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The Future of Arts Activism

Rowland Scherman - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Music has long been used as protest. Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, John Lennon, and CCR, and so many others, used their music as a way to protest the Vietnam War. They wrote songs that addressed systemic injustices and sought to unite people through the power of their music.

Today, many musicians are doing the same.

Music as activism is constantly growing and evolving, and art continues to be a vital medium for expression and dialogue.

Today on the show we’re looking at the Arts… Arts as Activism. We’ll be talking with musicians and visual artists about how their art is intertwined with their activism. 

OrchKids, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Camille Delaney McNeil, Director of Programs and Khandeya (Kay) Sheppard, Senior Program Manager. 

Paul Rucker, visual artist, composer, musician.

Devin Allen, award-winning photographer, author of A Beautiful Ghetto.

Judah Adashi, founder and artistic director of Rise Bmore, an annual concert marking the anniversary of Freddie Gray’s 2015 death while in Baltimore police custody and member of the composition and music theory faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

Note: The final recording played in this show, The Beauty of the Protest, features cellist/vocalist Lavena Johanson. The Beauty of the Protest and Invocation: Dear Baltimore are available on Bandcamp; proceeds go to Bmore Lead Free and Baltimore Ceasefire, respectively. 

Wes Moore is a decorated Army combat veteran, youth advocate and CEO of BridgeEdU, a national initiative focusing on addressing the college completion and career placement crisis by reinventing the Freshman Year of college. He is also the author of two instant New York Times bestselling books, The Other Wes Moore and The Work.