Tuesday, August 7th, 2018
Advocacy and Empowerment Through the Arts
Creative expression has been an empowerment tool for all communities, especially women. Immigrant arts create awareness- not only to keep each one of our cultures alive, but also to show support in many social issues. On this day we examine messages of advocacy and women’s empowerment inspired by artistic projects, and the intersection of social action through art-making. We focus on cultural organizing and sustainable development.
The day includes an Immigrant Art Exhibit from 11:00-5:00 PM.
9:00 AM: Check-in/ Registration
10:00 AM: Welcome Keynote:
10:30 AM: Panel: The Future is Female: Mobilizing and Organizing Women Through The Arts
Cultural organizing is about a kind of engagement that comes from an affirmation of community and culture. Thus, it enables people to speak and live from their own power, rather than from their marginality. After the Women’s March there’s been a crescendo of women running for office and mobilizing communities for social justice. At the center of the organizing and mobilizing strategy is art. What is the purposeful intersection of art and advocacy? How are women utilizing cultural organizing tools and creativity to mobilize communities? Do they, for example, facilitate the encounter between different populations sharing the same neighborhood? How are female immigrant artists changing the cultural landscape and empowering all communities?
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: (D) for US Congress, NY-14: Bronx + Queens
- Caroline McKinnon: Executive Director, FeltNYC
- Mickela Mallozzi: Bare Feet NYC
- Ruth Messinger: American Jewish World Service Global Ambassador
- Aizzah Fatima: Actress, writer
11:30 AM: Networking break
11:45 AM: Panel: unBroken Records: Recording Artists Creating Movements
Finally, justice for Victor Jara, but there are many artists, and journalists who’ve suffered the unthinkable. Many artists use their voice and skills to organize movements and trigger revolution. This radicalization of music explores the permeability of the political through the personal. From gentrification and displacement, to immigration reform many artists have taken power and freedom of speech in their artistic works. Have they experienced censorship?
- Rodrigo Starz: Activist; Duo Rebel Díaz
- Roxiny: Recording artist and activist
- Audry Funk: Singer, MC and activist
12:15 PM: Networking Break
12:30 PM: Performance: Shawn Rawls Dance Company- Emotions Physical Theatre
1:00 PM: Lunch
2:00 PM: Panel: Rebuilding Puerto Rico: Artists Speak Out One Year after Hurricane Maria
In the wake of Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico, artists extended their hands to provide relief and help rebuild. One thing was made very obvious: Puerto Ricans are treated like second class citizens. Musicians, actors, writers and all artists are determined to keep a spotlight shining on their island, mobilizing the world and organizing to help their fellow Puerto Ricans. As a result, Puerto Rico experiences an exodus from the island to the so-called mainland. Starting with the fact that the government failed, and given the fact that artists played a vital role in the relief, recovery and rebuilding of Puerto Rico, where are the artists and cultural workers one year after the catastrophe? What are the challenges facing artists and cultural workers in Puerto Rico a year after Hurricane Maria? What is the role of arts and cultural workers in rebuilding communities? What can artists from all over the world use this experience to help with environmental disasters moving forward?
Moderator: Susanne Ramirez de Arellano: Award winning journalist
- Yaraní Del Valle: founder-director of Caicu
- Soldanela Rivera: Director of Presidential Strategic Initiatives Hostos CC; host of podcast Notes from a Native Daughter
- George “Urban Jíbaro” Torres: Founder, Chief Engagement Officer, Sofrito Media Group, INC
- Gabe González: Comedian, Writer, and Video Producer for Remezcla
2:45 PM: Networking break
3:00 PM: Panel: No Art? No Innovation Economy: Economic Development Brought by Immigrant Artists
For too long we have allowed arts and culture to be treated as a nicety. It’s the first budget cut and the last investment made. However, art and innovation has been used for protecting our drinking water, dealing with climate change, working towards poverty alleviation, educational equity, and many other issues. Our economy has moved from being manufacturing-based to being innovation-based, hence making art a crucial necessity. Are we sparking the creative thinking to find new technologies and new ways to work with? Do we have the multicultural context to leverage art as an economic asset? What have been the main contributions immigrant artists have brought to the economy?
Moderator: Lyanne Alfaro: Business Journalist
- Christopher Carroll: Chief of Staff and Political Director, AFM Local 802
- Lili Gil Valletta: Journalist, CEO Cien Plus and Dreamers Ventures
- Vaibhav Saini: Author; Licensing Director (Life Sciences), University of Connecticut
4:00 PM: Adjourn