Past events for our Social Justice in the Arts and Media series.
To launch the series and give you a taste, here are two presentations that were given at The LAVA Center last year that were the inspiration for the series.
“Ticket to Terror: Horror Film in the Age of Anxiety”
Serving as a lens into the fears and anxieties of its time and place, the horror film examines social and cultural issues such as race, class, and gender, among others. Many thanks to Alex DeMelo for editing!
“Social Justice And Media: How Community Media Can Help”
Community Coverage Stories made by Mr. Simon and displayed to generate discussion about becoming a local filmmaker and documentarian interested in social justice events and issues.
Series kickstart: Listening Ear sessions
Saturday, Mar. 5 and Mar. 12, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Christian McEwen’s “The Listening Ear” is a joyous and subversive antidote to a world increasingly dominated by cell phones and other entrancing devices, reminding us of the special pleasure to be found in long, meandering, face-to-face conversation, most especially with friends and family. It gives everyone a real chance to be heard and serves as a metaphor for the entire series, as we invite ourselves and our audiences to practice radical listening.
For more details, check out the calendar listing or Facebook event.
Bridges: Voices of Israel/Palestine staged play readings
Saturday, Mar. 5, 7 p.m.; Sunday, Mar. 6, 3 p.m.;
Saturday, Mar. 12, 7 p.m.; Sunday, Mar. 13, 3 p.m.
also available on-demand for one week
In the West Bank and in Israel, the traumas of occupation are inescapable. Clinging to hope or overwhelmed by despair, these Israelis and Palestinians are determined to make their stories heard. Written by Christine Benvenuto and partially drawn from verbatim transcripts of Compassionate Listening sessions, Bridges is produced by Theater Initiative of Temple Israel.
Bridges is directed by Jan Maher and performed by Amanda Bowman, Shannon Chabot, Andrea Cohen-Kiener, Nina Gross, Jim Merlin, Alfonso Neal and Kimberly Salditt-Poulin.
Each performance will be followed by a facilitated discussion about the social justice issues brought up by the play. The schedule of the facilitators is as follows:
Saturday, Mar. 5: Norbert Goldfield MD
Sunday, Mar. 6: Court Dorsey
Saturday, Mar. 12: Andrea Cohen-Kiener
Sunday, Mar. 13: Yael Petretti
After watching the play, join LAVA and GCC for a free Zoom chat on Thursday, Mar. 17, 7 p.m.: Conversations with Playwrights: Christine Benvenuto & Andrea Cohen-Kiener
Every Moment of Every Day staged play readings
Saturday, Mar. 26, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Saturday, Apr. 2, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
also available on-demand for one week
Stories of women who relinquished their babies to adoption weave together to illuminate this landscape of loss, endurance and courage from the point of view of the birth mothers. Six stories are drawn from and represent the two dozen interviews conducted by playwright Lindy Whiton.
Every Moment of Every Day is performed by Amanda Bowman, Cynthia Fritz, Emily Gopen, Penney Hulten, Kaia Jackson, Patricia Williams, and EJ Worth. Script Team: Cynthia Fritz, Jan Maher, Annie Quest, and Lindy Whiton. Directed by Lindy Whiton. Graphics by EJ Worth.
Eveline MacDougall – interactive presentation
Saturday, Apr. 9, 1 p.m.
MacDougall will share stories and songs from her work, including about ways the pandemic inspired her to shift the way she rehearses and performs, taking the music exclusively outdoors for a time. With “Soulful Serenades,” MacDougall brings songs to the porches, yards, and driveways of folks who request musical visits. She will take questions from the audience and–depending on where we are in the pandemic–may lead attendees in singing.
JuPong Lin – workshop
Saturday, Apr. 30, 1 p.m.
JuPong’s workshop cultivates practices of ecojustice and connection with environmental kin. She will share qigong and lead a poetry and paperfolding ceremony called “How do your people call the Earth? We will listen to the names of our ecological kin—beaver, frog, fish, dandelion, oak tree, pine tree—spoken in languages other than English. We will create a mandala from feathers, stones, acorns, and shells, to honor Earth, Land, Sky, Sea, Water. We will teach each other these words in non-English languages and write them on the paper that we will fold into canoes.
Art Deviation exhibit
Thursday, May 12, 5–8 p.m.
An evening of provocative art, political outrage and gender exploration! You are invited to view the art of JJ White, the creative spirit behind Art Deviation.
In a rare public appearance, JJ’s alter ego Josie Bender will host the event and perform some of their genderfluid, spoken-word poems on social justice themes.
Most Dangerous Women staged play readings
Saturday, May 7, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Saturday, May 14, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
also available online, on-demand
A one-act version of the play by Jan Maher celebrating over a century of women the world over working for peace and justice, featuring the words and songs of scores of women activists and allies, including Jane Addams, Jeannette M. Rankin, Coretta Scott King, Helen Caldicott, Joy Harjo, Holly Near, Shirin Ebadi, Malala Yusafzai and Greta Thunberg.
Most Dangerous Women is performed by Emily Gopen, Nina Gross, Kaia Jackson, Jean Devereux Koester, and Kirsten Levitt. Written and directed by Jan Maher. Music Director: Laura Josephs.
Struggle & Hope: Documenting Modern America
Alfonso Neal exhibit
Friday, May 20, 5–8 p.m. and Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
extended; viewable through Friday, May 27
A photographic exhibition of work by award-winning photographer and writer Alfonso Neal. The exhibit will feature four major intersectional themes: the Labor Movement, Black Lives Matter, Immigration Crisis at the U.S. Southern Border, Low-Wage Workers, and will be made up of 20 black and white photographs, accompanied by the voices of individuals featured in the images (written and recorded)—highlighting the humanity often forgotten in modern news coverage.
Música Franklin – presentation & performance
Saturday, May 28, 1 p.m.
Música Franklin’s after-school program is based on the belief that the pursuit of musical excellence teaches students to strive for excellence in all areas of their lives. They incorporate relevant social justice topics as themes for their performances. This year’s theme is a reflection on the complexity of immigration, and how to be more welcoming towards people seeking refuge, based on the fact that many of us are migrants in some way. They explore this topic by singing and playing the music of various artists from all over the world.
María Sparrow – presentation and discussion
Saturday, June 11, 1 p.m.
This presentation will include a short presentation of María’s paintings alongside artists’ works who have influenced and shaped María’s work. María will talk about the importance of language and representation in shaping our understanding of ourselves as womyn, and will discuss specifically the use of alternate gender pronouns. Lastly, there will be a structured conversation among participants about their own understandings of gender.
Black Writers Read: Rage Hezekiah
Saturday, June 18, noon
Rage Hezekiah is a Cave Canem, Ragdale, and MacDowell Fellow who earned her MFA from Emerson College. She is a recipient of the Saint Botolph Emerging Artist Award and she serves as Interviews Editor at The Common. Her forthcoming collection, Yearn, is a 2021 Diode Editions Book Contest winner. She is the author of Unslakable (Paper Nautilus Press, 2019) and Stray Harbor (Finishing Line Press, 2019). Rage’s poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, The Cincinnati Review, The Colorado Review, and many other journals and anthologies. You can find more of her work at ragehezekiah.com.
About Black Writers Read
Founded, produced and hosted by performance poet, playwright, pop culture critic, and philanthropy professional, Nicole M. Young-Martin, Black Writers Read showcases, celebrates, and honors the words, work and traditions of Black writers from across the country, across genres, across experiences and across the African Diaspora. To learn more about Nicole’s work and Black Writers Read, visit www.nicolemyoung.com.