Voices of Community
November 13-20, 2016
Voices of Community brings together artists, activists and members of the community for a variety of events that address the need for the arts to be a powerful means for effecting social change.
The week has an overarching scope: progressing from how we listen to community stories, moving through how the community comes together around local needs, and culminating in the planning of forward-looking actions, all the time keeping theater practices as a core resource.
An explosive dance party with the band Planet Zydeco kicks off the week. The Keynote Address, “Imagining the Re-Integration of Art and Humanity.” will be given by Carlton Turner, Executive Director of Alternate Roots and a 2013 member of the Kennedy Center Honors Artist Advisory Board. That leads into the main performances by Carpetbag Theater, Anu Yadav, and Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater and supporting activities.
Carpetbag Theater’s Speed Killed My Cousin, a new play by Linda Parris-Bailey, tells the dynamic story of an African American female combat soldier and her struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder upon her return home from Iraq.
Anu Yadav performs ‘Capers, a one-woman show based on the stories of families at DC’s public housing projects who protested the government-funded relocation and demolition of their neighborhood. Anu shifts between a dozen characters in this moving portrait of families struggling to fight for their community and their human right to a place to live.
Heart of the Beast Theater will perform a school program: Are You Thirsty is explores the myriad questions contained in a cup of water – one of our most precious and necessary shared resources. Utilizing puppets and masks, this performance addresses how much of the earth’s water is available for drinking, compares tap and bottled water, and helps us understand ourselves as part of the water cycle – bringing water issues vibrantly to life.
Interactive workshops will be led by nationally recognized artists who are experts in their fields, and by local leaders who are working to address the diverse needs of our community. There will also be a number of panel discussions and forums throughout the week with the guest artists and local representatives on connecting art, food, shelter, justice, and action.
The festival artists are scheduled to engage several local schools in workshops and performances. The scope of the week can be experienced in pieces or as a whole package, listening, advocating, and discovering how the arts can be used to envision and implement a more just society.
Read the Brattleboro Reformer article written by Jon Potter here:
Listen below to Carlton being interviewed on WKVT
Listen below to Eric Bass discussing Voices of Community on Vermont Public Radio.
All venues are handicap accessible.
This presentation is made possible in part by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, Fresh Sound Foundation, National Performance Network, ArtPlace, The Bay and Paul Foundation, Landmark College and Chroma Technology.