hip-hop with topical theatre, radical poetry, political satire and the screening of the powerful documentary “GIULIANI TIME”. The arts ARE a weapon for social change…….
3:00 PM-5:00 -Film: “Giuliani Time”
5:00-5:30- Discussion w/”Giuliani Time” director Kevin Keating
5:30 -6:00—Music: Rafael Figueroa – percussionist/poet/vocalist opens up the concert in rapturous style
6:05-6:35—Music: Salim Washington Ensemble – the celebrated saxophonist’s social justice Jazz
6:35 – 6:45--Poetry: Marina Mati
6:45-7:15—Poetry/Music: Louis Reyes Rivera (host of WBAI-FM radio’s “Perspectives” show)
7:20-7:50—Music: Bev Grant and the Dissident Daughters –“a radical Andrews Sisters” to present the works of the esteemed topical singer-songwriter
7:50-8:00-- Political Stand-Up Comedy: Marcy Gordon
8:00-8:30--Music/Poetry: Mancini & Martin--rad and ethereal, electro-acoustic saxophone/spoken word duet
8:30-8:40—Poetry: Robert Milby
8:40-8:50—Poetry: Adrianna Delgado
8:55-9:25—Music: The Flames of Discontent –where Bertolt Brecht and Woody Guthrie meet Rockabilly!
9:25-9:40-Drama: Theatre of the Oppressed Lab--theatre of dissent and struggle
9:45-10:15--The Last Internationale –acoustic-electric protest songs for today
10:15-10:45--ReadNex Poetry Squad –revolutionary Hip Hop and spoken word ensemble
10:45 – 11:00—Outro Jam (ReadNex Poetry Squad, the Flames of Discontent and other performers TBA)
Organizer/Host: John Pietaro, cultural worker & labor organizer