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Welcome and Performances at the Arts Equity Summit on Friday 22 March 2019

Welcome and Performances at the Arts Equity Summit on Friday 22 March 2019


(scaling instrumental music) (people chattering) ♪ I’m like yeah, just
work that out for me ♪ ♪ She asked for one more dance ♪ ♪ And I’m like yeah ♪ ♪ How the hell am I supposed to leave ♪ ♪ And I said ♪ (scaling instrumental music) (people chattering) ♪ Her and my girl would
be the best of homies ♪ ♪ Yeah yeah ♪ ♪ Next thing I knew she was
all up on me screaming ♪ (triumphant instrumental music) ♪ Lil’ Jon got the beat
to make ya booty go ♪ ♪ Take that, rewind it back ♪ ♪ Usher got the voice
that make ya booty go ♪ ♪ Take that, rewind it back ♪ ♪ Ludacris got the flow
that make ya booty go ♪ ♪ Take that, rewind it back ♪ ♪ Lil’ Jon got the beat
that make ya booty go ♪ (upbeat dance music) ♪ Yellow diamonds in the light ♪ ♪ And we’re standing side by side ♪ ♪ As your shadow crosses mine ♪ ♪ What it takes to come alive ♪ ♪ It’s the way I’m feeling
I just can’t deny ♪ ♪ But I’ve gotta let it go ♪ ♪ We found love in a hopeless place ♪ ♪ We found love in a hopeless place ♪ ♪ We found love in a hopeless place ♪ ♪ We found love in a hopeless place ♪ (scattered instrumental music) ♪ Turn away ’cause I need you more ♪ ♪ Feel the heartbeat in my ♪ (people chattering) WOMAN: Are we okay? Okay. Good evening, everyone. (audience cheering and clapping) Good evening, everyone. (audience cheering and clapping) That is much, much better. How’s everyone feeling tonight? Wonderful, I love the wonderful. Well it’s amazing to see everyone here, it really warms our heart. On behalf of Arts Connect International, thank you so, so much
for being here tonight, and celebrating our kickoff to our inaugural Arts Equity Summit. We’ve been planning for months, and to just kinda see
all of it come together, is truly something special to see. My name is Joy McDowell, I am a development fellow with
Arts Connect International. I’ve been with them since about September now, and I’ve helped fundraise
and do some logistics work with Arts Connect in regards
to the Arts Equity Summit, and then I’m also kind of
stage managing tonight, so you’ll see me running around, back and forth all over the place looking like a crazy woman. I did want to introduce us to the night, just a couple housekeeping things. We do have beer and wine
being served in the back, if you haven’t seen
that already, woot woot. If you have a bottle, we just ask that you not exit
this room with the bottle. But if you have just a cup
of wine or a just the cans, then you’re welcome to kind
of go flow back and forth between this space and
the conference room. Speaking of the conference room, we do have the conference room
that’s straight back here. That’s gonna be a tactile art space, and so we’re being sponsored
by Blick Art Materials. Woo! They have come in and
they’re doing demonstrations, some really cool hands-on art. So, please, feel free at
any time to go back there and interact with them. Also back there to the left is
our gender-neutral bathrooms. And over here, as you can
see people are getting food. Please feel free to get up
and get food at any time. We have a nice set up right
here for taking pictures, please utilize them as
that thing was not cheap. And of course as you guys can see, our community partners
over here doing tabling, so please visit them as well. All right, I’m gonna
pass it over to Quisol. Thank you so much, Joy. Wow. Can we give a hand for Joy
for holding this together? (audience cheering and clapping) Basically. Like, Joy, I need your
help, what am I doing? Wow, look who’s in this room. No, for real, just take
a look around like. Just a quick scan, wow. We got different
generations, we got students, we have professors, we have businesses, artists, schools.
Who else is here? Everyone. This one’s here.
(audience laughing) Yes, yeah. So wow, this is just so incredible that we’re all here today and together. My name is Quisol, AKA Joseph Quisol. First name Joseph, last name
Quisol, that’s my family name. It comes from the Philippines We’ve been making this
happen together for, it feels like a year
or more, or a lifetime. Since I was a fellow at ACI, now an artist, a musician,
an educator, an organizer, doing all those things
by way of North Carolina. Hey!
704, what’s up? That’s us! You know, Charlotte, what’s up? Did the whole Harvard thing, now based in Oakland. California, Bay Area, anybody? Bay Area? Hey, what’s up? I will be playing some music later. Just here to embrace everything
that’s happening tonight, express deep gratitude for
all the wonderful humans that have made this possible. I’m looking at some folks right now. I would like to invite Amanda Shea who is an incredible person, human, who has inspired me. When I first ran into you
that one day on the street near my house in Boston I was like, “You’re Amanda Shea all day. “I follow you.” Totally on Melbourne Street. Yeah, yeah.
That totally happened. Amanda’s the one to watch and the one I’ve been
watching, taking cues from. When we came to who’s gonna MC tonight, it was like, “It’s gotta be Amanda Shea.” They do the thing. So, without further adieu, please give it up for Amanda Shea. Oh, thank you.
(audience clapping) You’re welcome. Hey, everybody. Hey! I’m so excited after that intro. I’m done here, we can go home now. No, no, no, I’m just kidding. I’m Amanda Shea, Instagram
handle is AmandaSheaAllDay. I will ask you all to
tag me in all photos. Yes. And I will ask you to follow me as well. You guys, too, yes. I need the followers, yes. I will follow back.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Really? Yes, really, I really will. Okay, how’s everybody feeling tonight? (audience cheering) Give it up for yourselves
for showing up in this rain. (audience clapping) ‘Cause I woke up this
morning and I was like, “Um, I’m still gonna go.”
(laughing) Wow, I just got nervous. This never, ever happens. No, it happens all the time. I am a spoken word artist. I’m also a teaching artist,
I’m also an artist manager, an artist consultant, I am
on a radio show called LFOD, I also mentor kids at
Zumix, out in east Boston. Zumix radio, so I wanna shout out my guys, Project Method cause
I’ve been mentoring them for a very long time now and
they’re absolutely amazing. I’m not gonna go down the
list of people that I manage, but one of them is Red Shades, she is an amazing hip-hop
artist in the city of Boston who is doing amazing things. Yeah, so that’s me, hey. I need all of you guys, though, seriously, everybody in the room to
give me high energy tonight because this is a really beautiful show. Joy and Quisol are amazing. Thank you, Marian, amazing. I want to thank the Arts Equity Summit for allowing me to be
here and be in this room. So, it’s very extremely hard
as an artist, even as a host, to just get up here and just
give our all to you all, right? We work really, really hard at what we do, and wanna put a great
performance on for you. And you are key in that process, so we need high energy, we need claps, we need snaps, yas, okur, whatever you do, whatever it is you do to show excitement, I need you all to do all of that. I’m not gonna say okur too much because I heard Cardi B
is trying to patent that, and I don’t want to owe
her any type of money. I don’t have it. I am an artist, I just don’t have it. I need all of you to give me the energy, give all the performers here
the energy that we need. I’m gonna introduce our
first act right now. Are we ready? (audience cheering and clapping) Are we ready, though? (audience cheering and clapping) That’s better. So, I’m gonna give you guys
like a little warm up exercise. I do this with the kids at Zumix Radio, and we just go, “yerp”. I know it sounds weird for adults. For me, I was like, “What are you saying? “What does that mean?” But I notice that it does this thing in your stomach and it makes it vibrate. So I need everybody in here, yes, all generations of all of us, to just give me one big yerp. That’s all you have to
do, it’s really easy. Can y’all do that? AUDIENCE: Yerp. Doesn’t that feel good, though? And it makes you smile, right? So, I need you guys to
do it one more time. Can we just get one more big yerp? AUDIENCE: Yerp. Do you feel the vibration? Cool.
We have our first act up. They are from the Laboratory
Charter Conservatory. (smacking lips) Can we get claps? (audience clapping) Conservatory Lab Charter School. I got it, I got it. I may flub something up. Please, just do exactly what
they just did and correct me. Is that cool?
We good? Cool. They are actually from the
Conservatory Lab Charter School. They empower a diverse range of children as scholars, artists, and leaders through a unique and rigorous academic and music education. They enrich the larger community through performance, service, and collaboration. As a laboratory school, they develop and disseminate
innovative and educational approaches that will
positively impact children in other schools and programs. Hi, guys. They’re ready. They’re like, “Can you hurry?” Okay, I’ll move right along. (laughing) At Conservatory Lab, they believe in the power
of music and learning to transform the lives of their
students and their families. At the core of their pioneering curriculum is the hybrid of two proven
and exemplary programs El Sistema and Expeditionary Learning. Both programs emphasize the experience of breaking through
barriers in the pursuit of excellence creating a culture
and habit of perseverance. Taken together, these
two programs motivate and nurture their students
to become dedicated scholars, compassionate leaders,
and skilled musicians. So, without further adieu, I need a big round of applause for the Conservatory Lab Charter School. (audience cheering and clapping) (triumphant instrumental music) (audience cheering and clapping) (uplifting classical music) (audience cheering and clapping) (upbeat instrumental music) (audience cheering and clapping) (drum beat rolling) (audience clapping) (audience chattering) AUDIENCE MEMBER: ‘Cause that was the band and now they have the orchestra. (audience mumbling) (violins scaling and tuning) AMANDA SHEA: Can we give
the teacher the mic? (audience cheering and clapping) JOY: I was just gonna
give it to her, but… And then we’re going to finish. Thanks. And then, we are going to finish
with Jane Sullivan’s piece. Can everyone hear me okay now? Cool, thank you. I really appreciate this space, and I really appreciate
you guys being here to perform as well. Thank you so much. (audience clapping) (instrumental music) (audience cheering and clapping) (instrumental music) (audience cheering and clapping) (Moliendo Cafe by Gloria Lasso) (audience cheering and clapping) (instrumental music) (audience cheering and clapping) I can do it. Hi, everyone, I’m Tess Plotkin, I’m the interim director of El Sistema at Conservatory Lab Charter School. We’re very, very thankful to be here, and I’m very thankful that our six graders came to perform for us tonight. At Conservatory Lab, we
have music every single day and we integrate right
into the school day. We’re very excited to
be performing tonight. So, thank you again. I just wanted to say that
for dismissal right now, we just want to make sure that all of our students get to their parents. I’m gonna head over to the
door with my colleague, Ms. Warn, she’s waving right now, Allida. And we’re gonna check off. I just ask that if you
take your child right now, you check out with me
or Allida at the door so we can make sure
everyone gets home safe. Thank you so much again. We’re so happy to be here. (audience cheering and clapping) Hey, everybody. Put your hands together one more time for the Conservatory Lab Charter School. (audience cheering and clapping) They’re in the sixth grade. I would have never guessed that. We’re gonna do some clearing out, but while we do that I’m gonna
welcome our next performer to the stage as well as, read their bio. Is that okay with everybody? We still good? Ooh, sorry, sorry, sorry. Tryin’ to help. Can I get a room check? How’s everybody feeling? (audience cheering) There’s more people in here than that. How’s everybody feeling? (audience cheering louder) Great. I wanna remind everybody that now that we have a little bit more seating that’s become available, I’m gonna ask everybody that’s standing alongside the back and
in the hallway to please feel free, we don’t bite, come on over and get a seat up front. We have so many acts and performers that are gonna come up here. So, I’d ask for you guys to just join us. Yeah. Don’t be shy, come on up. I also wanna have another gentle reminder that we do have gender-neutral bathrooms that are located right in
the middle of the hall. As soon as you go out of the corridor, you’re gonna take a left, and you can go into either one. Also, when you are on the mic, please remember to speak
clearly into the mic. We do have a live stream
that’s happening right now, and we wanna get all
of your amazing voices on the video to match up. I think they would love for us to do that. That’s cool?
Cool. As we’re still clearing out, what was the cue that I
asked everybody to do? Does anybody remember? What did I ask? Everybody to do what? Yerp. AUDIENCE: Yerp. I told you, all generations
are gonna do this, and your gonna go home, and you’re gonna say
it to your kid one day, and they’re gonna be like,
“What did you just say? “You’re cool.” Okay, is everybody good? Everybody’s gonna come sit down? Yes, yes, look at all
these beautiful chairs. Everybody that’s standing up. Yes. Hi, Sam from Dorchester
Arts Project how are you? If I know you, and I see you standing, I’m gonna call you out. So, come on, have a seat. Come and have a seat. Awesome. We’re gonna have our next
performer to the stage who goes by the name of
Michael A. Rosegrant. Michael A. Rosegrant is
a performer and writer who tells story of identity,
family, and history because they matter. She is a founding member of Asian American Theater Artist of Boston, AATAB, and will produce,
co-direct, a stage reading of This Is Not A True Story, by Preston Choi at the Pao Arts Center on April 8th. She is a sophomore at Boston University pursuing a BFA in Theater
Arts with a concentration in Sociology and African-American Studies. So without further adieu, please welcome to the
stage Michael A. Rosegrant! (audience cheering and clapping) Hi. Hi. Is there any chance I can get a mic stand? Can I pull one of these? Okay, awesome. Thank you so much. AMANDA: You’re welcome so much. No, that’s all. ‘Kay, just give me a
second to set this up. Cool. So yeah, hey. I’m Michael, I’m a student
over at Boston University. While it’s clearing out, I feel like I should
just talk a little bit because my poems can get a little quiet. I am directing the stage reading
of This Is Not A True Story which is a play that tackles the history of Orientalist art in America and the lasting legacies that that can have across generations. I would love for you to be there. It’s co-produced with API Arts Network which is awesome, over at the
Pao Arts Center in Chinatown. That’s Monday, April 8th, at 7:00 pm. Come through. Other things I feel like I
wanna talk about real quick. I’m working on this amazing
show, two shows actually, over at American Repertory
Theater in their Oberon space called The Dragon Cycle. It is two one-woman shows. The first one is called Dragon Lady, the second one’s Dragon Momma, written and preformed by Sarah Porkalob who is an amazing theater
artist from Seattle. If you have the chance over
the next couple of weeks, the shows run until April 6th. So, go check that out. It’s really beautiful. The first one’s a musical
cabaret in the club space, and the second one is
also in the club space, but it’s a two-act play. She plays, I think, 36
characters in the first one, and then in the second one,
she’s playing 20 something. Really cool stuff. Cool. How’s everyone doing? (audience cheering) Cool. My first poem, I think,
gives a better introduction to who I am as a person,
so let’s start with that. This poem is titled Thoughts From The Other Day
When I Was Transcending Gender. Growing up, when people said, “Michael, you’re too pretty to be a boy.” I said, “Okay.”
(chuckles) I didn’t know what that meant. I thought why did they say that, instead of, “Wow, they noticed something.” Before Spain colonized the Philippines, one of the words we made
for third gender people was the name Bayoguin derived from a species
of bamboo called Bayog which looks like this, bent. Bayog bamboo blooms beautifully bent but unbroken from the underbrush. It breaks boundaries with
its birth for no reason besides the fact it was
born to do just that. Bayog is just as strong
as all other bamboo. But Bayog goes by a different name because Bayog was born
different, born curved, born bent, born special, born
beautiful in their own way, they transcend bamboo. Growing up, when people say, “Michael, you’re too pretty to be a boy.” I say, “I know.” Thank you. (audience cheering and clapping) Thanks. So, I use any pronouns said with respect. I have no preference. I love when people mix
it up in a given sentence even normalizing the
introduction of pronouns is one of the ways to
dismantle transphobia. So, you should really do that. Put it in your bios, put it
in your email signatures, if you haven’t already. It’s my Ted Talk.
(laughing) Also, at ART is this year-long
residency with Diana Oh who is curating these
series of installations empowering queer trans people of color, embracing our queer magic
that we are born with. I was talking to her the other day about one of her installations which was White People Read over at
the Boston Public Library. She was doing an installation art piece and she painted the words “I
am not afraid of my own rage.” And I’ve been thinking about
that a lot recently because I think I, for a long time,
have been scared of my own rage and continue to be scared of my own rage. But sometimes I find ways to not be afraid through writing, through writing poems. So, this next poem is
kind of inspired by that. An Ode To My Pediatrician. When my pediatrician told my mom, “If you want to speak Filipino with him, “you have to speak in
full Filipino sentences. “Mixing with Filipino with any English “will stunt and impair
his language development.” He had no idea my mom couldn’t do it. He had no idea mixing
Filipino with English is the only way to speak Tagalog anymore. He had no idea his science was bull, but my mom revered it as Bible because she was a brown immigrant speaking to a white American doctor. When my pediatrician determined
my lingual fate without me, he had no idea that wealthy
kids in the Philippines now take Filipino as a second language like it’s not it’s not their birth rite, like it’s not as attractive as English, like their not as attractive as people who are born in English. You see, English supremacy
and white supremacy are not unrelated. And language survival and our survival are deeply implicated. Once speaking Tagalog means being poor and speaking English means being rich, it is then that our brown pamilya become a race of servants to
Filipinos even whiter than me, become a race of servants who don’t have the privilege of speaking
their master’s tongue even though we are all related by blood. Blood is thicker than water, but offers no means of
communication except shedding, except spilling, except death. And maybe that’s why when
I try to speak Tagalog, it feels like my throat is
bleeding from a clash, conflict. A vocal cord colonizer
winning so many battles we forgot there was even a war, forgot there was even a mother tongue, mother land worth fighting for. The war has left my tongue an orphan. So, now he’s originating or
rebelling with the only sounds he knows how to make. Watch me weaponize your
words into a whirlpool that whiteness won’t save you from. When my pediatrician determined
my lingual fate without me, he had no idea he broke
the hippocratic oath. You hurt me, sir, and you have no idea. Ngunit hindi ko malilimutan, but I will never forget. Thank you. (audience cheering and clapping) I think about God a lot. I think about spirituality a lot. So, this next poem is kind of about that. The name of this poem is Maybe
It Was The Food Poisoning Or Maybe I Really Did
Visit God Last Night. (audience laughing) I saw her yesterday. God, the Holy Spirit,
Gaia, whatever her name is, I saw her. She is more beautiful than
I had let myself imagine. Skin the color of earth, brown. Her eyes looked like stars
and the sun, her halo. She opened the front
door to heaven and said, “You don’t come home enough. “Don’t forget where you come from, Anak, “or you might forget who
you are, where you’re going. “Are you eating your veggies? “Brushing your teeth… “twice a day? “Still wearing your retainer, huh? “Good.” Then, she twirled around in her gown stitched
out of the solar system and motioned for me to
cross through the threshold. The pearly gates, so pure
they almost blind me, and… heaven doesn’t look
how I thought it would. I guess the only references I
had were movies and the Bible, and neither are very
reliable sources, you see. There are no fountains of wine, no cities of gold, no angels
or people in white cloaks. No. Heaven is far more beautiful. Heaven is a table that stretches out farther
than the eye can see. A table covered in banana leaves, rice, chicken, steak, mango, blueberry cobbler,
(audience laughing) and bowls of sauce. And the people at the table? Well, they’re all your
ancestors sitting down, waiting for you to join them for dinner. Thank you. (audience cheering and clapping) Thank you, all.
Thank you so much. Real quick promo, because I am an artist, feel free to follow me
on Instagram and Twitter @Michael_arose, like A-R-O-S-E. Yeah, you can stay
tuned to what I’m up to, or check out my website,
michaelrosegrant.com. So, to wrap it up, I’ve
written this final poem about how I have a
complicated relationship with my art making and my poetry. And I worry that sometimes
I spend too much time preaching to the choir instead
of spreading the good word. And my activism that I say is in my
art becomes lazy and selfish. So, this is a poem on
the subject of poetry. I gossiped about love one too many times, so she unfriended me. Replaced herself with an
obsession called writing. I call it an obsession
because every night, I take out a pen and watch
as it puts ink on a page writing prophecies that
tell me I can’t be inspired by a feeling other than hurting. That tell me I can’t feel
right until I write pain into poems to be read, to
be spoken, to be heard. I don’t remember what sadness is, just how to preform it. That’s what happened when love left and showed me the high of showing you my sad, casting emotions and
experience in a trauma circus called spoken word they
never asked to be in. Yet, here they are, somehow
eager to be tasted by you. I got tired of swallowing myself, so I started to spit back
up the bad stuff hoping it would land on ears that
are familiar with its flavor, that enjoy the verb of hear, of feel. A sip a pot of alphabet
soup arranged in words that might be nourishing, but
leave you hungry for more. A pain in the stomach
crying out, “Feed me.” All our stomachs watching
as we turn into cannibals ravaging poets flesh for catharsis, but who am I to judge? I’d have to sentence myself
to the same punishment for the same crime. So maybe, it’s okay because
it’s one giant heist we’ve all decided to go in on together, piling emotional baggage
on an ever-moving carousel fueled by tears, snaps, and mm’s. Stand back and look as we
lose track of the tags, unable to tell counterfeit from cash. But all that investment of
suffering sounds real anyway, so we’ll listen to each
other, really listen, and we’ll feel, and we’ll say, “This is alright.” Thank you. (audience cheering and clapping) Please give it up one more
time for Michael A. Rose. That was amazing. Also, if you want to
follow Michael A. Rose, it’s Michael_arose on Instagram. I just tagged you. That was amazing, thank you. I appreciate your poetry. Hi, everybody. How’s everybody doing? Good. Everybody get some food, yes? Has everybody had a chance to come over and mingle with our tablers over here? We have WBUR, we have Berklee, we have… Hi, hi. We have Pao Art Center in the building. We have so many people. So when we go on the brief intermission, please say hello. Get some information,
get a pin, get a pen. They have a lot of free stuff over there, so I’m definitely going over there. I just wanted to give
you guys that reminder. We’re gonna have our next
performer to the building. But before, I need everybody
that’s in the hallway to just please come out. I don’t wanna say it’s a fire hazard. It is, technically, a fire hazard, but I don’t wanna say it’s a fire hazard. It is, right?
Okay, cool. I didn’t wanna threaten
and say it’s a fire, but it is a fire hazard, so if you could just come
on in and have a seat. There’s so many here. Don’t be shy. Get cozy, ’cause we’re here
for a little while longer. And get some food. And get some wine. Okay, I’m done, okay.
(laughing) We’re gonna welcome our next
performers to the stage, The Youth United Artists. (audience cheering and clapping) They are going to intro themselves, so I’m really excited
to hear all about them and see what they do. Give it up for The Youth United Artists! (audience cheering and clapping) Hi, everybody, sorry. My name’s Dashawn, how’re you doing? How’s everybody doing? (audience cheering and clapping) Okay, my name’s Dashawn. I’m apart of The Youth United Artists. We are a collective. It’s my family, it’s my extended family. I wanna say give it up to Marian Brown, Hanako Brais, Allegra
Fletcher, Stephen Hamilton, Joy, where’s Joy at? Joy, right there, yes. I wanna give Alice, Sumeya,
freakin’ Jadidia, Jonathan, everybody, I love you guys. Kinda nervous a little
bit, but I like that. That’s good.
(chuckling) My name’s Dashawn, and this is my trio. This is Kevin Long on bass.
(audience cheering) Somerville, Massachusets. This is Craig Jackson
(audience cheering) from Florida. Florida, okay. This is my art form. As you can see, I’m not
only do I play drums, but I’m a musician. So, we’re gonna play you two tunes and I hope you guys enjoy it. Thank you. (audience cheering and clapping) (Footprints, Instrumental, by Miles Davis) (audience cheering and clapping) (instrumental music) (audience cheering and clapping) (Yes or No, Instrumental,
by Wayne Shorter) (audience clapping) (instrumental music) (audience cheering) (audience cheering and clapping) Craig Jackson on tenor saxophone. (audience cheering and clapping) The great Ron Carter on bass. (laughing) Kevin Long. That’s Kevin Long, and I’m the great Kenny
Washington on drums. (audience cheering and clapping) That was just some improv. That was based off a Wayne Shorter. That was a tune called Yes Or No. The one we just played, and the last one, was called Footprints, originally
written by Miles Davis. I prepared that mainly. I wanna pay that in tribute and respect to the original composers, but also to the great Roy Haynes, and the great John
Coltrane and Tony Williams. Tony Williams is from Boston, and the great Roy Haynes, he actually played in
this very auditorium. And happy belated birthday, he is 95. (audience cheering and clapping) Please give another round of applause for the Youth United Artists. (audience cheering and clapping) Okay.
(laughing) Can I take this time really quick to thank some of our sponsors? Yes, cool. They’re actually not done yet, so I’m gonna take this time
to thank some of our sponsors that are in the room that some of this wouldn’t be possible without them. We have a really long list which I am very pleased to announce ’cause I love seeing sponsors
collaborating with events. It’s super important for them to be able to share and be
able to partake in the event. Also, this area here, if kids wanna dance, or if adults wanna
dance, please feel free. This area is for that. I wanna take a quick moment
to thank our sponsors starting with the Institute
for the Contemporary Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, The Boston Pride Foundation,
BCC, Boston Cultural Council, Foley Hoag Foundation,
MCC, Mass Cultural Council, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MFA, the Shinnyo-en Foundation,
the Boston Foundation, the Boston University Arts Initiative, Boston University College of
Fine Arts, Eone, District Hall, HowlRound Theater Commons,
The Nonprofit Center, TSNE Mission Works, School of Museum of Fine
Arts at Tufts University, Berklee Institution for Arts
Education and Special Needs, Living Closer Foundation. Everybody give a round of
applause for all of those people, all of those institutions that I have named for our sponsors. (audience clapping) They help us make this possible. And to continue on with our show, please welcome back the
Youth United Artists! (audience cheering and clapping) It’s a bit too tall. I don’t know how to put this down. Alright, we just gonna do this. Hi. Hi, everyone. How are you? [Audience Members] Good. I know that question has been asked a lot, but you gotta keep on
checking throughout the day. I’m Sumeya, Sumeya Aden. Hi. I’m a sophomore at John D O’Bryant, and I’m also apart of
YUA, and Boston Pulse. My poem is called Mother Tongue. In YUA, I’ve been doing research based on Somali identity
and Somali woman identity, but this is more focused
on Somali identity and the language. As a small child, I never
understood what I spoke. I grew up in a home filled
with broken English. We grew up saying, “juice
ah” instead of “soda”. We grew up saying, “zoom in”
instead of “come closer”. But we spoke the best English we could. I guess they wanted us to assimilate, wanted us to live the normal life. An absolute diary of a part-time Somalian. Live the American dream
with white picket fences and a beautiful house. Instead, we were homeless. We lived apartment to apartment, we reeked of cigarettes in the front yard. Yet, they wanted us to
live an American dream with presentable jobs instead of being a housewife or a taxi driver. As a small child, I never
understood what I spoke. We spoke a mix of
Arabic, Somali, Italiano, and even Swahili. Somali is my rich mother tongue, but I can’t even afford
to be a fluent daughter. I try to be endurant with
all my family’s comments for not being good enough, and being forced to juggle them. For not being good at English or Somali. Even if I was born in this country, I still say things like
“sangwich” instead of “sandwich”. The small, small
difference of pronunciation is a form of oppression. As a small child, I never
understood what I spoke, but now I do. And I try to hang on to
this language for dear life. I understand it like the back of my hand as if my heart if fluent in this language. The words I speak are like the muda that spews out of the mixing pot. It is like the sambusa my mother
would cook during Ramadan. It is filled with spices and seasoning, it’s never too sweet or too salty, but it burns to be heard. Like the North Star, it centers me home. It brings me back to the right path, so do not be afraid of your mother tongue. It might whip out of place in moment, it might slash and lash out at others, but to you, it allows you to
taste what freedom tastes like, true freedom. So, don’t take your
mother tongue for granted because it gave birth to you. Thank you. (audience cheering and clapping) Hello.
(clears throat) I have the honor of introducing
our next YUA performer. Next up is a young
black poet trying to use her powerful voice to speak up for others going through oppression and depression. She’s miniature vocalist at heart, and she has a deep passion for
black power and equal rights. Please welcome to the
stage Ny’lasia Brown. (audience cheering and clapping) Oh, God. Hi, everyone. My name is Ny’lasia, I’m a researcher. I’m part of the Youth United Artists, my whole group back there. We worked hard to make this summit happen. My research is based around female rights and oppression and stuff like that. It hits home for me. This poem is about Black rights and how glorious Black rights
are for me, specifically. I have a passion for Black rights. Enjoy. Sometimes we need glory because the world we live in
just another unholy story. It’s not fair how we
get placed in categories based on the color of our skin,
our gender, and our class. And it’s not right how
we still get whipped by the switch of our 400 year old past. It’s stereotypes like
these that make it easy for us to receive all the hate. And it’s stereotypes
like these that make it ten times greater when
the oppressed escape. And for this, I wanna thank
the people from 1954 to 1968. ‘Cause Rosa sat on that bus
in the front and she stayed. ‘Cause Martin made his speech, went to church, and he prayed. ‘Cause when Malcolm X spoke,
we felt enriched and enraged. It doesn’t matter if you’re
young or you’ve aged, as long as you remember you
can always stand on stage. It’s people from the past
that tried to keep the peace. It’s people from our past that motivate us to climb so high and so steep, that when we look down, we
had the courage to leap. It’s Ruby Bridges and her black girl magic braving an all-white school alone. It’s Audre Lorde our black,
queer, mother, warrior, poet, who said, “Your silence
will not protect you.” It’s people like these
that we need not to forget. And it’s people like them who deserve the utmost respect even in death. They paved your walkways and
they walked your streets. They fought for your rights,
and their mark runs deep. They made your future,
so let’s let them see that we’ll continue to thank
them every day of the year, not just one month in February. Give them all your glory. And together, we’ll write a
righteous, glorious story. Thank you. (audience cheering and clapping) And so, she’s back from outer space. Alright, hello, everyone. I need to figure out
this mic-ing situation. My name is Allegra. I wonder if we can get
that on the other side. Of you? Yeah. Give me like two seconds. Wherever you want it. Can you hold this? Sure can. (audience cheering and clapping) MAN: Do you need help, Allegra? I’ve got it. I think it’d be easier for
you to use this one instead. And can I just move this one? Okay. That one? Yeah, if we gotta turn it. Bring this down a little bit. Thank you. AMANDA: You’re welcome. (Allegra laughing) See if this will be easier for you. Okay, maybe put it on the other. That a good height for you? Mm-hmm. Thank you. Alright, hi, my name’s Allegra. I’m on of the mentors for
the Youth United Artists. (audience cheering) Love them all dearly. I’m gonna keep my intro short
’cause time is of the essence. You can always reach out to
me if you wanna know more about the work that we do and the joy that it is to be a mentor to these amazing young people. I’m a singer/songwriter
in addition to being an academic-y kind of person. This first song is called
A Cure For The Blues. I wrote it when people talk to you, and they’re like, then they kind of stop, and you’re like, “What was that about?” (laughing) Anyway, this is exploring
what that was about. ♪ Sometimes ♪ ♪ I think ♪ ♪ I’m just a little repressed ♪ ♪ Maybe just a little depressed ♪ ♪ Come on now ♪ ♪ Oh, sometimes ♪ ♪ I think ♪ ♪ I’m just a little repressed ♪ ♪ And maybe just a little depressed ♪ ♪ Come on now ♪ ♪ But two hearts beating in line ♪ ♪ Fully alive ♪ ♪ I won’t be satisfied
if you give me less ♪ ♪ So don’t you give me less ♪ ♪ Two hearts beating in line ♪ ♪ Fully alive ♪ ♪ I won’t be satisfied
if you give me less ♪ ♪ So don’t you give me less ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Sometimes ♪ ♪ I think ♪ ♪ I need just a little respect ♪ ♪ See I need what you’re not giving yet ♪ ♪ Come on now ♪ ♪ Sometimes ♪ ♪ I think ♪ ♪ I need just a little respect ♪ ♪ See I need what you’re not giving yet ♪ ♪ Come on now ♪ ♪ See two hearts beating in line ♪ ♪ Fully alive ♪ ♪ I won’t be satisfied
if you give me less ♪ ♪ So don’t you give me less ♪ ♪ Two hearts beating in line ♪ ♪ Fully alive ♪ ♪ I won’t be satisfied
if you give me less ♪ ♪ So don’t you give me less ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ Those shadows form ♪ ♪ Like ashes thick in my mouth ♪ ♪ I’ll sing this song ♪ ♪ Of the phoenix rising ♪ ♪ Those shadows form ♪ ♪ Like ashes thick in my mouth ♪ ♪ I’ll sing this song ♪ ♪ Of the phoenix rising ♪ ♪ The shadows form ♪ ♪ Like ashes thick in my mouth ♪ ♪ I’ll sing this song ♪ ♪ I’ll sing this song ♪ ♪ Of the phoenix rising ♪ ♪ Those shadows form ♪ ♪ Like ashes thick in my mouth ♪ ♪ I’ll sing this song ♪ ♪ Of the phoenix rising ♪ ♪ Two hearts beating in line ♪ ♪ Fully alive ♪ ♪ I won’t be satisfied
if you give me less ♪ ♪ So don’t you give me less ♪ ♪ Two hearts beating in line ♪ ♪ Fully alive ♪ ♪ I won’t be satisfied
if you give me less ♪ ♪ So don’t you give me less ♪ Thank you. (audience cheering and clapping) Thank you. This last one doesn’t have a name. (laughing) I should’ve figured that out. And it’s a bit of a work in progress, but I really wanted to share it tonight. And now, I have a rubber
band stuck on my finger. Okay. (peaceful guitar melody) It’s kind of processing my year in my Master’s program. Whatever, you’ll hear it.
(laughing) ♪ All around ♪ ♪ Are narrow boundaries ♪ And I have now forgotten the words. I’m gonna start that over. (audience cheering and clapping) Okay. ♪ All around ♪ ♪ Are narrow boundaries ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Sun light’s blessing ♪ ♪ On my surface ♪ ♪ Is my burden ♪ ♪ Is my sin ♪ ♪ Looking for ♪ ♪ Complete surrender ♪ ♪ I’m not afraid ♪ ♪ Of going under ♪ ♪ So I will wade ♪ ♪ I will wade in the water ♪ ♪ I will wade ♪ ♪ I will wade through the river wide ♪ ♪ Cause all around ♪ ♪ Are narrow boundaries ♪ ♪ I can feel them ♪ ♪ Wearing thin ♪ ♪ Sun light’s blessing ♪ ♪ On my surface ♪ ♪ Feels like freedom ♪ ♪ From within ♪ ♪ Looking for ♪ ♪ Complete surrender ♪ ♪ I’m not afraid ♪ ♪ Of going under ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ So I will wade ♪ ♪ I will wade in the water ♪ ♪ I will wade ♪ ♪ I will wade in the river wide ♪ ♪ I will wade ♪ ♪ I will wade in the water ♪ ♪ Oh I will wade ♪ ♪ I will wade through the river wide ♪ ♪ I will wade ♪ ♪ I will wade in the water ♪ ♪ I will wade ♪ ♪ I will wade through the river wide ♪ (audience cheering and clapping) Thank you. (audience cheering and clapping) Hey, everybody. Y’all give it up one more time
for the Youth United Artists. (audience cheering and clapping) I just felt serenaded, who else did? (audience laughing and cheering) That’s all y’all got? It’s still early.
(audience cheering) It’s a Friday, right? It’s not Monday. Hi! I just wanna take a brief moment before I introduce our next act. Y’all give it up for the
children playing in the middle. (audience cheering and clapping) Giving me life. So, I just wanna say
everybody’s name that I have actually on the program for
the Youth United Artists. Dashawn, please give it up
for Dashawn one more time. Sumeya, Ny’lasia, and Allegra. Y’all were amazing. I just wanna take one more second to give our sponsors another shout out. This time, I wanna thank some
of our beverage providers tonight who were Samuel Adams, Kitchen Cafe who provided
some of the food, Suya joint who also provided
the food and Gracenote coffee. Can y’all give it up for them for providing us the food
and the drink for tonight. (audience cheering and clapping) Make sure that you all actually go to these places and give them your patronage. Suya Joint is actually right
around the corner from here. I just wanna give it up to them because without them, my
belly would not be full, and my cup would not be either. So, I just wanted to say that. We’re gonna welcome our
next performer to the stage. We have Adrienne Hawkins. Y’all give it up for Adrienne Hawkin. (audience cheering and clapping) Miss Adrienne Hawkins holds a BA in Education from
Arizona State University, and a MFA in Dance from
Connecticut College. Can y’all give it up for that? (audience cheering and clapping) I didn’t make it past
my Bachelor’s degree. I was like, “You guys took
too much of my money already. “I’m okay.”
(laughing) Miss Hawkins has been an Artistic Director of Impulse Dance Company
of Boston for over 35 years. Give it up for that. I haven’t done anything more than four, so that is commitment. She is also a co-artistic
director of Bass-Line Motion, a music theater, poetry, and dance group exploring spirituality,
identity, and social issues. I will be talking to you after this because I want all parts of that. Miss Hawkins has won
numerous choreography awards. She has set choreography on the National Ballet of Iceland Repertory, Ballet Plus in Denmark, and
Dance Express in Denmark, Northwest Florida Ballet,
Portland Ballet, Rainbow Tribe, and over 70 works on
Impulse Dance Company. Give it up for that. (audience cheering and clapping) She has choreographed rock
musicals, music videos, commercials, and industrials. Miss Hawkins has taught
jazz throughout Europe, Iceland, Japan, Australia, Ireland, and the Caribbean to name a few. Notice how I said to name a few. Miss Hawkins has taught at the
Harvard Summer Dance Program and the American Dance
Festival in Connecticut, North Carolina, and Japan. She has been a guest artist at
numerous colleges in the US, including Harvard, Mt.
Holyoke, Mass. Amherst. Shout out U Mass Boston, that’s my school. And the Boston Conservatory,
Boston University, Connecticut College, Stonehill College, the University of Arts in Philadelphia, and Dean College, and the
ART Institute at Harvard. Miss Hawkins also performs, does community service on
various boards of directors, such as the Boston Dance Alliance, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, the Stan Theater, and guest teaches throughout
the United States, Europe, and Japan. So, without further adieu, that was a crazy resume, give it up for Adrienne Hawkins! (audience cheering and clapping) (Bid ‘Em In by Oscar Brown Jr) ♪ Bid ’em in, get ’em in ♪ ♪ That sun is hot and plenty bright ♪ ♪ Let’s get down to business
and get home tonight ♪ ♪ Bid ’em in ♪ ♪ Auctioning slaves is a real high art ♪ ♪ Bring that young gal, Roy ♪ ♪ She’s good for a start ♪ ♪ Bid ’em in, get ’em in ♪ ♪ Now here’s a real
good buy only about 15 ♪ ♪ Her great grandmammy was Dahomey queen ♪ ♪ Just look at her face ♪ ♪ She sure ain’t homely ♪ ♪ Like Sheeba in the Bible ♪ ♪ She’s black but comely ♪ ♪ Bid ’em in ♪ ♪ Gonna start her at three ♪ ♪ Can I hear three? ♪ ♪ Step up gents take a good look see. ♪ ♪ Cause I know you’ll want
her once you’ve seen her ♪ ♪ She’s young and ripe,
make a darn good breeder ♪ ♪ Bid ’em in ♪ ♪ She’s good in the fields ♪ ♪ She can sew and cook ♪ ♪ Strip her down, Roy,
let the gentlemen look ♪ ♪ She’s full up front and ample behind ♪ ♪ Examine her teeth if you’ve got a mind ♪ ♪ Bid ’em in, get ’em in ♪ ♪ Here’s a bid of three
from a man who’s thrifty ♪ ♪ 325, can I hear 350 ♪ ♪ Your money ain’t earning
you much in the banks ♪ ♪ Turn her around, Roy, let
’em look at her flanks ♪ ♪ Bid ’em in ♪ ♪ 350s bid, I’m looking for four ♪ ♪ At $400 she’s a bargain sure ♪ ♪ Four is the bid, 450 ♪ ♪ Five ♪ ♪ $500, now look alive ♪ ♪ Bid ’em in, get ’em in ♪ ♪ Don’t mind them tears,
that’s one of her tricks ♪ ♪ 550s bid and who’ll say six ♪ ♪ She’s healthy and
strong and well equipped ♪ ♪ Make a fine lady’s maid
when she’s properly whipped ♪ ♪ Bid ’em in ♪ ♪ Six, 650, don’t be slow ♪ ♪ Seven is the bid ♪ ♪ Gonna let her go ♪ ♪ At seven she’s going ♪ ♪ Going ♪ ♪ Gone ♪ ♪ Pull her down Roy,
bring the next one on ♪ ♪ Bid ’em in, get ’em in ♪ ♪ Bid ’em in ♪ WOMAN: We are all imprisoned
in the castle of our skins. And some of us have said, “So be it.” If I am in jail, my castle
shall become my rendezvous. My courtyard will bloom with hyacinths and jack-in-the-pulpits. My moat will not restrict me but will be filled with
dolphins sitting on lily pads and sea horses ridden by starfish. Goldfish will make love to Black mollies and color my world Black Gold. The vines entwining my
windows will grow butterflies and yellow jackets will buzz me to sleep. The dwarfs imprisoned will not become my clowns for me to scorn but my dolls for me to
praise and fuss with and give tea parties, too. My gnomes will spin cloth
of spiderweb silk-ness. My wounded chocolate soldiers
will sit in evening coolness, or stand gloriously at attention
during that midnight sun, for I would have no need of day patrol. If I am imprisoned in my skin, let it be a dark world with a deep bass walking
a witch doctor to me for spiritual consultation. Let my world be defined by my skin and the skin of my people, for we, spirit to spirit,
will embrace this world. (scattered clapping) Y’all give it up one more
time for Adrienne Hawkins. (audience cheering and clapping) So, before we go into our intermission, I just want to thank, once again, Hibernian Hall for holding this amazing space for us tonight. So, thank you. Farai, the new artistic
director of Hibernian Hall, please give a round of applause. She’s standing right there. (audience cheering and clapping) FARAI: I wanna thank my team. There’s nothing happening without my team. My team stars up there in
the booth, Asad Hardwick. Asad Hardwick. (audience cheering and clapping) I can’t hear over applause, sorry. FARAI: Ola, Ola Ola.
Hi, Ola! I know her. (laughing) I just wanna say thank you once again for holding this space for
the Arts Equity Summit. We appreciate you. And I really appreciate
that Farai actually said, “thank you to my team” ’cause I really do believe that nothing is really possible without everybody collaborating together, and it definitely is a team effort. There is a casting call coming up. It’s a CP casting call in Boston. They’re seeking extras for
the Hulu TV show, Castle Rock. How old you gotta be?
Where can I sign up? Okay, we’ll talk later? Cool, my people will contact your people, we’ll be good?
Good. Okay, cool. They’re seeking people who
can portray Somali-Americans for filming in central Massachusetts in the spring and the summer of 2019. Are you appropriate? Are you interested? Are you available? If so, come to the
casting call on Saturday, March 23rd, at 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and that’s gonna be
here at Hibernian Hall. FARAI: And that is tomorrow. And that is tomorrow. Oh, it’s tomorrow? Can I pass? ‘Cause I wanna do a casting call. (laughing) Everybody, please come and support even if you are
not here for the casting call. It’s really important that we support what’s going on in our communities, so please come out and support
that, and also post it up. We are at the intermission
portion of the evening. How are y’all feeling? (audience cheering and clapping) Some of you newbies
that have walked in here don’t understand what I was asking before. So, for those of you who
were in here when I said y’all have to say this word
every time I do a roll call. So, I’m gonna ask y’all
one more time what is it? AUDIENCE: Yerp. (laughing) It’s yerp. Do it one more time. AUDIENCE: Yerp. Awesome.
Okay, cool. So everybody’s still with us? I hope everybody takes this time to fraternize with everybody. Get to know one another. Talk to your neighbor who
you may or may not know that’s sitting in the chair, that’s been enjoying this
beautiful program thus far. Get familiar with some of
the sponsors that are here. Also, come visit the tables
and sign up on the email list, please, please, please. I think I’ve signed up for three. I still got some more work to do as well. Get some food if you have not,
get a drink if you have not. Like I said, connect and
vibe with one another. And we’ll be back momentarily. Thanks, everybody. (audience chattering) (Karaoke by Drake) ♪ Things have been so crazy and hectic ♪ ♪ I should have been back by now ♪ ♪ But you know how much
I wanted to make it ♪ ♪ It’s probably better anyhow ♪ ♪ So if you gotta go ♪ ♪ If there’s anything I should know ♪ ♪ If the spotlight makes you nervous ♪ ♪ If you’re looking for a purpose ♪ ♪ You put the tea in the
kettle and light it ♪ ♪ Put your hand on the metal and feel it ♪ ♪ But do you even feel it anymore ♪ ♪ I remember when you
thought I was joking ♪ ♪ Now I’m off singing karaoke ♪ ♪ Further than I’ve ever been ♪ Hello, everybody. We’re gonna get started in a few moments. Nope, Stokely, you’re good. You’re good, I told you. We had the communication earlier. We’re here. We’re gonna be starting
commencing again in a few moments. I’m gonna ask all of you all
if you could make your ways back to your seats, please,
within the next two minutes. Once again, we’ll be
starting and resuming. I love all this table action over here. Please, make your way back to your seats in about two minutes, thank you. ♪ I know they say the first
love is the sweetest ♪ ♪ But that first cut is the deepest ♪ ♪ I tried to keep us together,
you were busy keeping secrets ♪ ♪ Secrets you were
telling everybody but me ♪ ♪ Don’t be fooled by the money ♪ ♪ I’m still just young and unlucky ♪ ♪ I’m surprised you couldn’t tell ♪ ♪ I was only trying to get ahead ♪ ♪ I was only trying to get ahead ♪ ♪ But the spotlight makes you nervous ♪ ♪ And you’re looking for a purpose ♪ ♪ I was only trying to get ahead ♪ ♪ I was only trying to get ahead ♪ ♪ But the spotlight makes you nervous ♪ (audience chattering) (upbeat funk music) Totally. Hi, everybody. Stokely, this is all us. We’re back in action. How are y’all doing? (scattered audience members cheering) Yeah, that wasn’t believable. Thank you, to the two people who cheered. Yeah! I see you.
(laughing) Hi, everybody. Everybody at the tables, hi! Apparently, there’s this thing that they do in elementary schools, and I’m gonna do it here because
I’ve never done it before, but I’m gonna do it here and
we’ll see if it works, cool? Cool. Alright, so if you can hear me, clap once. If you can hear me, clap twice. If you can hear me, clap three times. (audience clapping)
Yeah! Now, you can just clap for me period. That’s cool. I didn’t mean that, but I love how participatory
you all are, that’s amazing. So, we’re gonna get back started. I’m really, really excited. Hi, everybody, hi! Hey! Hi! You guys can feel free to
come back to your seats. Hi, Ola. Come back to your seats. You guys have time on
the way out to re-engage. I left a conversation myself, too. I totally understand. You guys got some food, I’m seeing. Some people still getting food. Hi. Come hither. (chuckles) Actually, no, can you
get me a glass of wine? No, I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding. Just come on over. (chuckles) I’m really excited for our next act. So, I’m just waiting for
everybody’s attention to be on me. It’s a weird thing, I know. I get it. Most people like it. Me, not so much all the time. Hi, everybody. Y’all ready to see some dancing? (audience cheering and clapping) Cool. I can’t dance, so I
appreciate watching dance. I’m just saying. You’ll see me trying, but
you don’t wanna see that. We are gonna have our next
performer to the stage. Just give me one second. I just wanna do one more room check. I just wanna make sure
everybody’s with us, everybody’s paying attention,
everybody’s engaged. So, if guys are feeling
good, say, “I’m good.” AUDIENCE: I’m good. If you guys are feeling
great, say “I’m good.” AUDIENCE: I’m good. If y’all love what y’all
are seeing thus far tonight, say “We good.” AUDIENCE: We good.
(Amanda laughing) Say it one more time.
We good. AUDIENCE: We good. Add a little sass in it, like we good. AUDIENCE: We good. Like there’s a bee over there, and it’s trying to sting you, and you’re like, “No, we good. “Not today.” Okay, cool. I want everybody to make sure that they’re following the Arts Equity Summit online. You can #AES19 or one, nine. Also, if you could follow the
Arts Connect International @artsconnectintlonline Anything that you are
posting, please tag them, let them know, let people
know that you are here, you have witnessed, and
you have been a part of. Hello. Yeah, you. Hi. I saw you at BAMS Fest last year. I was watching you. We’re gonna have Danza
Organica to the stage. Where is everybody?
Hi, yeah. Danza Organza to the stage. Yes. (audience cheering and clapping) I’m gonna do their quick bio, and then we’re gonna keep this rolling. I’m sorry, I have a lot of papers because I was tabling today. I probably should have
put some of those down, but I didn’t want anybody to take them. We’re here. We’re not here, I don’t know. I don’t have it. This is not a part of the program. We did not schedule this. We did not do all this. Is it? Yes. And we found it. Thank you. Y’all give it up for Joy one more time. Can you tell she’s been
doing everything over here? I love it. (audience cheering and clapping) Appreciate you. (laughing) Next on stage, we have Danza Organica. I’m sorry for the
mispronunciation earlier. They are an award-winning
Afro Taino choreographer. Marsha Parrilla is the founding Artistic Director of Danza Organica. After obtaining a Bachelor’s
degree in Foreign Languages from the University of Puerto Rico, (audience cheering) Marsha moved to New
York where she completed a Master’s degree in Dance
Education at New York University. Now a resident of Boston, Parrilla is a recipient of several awards from the New England
Foundation of the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Boston Foundation, among others. Parrilla? Parrilla. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Parrilla. Parrilla. AUDIENCE: Hey! Hey, I did it. (laughing) I don’t know if I can do that again. Parrilla received the Brother
Thomas Fellowship Award of Contemporary Art. In 2017, received the Brothers
Thomas Fellowship Award from the Boston Foundation. Recently, received a Creative
Development Residency at Jacob’s Pillow, and performed at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Inside/Out Festival. She is also the producer and founder of the Boston-based
acclaimed annual festival, We Create! Celebrating Women in the Arts. (audience vocalizing rally call) What is that? AUDIENCE MEMBER: That’s
how we do it, baby. I love that.
Do it one more time. (audience vocalizing rally call) Imma do that, Imma get it. Marsha was selected for
the Boston AIR Program, which is artists in residence, with a focus on environmental justice. Currently, she is developing the program Danka Yanaka, and a Mother Earth, in Taino with a focus on best practices towards decolonization and environmental justice. So, without further adieu, please give it up for Danza Organica. (audience cheering and clapping) (rhythmic clapping) Oh, America! I made it. America, the beautiful. The land of the free, and home of the brave. I made it. America, your dream come true. The land of opportunity. The land of… opportunity. (rhythmic stomping) (Mama Cuidame a Belen by Paracumbe) (singing in foreign language) (dramatic orchestral music) MAN: This is the Chamber of the House of Representatives within a few moments after it was emptied still showing the aftermath
of the wild hail of bullets by fanatic Puerto Rican nationalists. Outside the Capital,
hospital and emergency units quickly mobilized to care for
the five wounded congressmen cut down in the fantastic sudden shooting. Even as the stricken five
are rushed away to hospitals, observers regarded a miracle
that more were not hurt in the crowded chamber by
maniacs firing at close range. (siren wailing) Under heavy guard of
the would-be assassins, Mrs. Lolita Lebron who boldly claims she’s instigator of the murder plot. Seized with her in the visitor’s
gallery, Andrew Cordero. Another who brazenly sprayed bullets on unsuspecting congressmen
is Rafael Miranda. The fourth member of their group evaded capture in the house chamber. He’s Irvin Flores, arrested
soon after the attack in a Washington bus terminal. (dramatic orchestral music) INTERVIEWER: Now listen, Gandia, do you agree that the way to gain independence from Puerto Rico is to go around shooting
American congressmen? GANDIA: The Naturalist
Movement of Puerto Rico is the movement that
for many than 25 years has been demanded in all
international congresses and all international bodies the recognition of
independence of Puerto Rico. (fast-paced rhythmic beating) MAN: October 2017. You once said, “My reward for this life
will be 1,000 pounds of dirt “shoveled in my face.” You were wrong. You are seven pounds of ashes in a box, a Puerto Rican flag wrapped around you next to a red brick
from the house in Utuado where you were born, all crammed together on my bookshelf. You taught me there is no God. No life after this life. So, I know you are not watching me type this letter over my shoulder. When I was a boy, you were god. I watched from the seventh
floor of the projects as you walked down into the street to stop a public execution. A big man caught a small
man stealing his car, and everyone in Brooklyn heard the car alarm wail of the condemned, “He’s killing me.” At a word from you, the executioner’s hand slipped
from the hair of the thief. “The kid was high”, was all you said when you came back to us. When I was boy and you were god, we flew in Puerto Rico. You said, “My grandfather
was the mayor of Utuado. “His name was Buenaventura. “That means good fortune.” I believed in your grandfather’s name. I heard the tree frogs chanting
to each other all night. I saw banana leaf and
elephant palm sprouting from the mountain’s belly. I gnawed the mango’s pit, and the sweet yellow hair
stuck between my teeth. I said to you, “You came from another planet. “How did you do it?” You said, “Every morning,
just before I woke up, “I saw the mountains.” Every morning, I see the mountains. In Utuado, three sisters, all
in their 70s, all bedridden, all Pentecostales who only
left the house for church, lay sleeping on mattresses
spread across the floor when the hurricane gutted the mountain the way a butcher slices
open a dangled pig. And a rolling wall of mud buried them, leaving the fourth sister
to stagger into the street, screaming like an unheeded prophet about the end of the world. In Utuado, a man who cultivated a garden of aguacate and carambola, feeding the avocado and star fruit to his nieces from New York, saw the trees in his
garden beheaded all at once like the soldiers of a beaten
army, and so hanged himself. In Utuado, a welder and a
handyman rigged a pulley with a shopping cart
to ferry rice and beans across the river where
the bridge collapsed, witness the cart swaying
above so many hands, then raised a sign that told helicopters, “Campamento los Olividados: “Camp of the Forgotten.” Los olvidados wait seven hours in line for a government meal of
Skittles and Vienna sausage, or a tarp to cover the bones
of a house with no roof, as the fungus grows on
their skin from sleeping on mattresses drenched with
the spit of the hurricane. They drink the brown water, waiting for microscopic
monsters in their bellies to visit plagues upon them. A nurse says, “These people
are going to have an epidemic. “These people are going to die.” The president flips rolls of paper towels to a crowd at church in Guaynabo. Zeus lobbing thunderbolts
on the locked ward of his delusions. Down the block, cousin
Ricardo, Bernice’s boy, says that somebody
stole his can of diesel. I heard somebody ask you once what Puerto Rico needed to be free. And you said, “Tres pulgadas
de sangre en la calle: “Three inches of blood in the street.” Now, three inches of mud flow
through the streets of Utuado, and troops patrol the town, as if guarding the vein
of copper in the ground. As if a shovel digging
graves in the backyard might strike the ore below. As if la brigada swinging
machetes to clear the road might remember the last uprising. I know you are not God. I have the proof, seven pounds of ashes in
a box on my bookshelf. Gods do not die, and yet I want you to be God again. Stride from the crowd to
seize the president’s arm before another roll of
paper towels sails away. Thunder Spanish obscenities in his face. Banish him to a roofless
rainstorm in Utuado, so he unravels one soaked sheet
after another till there is nothing left but his cardboard heart. I promised myself I would
stop talking to you, white box of gray grit. You were deaf even before you died. Hear my promise now. I will take you to the mountains where houses lost like ships at sea rise blue and yellow from the mud. I will open my hands. I will scatter your ashes in Utuado. (insects chirping) (mesmerizing music) (insects chirping) (mesmerizing music) (insects chirping) (dramatic music) (fast-paced beating) (Oi Una Voz/Me Le Da Memoria
by Felix Alduen Y Su Grupo) (singing in foreign language) (audience cheering and clapping) (audience cheering and clapping) Please put your hands
together one more time for Danza Organica. (audience cheering and clapping) So, I have to read this bio, but before I read the bio
of our next performer, for those of you who were not in the room when Quisol was talking about when we met. I was coming out of my house, I was with one of my bestest friends, and I hear this voice say, “Hey, you’re Amanda Shea all day.” And I was like, “Yeah, that’s me.” Now, I’m freaked out because
I’m right in front of my home. So, I’m like, “Who is this person?” And Quisol says, “I’m Quisol,
I see you on Instagram. “We should do lunch.” (laughing) Listen. I’m like, “Yeah, we should get together.” And when Quisol likes you and
wants to have lunch with you, Quisol’s gonna make sure
that that happens, okay? Coco Leaf is amazing. Quisol, that day, we had sat down. That was the first time ever
of us having a face-to-face conversation and meeting each other. And when I say our souls intertwined that day, it was like I was speaking into a mirror. Somebody who knew exactly my vision, where I saw art, what
I saw in our community, and had those same desires,
those same passions, that same drive to go
out there and make sure that our community unites. Doesn’t matter black, brown, white, non-binary, queer, it didn’t matter. It was about unity. And Quisol, that day, touched
my heart in so many ways, and then introduced me to other people who also were of like-mind
and like-spirit and like-soul. I am just honored at the fact that Quisol said, “You’re Amanda
Shea all day” on the street. That was a light stun
for me ’cause I was like, “Yes, “that’s me.” And Bacari JB was with me
that day, and was like, “You know everybody.” And I’m like, “No, see,
but they know me though.” We laughed and it was an amazing moment. And from that moment, I met so
many other beautiful people. Now, I’m introduced to Joy,
and Maryann, and Jasmine, and I’m connected to the bay. I still have yet to go.
I know, I listen. This summer. So, California it is. Just welcomed me with open arms. I am just honored to be able to introduce Quisol to the stage. But that’s just my intro, I’m
gonna actually read the bio. Is that okay?
Y’all still with me? (audience cheering) You don’t like the bio? QUISOL: Let me see this bio. You wanna proofread the bio? I like it. I had to look up one of the words because I didn’t know what it meant. That’s why I don’t like the bio. Okay.
(laughing) Let me see, let me see, let me see. What’d y’all say about me out here? Revolutionary love, uh huh. Yes, that’s why I was like– Alright, alright.
Alright, alright, okay. (laughing) Those boots, hunty! I’m a size 10, I can’t, but Imma try. Imma try.
(laughing) Imma try. I promise you. I’m gonna read Quisol’s bio. Quisol’s music is rooted
in revolutionary love. I can’t even. I’m so nervous because I’m like. Okay, I’m sorry. Alright. We’re gonna start over. (laughing) Quisol’s music is rooted
in revolutionary love and why can I not speak? Decolonial praxis, there we go. A Bay Area-based artist. I’m comin’ to visit. An organizer from Charlotte with roots in the
Philippines and Puerto Rico. Ay, que? Quisol’s music, LatinaXFuture, works to challenge hegemonic norms about artistry, self expression,
sensuality, and sexuality. Quisol’s success in the
underground DIY scene caused waves. Very true. And soon, the band was
asked to play at events and venues across Charlotte. Throughout 2017, the band recorded The World Keeps Turning EP, woot woot, with Rahsaan Lacey and Dan Wallace from the electric music group RUMOR. Quisol independently released
a project in February 2018, the project was graciously funded by the LAB grant, woot woot, The Boston Foundation, and was co-facilitated with
Arts Connect International. Without further adieu, please welcome my dear friend, Quisol! (audience cheering and clapping) (guitar tuning) Wow, I think Dom Jones is coming up. Where is Dom Jones at? Can we please meet each other, and say hi before this is all, you know. We’re gonna do that. Wow. Just wow. So much talent in here. So many beautiful people. So many young people dancing. Thank you, too. What’s up?
Yeah! I’m truly, deeply honored, grateful, privileged to be here. I have so much to say. Let me turn of the reverb. I have so much to say and not
enough time to say it all, but I hope that these songs convey a little bit of what’s in
my heart for all you here, and a little bit of what we are doing. What we are doing. What we, all of us, together, are doing. We did this. We did this. (guitar warming up) So, that last dance
performance really inspired me because there was this
moment at the beginning. This movement, in which they were walking and some of them could get ahead, and some of them kept getting pulled back. I feel like, from my lineage, my people, as they said earlier
where all my people are, I’m a lucky one who was able to was trying, was trying, and somehow they let me break through. I found some loophole, and I found my way up on the
stage in front of you today. And the whole responsibility that I
feel inside right now for being that lucky
one who broke through, is to give back and to multiply. And what did they say earlier? Ice me out, Quisol. Hey! So, yeah, I’m trying to get us all iced out on the good stuff. Alright, enough chit chatting. Time for some music. (necklaces rattling) ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Shooting diamonds ♪
♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Shooting diamonds ♪
♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Shooting diamonds ♪
♪ Mm ♪ ♪ Shooting diamonds ♪
♪ Mm ♪ (whistles)
♪ Shooting diamonds ♪ ♪ Mm ♪
(whistles) ♪ Shooting diamonds ♪ ♪ Mm ♪
(whistles) ♪ Shooting diamonds ♪ ♪ Mm ♪
(whistles) ♪ Shooting diamonds ♪
(whistles) ♪ Mm ♪
(whistles) ♪ Shooting diamonds ♪
(whistles) (voice and whistling echoing repeatedly) (mesmerizing music) ♪ Ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ ♪ Ooh ♪ ♪ Who are you ♪ ♪ Who are you ♪ ♪ Who are you ♪ ♪ Who are you ♪ ♪ Who are you ♪ ♪ Who are you coming from ♪ ♪ Who are you people coming from ♪ ♪ Who are you people coming from ♪ ♪ Who are you people coming from ♪ ♪ Who are you people coming from ♪ ♪ Don’t forget who are you ♪ ♪ Don’t you forget who your mother was ♪ ♪ And what she gave you ♪ ♪ And what she made you ♪ ♪ Who your daddy was ♪ ♪ And what he made you ♪ ♪ He made you ♪ (lyrics echoing repeatedly) We have a livestream and I know my parents are
watching from North Carolina. Thank you, Mom, and thank you, Dad. ♪ What made you ♪ ♪ What gave you ♪ ♪ Who your daddy was ♪ ♪ What made you ♪
♪ What gave you ♪ ♪ Who your momma was ♪ ♪ Who your daddy was ♪ ♪ And who he made you ♪ ♪ And what she made you to be ♪ (vocalizing beats) (vocalizing beats) (relaxing uptempo music) (vocalizing beats) ♪ Everything and one
thing at the same time ♪ ♪ Yeah, it’s everything and
one thing at the same time ♪ ♪ The universe is
everything and one thing ♪ ♪ At the same time ♪ ♪ Yeah, it’s everything and
one thing at the same time ♪ ♪ Yeah, it’s everything and
one thing at the same time ♪ ♪ Yeah, it’s everything and
one thing at the same time ♪ ♪ Yeah, it’s everything and
one thing at the same time ♪ ♪ Yeah, it’s every thing and
one thing at the same time ♪ ♪ Yeah, it’s everything and
one thing at the same time ♪ ♪ Everything and one
thing at the same time ♪ ♪ Yeah, it’s everything
and one thing at the same ♪ ♪ Time ♪ Thank you, guys. (audience cheering and clapping) Let me check my notes. Yeah, that song was called
Everything And One Thing. It is a feeling of gratitude
for everything that is here, everything in the universe. And remember that we’re one thing, we’re one family, all together. We’re those kids, you know? We’re joy, we’re pain, we’re suffering, but we’re also laughter, and playfulness. And we manage to be all of that at the same time as humanity. So, that’s what that’s about. This next song is called Let’s Go. It’s on the album that’s coming out. There’s an album coming out. Where’s Luke Martinez? Luke Martinez is mixing and
mastering a lot of this project, They are a pro, hit them up. I’m grateful for the LAB
grant for helping me pay Luke and all these people for doing things. That’s always nice. But yes, this album’s called Revelations. Revelations, who read the Bible? Who read all the Bible? Not me, but I read a lot
of the important parts, and Revelations is the end. It’s the last book, but
it’s also the beginning. What better way to start
the rest of your life than with the end of the world? Have you died yet today? Have you died yet today? That’s a question I ask
myself all the time. It’s my mantra.
When it comes to my head, have I died yet today,
I say, “Oh, yes, I have “because I thought of that question.” And that’s just remembering
how finite this life is, and how every moment has to count. Sometimes, you do have to be quiet, but sometimes, there’s
moments where you can be loud, and be up here filling this space. Hint, hint. Everyone else come on up. Yes. Revelations, coming soon. It will be on Bandcamp
probably Monday night. Monday night.
Alright. Thank you. This song is called Let’s Go because it’s about the Charlotte uprising. I’m from North Carolina,
from North Carolina, from North Carolina. Somehow, we all made our
way up here to New England. There was a moment when the
people really got together out of this tragedy that
was police brutality. The side effect, the
necessary thing that happened, was we all came together,
and we started making art, and we started making culture. Much like we are here today. So, this is called Let’s Go. Let’s all of us go. (airy slow tempo music) ♪ Stuck in my head tonight ♪ ♪ I wonder if anyone sees the light ♪ ♪ Maybe it’s wrong or right ♪ ♪ I don’t know ♪ ♪ But I hope one day it shows ♪ ♪ I wonder in my head tonight ♪ ♪ I wonder if anyone sees the light ♪ ♪ Maybe it’s wrong or right ♪ ♪ I don’t know ♪ ♪ But I hope one day it shows ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ (airy slow tempo music) ♪ Said I wonder in my head tonight ♪ ♪ I wonder if anyone sees the light ♪ ♪ Fist raised high we fight ♪ ♪ I know we must go ♪ ♪ And the love will pave the road ♪ ♪ So let’s go ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ ♪ Let’s go ♪ ♪ Said I wonder in my head tonight ♪ ♪ I wonder if anyone feels the light ♪ ♪ Fist raised high we fight ♪ ♪ I know we must go ♪ ♪ And the love will pave the road ♪ ♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah ♪ Love will pave the road. (audience clapping) We’ve got three more, if that’s okay. One more?
Three more? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Woo! Three more’s good, okay. (laughing) This next one is a song
called Hummingbird, and it’s a song I dedicate
to a lot of people, a lot of friends, who I lost. Actually, I was with ACI
and the Youth United Artists the moment that I found
that my friend, Monte, had passed away. My friend Monte Qarlo
who was a great musician, great organizer out of Atlanta, very queer, very black, very proud, amazing influence. The music video is kind of a montage of cell phone videos of
moments we shared together and that he shared on
the stage with people. If you find me on YouTube,
Quisol Hummingbird, you’ll see it.
It’s a… memorial to Monte. This song is for them, and for all people who
have loved and lost. And it’s the feeling of
the beauty within the dirt, the beauty within the tragedy. (soothing music) ♪ We drove for miles
under the Georgia sky ♪ ♪ I left my world behind ♪ ♪ To see The Rock on higher ground ♪ ♪ We took off blissful
and headed to town ♪ ♪ To see the world you left ♪ ♪ And yes the air was drenched ♪ ♪ With the memory of the life you left ♪ ♪ Oh the atmosphere it held you ♪ ♪ And there I held you too ♪ ♪ Oh hummingbird ♪ ♪ Sing your ancient song ♪ ♪ Let the wind blow through my hair ♪ ♪ And let us sing along ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ Oh hummingbird ♪ ♪ Sing your ancient song ♪ ♪ Let the wind blow through my hair ♪ ♪ And let us sing along ♪ (audience cheering) ♪ And then to see you
there among the rubble ♪ ♪ I can’t ♪ ♪ I don’t know ♪ ♪ I see the wreckage of a
lifetime before me there ♪ ♪ And then to see you
there among the rubble ♪ ♪ I don’t know ♪ ♪ I see the waters rise ♪ ♪ And I’m drowning next to you ♪ ♪ Oh hummingbird ♪ ♪ Sing your ancient song ♪ ♪ Let the wind blow through my hair ♪ ♪ And let us sing along ♪ ♪ Oh ♪ ♪ Oh hummingbird ♪ ♪ Sing your ancient song ♪ ♪ Let the wind blow through my hair ♪ ♪ And let us sing along ♪ ♪ Oh hummingbird ♪ ♪ Sing your ancient song ♪ ♪ Let the wind blow through my hair ♪ ♪ And let us sing along ♪ ♪ Oh hummingbird ♪ ♪ Sing your ancient song ♪ ♪ Let the wind blow through my hair ♪ ♪ And let us sing along ♪ (relaxing music) ♪ We drove for miles
under the Georgia sky ♪ ♪ I left my world behind ♪ ♪ To see The Rock on higher ground ♪ ♪ I left there asking
what will we do now ♪ ♪ Mm ♪ Thank you. (audience cheering and clapping) Is this mic on? Can we turn it on, please? Wow, thank you, Mone. (audience cheering and clapping) Wow, Luke Martinez, everyone look. Check one, two.
Check one, two. Is there a reverb on this? Question mark. You can just use that one.
Okay. And I’ll use that one.
Are you sure? I’m positive. Great. Check, check. Hello. My name is Luke Martinez. I’ve been helping Quisol
a bit with his album, and they asked me to feature on this song. I’m very happy to be performing it. It’s called The Cards. We produced it together when I was living in LA for a little bit and they came to visit me. ♪ I know I’m the one you’re calling ♪ It’s a bop. Can we turn this one up? (hypnotizing music) ♪ I like the way ♪ Check one, two. Alright, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. Let’s do it. Whenever. Ooh, I’m not that tall. There we go. Equity, mm-hmm. Model of equity, adjustable sliding scale. I love a sliding scale. We love a sliding scale. Alright, let’s do it. Alright. (relaxing music) AUDIENCE MEMBER: Woo! ♪ Even when you’re gone so far ♪ ♪ I know I’m the one you’re calling ♪ ♪ Even when we’re far apart ♪ ♪ You know that I’ll still be calling ♪ ♪ I like the way ♪ ♪ We’re like the way the
planets stay in orbit ♪ ♪ I’ll be back for sure ♪ ♪ But we should take some
time to be alone in quiet ♪ ♪ Tell me those words in the quiet ♪ ♪ Listen to me in the quiet ♪ ♪ I can finally breathe in the quiet ♪ ♪ But I want your music tu baile ♪ ♪ You’re stuck in my head ♪ ♪ And I’m goin’ to need
someone to vibe with ♪ ♪ Need someone to run away ♪ ♪ Let it be me ♪ ♪ And let me know what else I can bring ♪ ♪ Just let me come along ♪ (singing in foreign language) ♪ You say the words and
you keep them locked away ♪ ♪ Keep them locked away ♪ ♪ Cause I just wanna use them right ♪ ♪ And I know when you’re ♪ ♪ I know when you’re coming ♪ (singing in foreign language) ♪ But I need your music tu baile ♪ ♪ You’re stuck in my head now baby ♪ ♪ Do you need someone to vibe with ♪ ♪ Need someone to run away ♪ (singing in foreign language) ♪ Cause I know when you’re coming ♪ ♪ I know what’s coming baby ♪ ♪ I know when you’re coming ♪ ♪ And I know that it’s coming baby, baby ♪ ♪ It’s not like I’d be
nothing without you ♪ ♪ But I can’t seem to keep
you off my mind these days ♪ ♪ I know when you’re coming baby ♪ ♪ I know when you’re coming ♪ ♪ I know when you’re coming baby ♪ ♪ I know when you’re coming ♪ ♪ I know what is coming baby ♪ ♪ Baby ♪ ♪ Baby ♪ ♪ Baby ♪ Thank you. (audience cheering and clapping) Thank you, all. (audience cheering and clapping) I have one more song if that’s okay. Do we have time? How are we on time? (audience cheering and clapping) How are we on time because
we gotta make room time. It’s time to go, right? Alright, good. The next song I was gonna
play is gonna be on my album. So, you just gotta listen to it there. What’s next? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Woo hoo! Y’all give it up one more time for Quisol. (audience cheering and clapping) Who do you got on the instruments? This is Sharad Wertheimer and Allison Rosen, owner of The Chapstick Room in Somerville. (audience cheering and clapping) Stronghold of lesbian culture. We go back to high school. Jazz band in high school,
my brother’s jazz band, I just was visiting. We’ve been together for a long time. Y’all give it up one more time for Quisol! (audience cheering and clapping) How y’all feelin’?
How y’all doin’? We’re at the last act. And I’ve been asking you
all to do a lot of stuff. I totally, totally get it, but I’ve got one more thing
that I have to ask y’all to do. Is that okay? (audience members mumbling) I saw your face, you
were like, “What is it?” Can I ask all of you all,
even people at the tables, if y’all can just get
up and crowd this area right here for me, please? Because we have our last
artist to the stage tonight, and I would really appreciate it if you all could just join us. ‘Cause we got Dom Jones up next who’s about to close out our show here, our Arts Equity Summit. I just wanna say for the record, thank you all for still being here. Thank you all for participating. Thank you all for just
being amazing beings and gathering and sharing arts tonight and culture with us, I really
appreciate all of y’all. And I love how participatory
you all are, it’s amazing. Allegra, please, can you? (stammering) Just one sec, cool. So, we’re gonna have
Dom Jones to the stage. Dom Jones is from Oakland, California, has been electrifying
crowds since her teens seamlessly between R&B, soul, and hip-hop. Finding her love of music
in church as a child, she aims to elevate every
performance to a divine frequency. The founder and Principle
Artist at Dom Empire. She believes that her passion
for music and social justice are intractably connected, a message at the forefront of her work, an International Songwriting
competition winner in 2014. What? Can we just get a round
of applause for that? (audience cheering and clapping) Dom released her first album,
Wingspan, that same year. The Songs for Social Change Competition has recognized her music for three years in a row,
2016, 2017, and 2018. Dom performed at her first
festival in summer 2018 at the Boston Arts and Music Soul Festival with her band. That’s BAMS Fest if y’all
don’t know the acronym. I saw that, I was there. She is a 2019 Hear Her Song composer through the Canales Project, and is finishing her degree at the prestigious Berklee
College of Music this spring. (audience cheering and clapping) She has shared stages
with Mos Def, Talib Kweli. Imma say that again, she has shared stages with
Mos Def and Talib Kweli, Goapele, and even President Barack Obama. (audience cheering and clapping) I said I wasn’t gonna say, but okur! She is currently finishing her third album expected to release in 2019. You can follow Dom Jones
at www.iamdomjones.com. And without further adieu,
please put your hands together and give all your energy for Dom Jones! (audience cheering and clapping) (soft piano music) How y’all doing tonight?
Y’all still with us? (audience cheering) My name is Dom Jones, and
this first song is called Be Great, it’s by Kevin Ross. He’s also a Berklee alum. ♪ Do you wanna be great ♪ ♪ Gonna be great ♪ ♪ Gonna be great ♪ ♪ Do you wanna be great ♪ ♪ I wanna be, I wanna be ♪ ♪ Great ♪ ♪ Wanna be great ♪ ♪ It’s time to shift the
culture, move the focus ♪ ♪ Rise above and lose the vultures ♪ ♪ It’s hard to fly when
those that’s close to you ♪ ♪ Keep pulling you down ♪ ♪ Off my chest no more excuses ♪ ♪ I’m scared to fly I’m
scared to lose grip ♪ ♪ I’m scared to jump, I’m scared to fly ♪ ♪ I’m scared of you,
I’m scared of myself ♪ ♪ What is life if I can’t be ♪ ♪ Great ♪ ♪ Great ♪ ♪ And if I die on my knees ♪ ♪ Let it be cause I’m praying ♪ ♪ And God’s saying,
“Well done, well done” ♪ ♪ Cause I’m gonna be great ♪ ♪ Gonna be great ♪ ♪ Gonna be great ♪ ♪ I’m gonna be great ♪ ♪ I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be great ♪ ♪ Gonna be great ♪ ♪ Still a champion even
though I was holding me back ♪ ♪ No shoulderin’ that ♪ ♪ Show me where the podium’s at ♪ ♪ I’m a speaker and a rapper ♪ ♪ I’m a keeper and I’m
after all the people ♪ ♪ When the rafters holy to that ♪ ♪ Hear my mind is on the wind ♪ ♪ It’s supposed to be that ♪ ♪ Keep your diamonds and your trends ♪ ♪ You can quote me on that ♪ ♪ I can’t deny my wicked pen anymore ♪ ♪ I’m back with something
potent for your ears ♪ ♪ The dopest of tracks ♪ ♪ Breaking up with that girl ♪ ♪ Thought it was our story ♪ ♪ And raise a bigger world ♪ ♪ To revel in God’s glory ♪ ♪ Its my turn ♪ ♪ Settlin’s not for me ♪ ♪ Manifest the vision ♪ ♪ There’s no turning back ♪ ♪ People question exactly
what I’m gonna bring ♪ ♪ I’m just thinking less if
they’re worried about a thing ♪ ♪ What she rap, produce, poetry, sing ♪ ♪ Honestly I wanna be great ♪ ♪ Gonna be great ♪ ♪ Gonna be great ♪ ♪ Gonna be great ♪ ♪ I wanna be great ♪ ♪ I’m gonna be great ♪ ♪ See I wanna be great ♪ ♪ I wanna be great ♪ ♪ I wanna be great ♪ ♪ I’m gonna be great ♪ ♪ I promise, I promise, I promise ♪ ♪ I’m gonna be great ♪ ♪ I’m gonna be great ♪ That was Be Great by Kevin Ross. (audience cheering) Can I get a mic stand? Thank you. This song is called Grace. I wrote it one Christmas
when I went home to Oakland and there were tent cities all
around the city of Oakland. That’s because the natives were being pushed out by gentrification. They had full time jobs, but they were still living in tent cities. I thought about the conception and the misperception we
have of homeless people, and who’s the face of homelessness. I wrote this song because
I think there comes a point in all of our lives where
we need a little grace. ♪ Dark alleys where they never traveled ♪ ♪ Where garbage was kept ♪ ♪ That’s where she slept ♪ ♪ Nobody ever cared about her ♪ ♪ They could do without her ♪ ♪ The sight of her, the scent ♪ ♪ She always smiled when
they passed her by ♪ ♪ Kept her laughs and cries ♪ ♪ Tucked away inside ♪ ♪ They never stopped on the avenue ♪ ♪ Till they found her black and blue ♪ ♪ From the hatred and the cold ♪ ♪ What will we do with the lost among us ♪ ♪ The one’s who’ve been
dealt the coldest hand ♪ ♪ Will we atone for their vanishing face ♪ ♪ Face, face ♪ ♪ There before the Grace go I ♪ ♪ Go I ♪ ♪ Go I ♪ Y’all can snap or clap ♪ There before the Grace go I ♪ ♪ Go I ♪ ♪ Go I ♪ ♪ They tried to bury
things they never know ♪ ♪ We turned into trees ♪ ♪ Yes we would grow ♪ ♪ Every breath they took
was from my branches ♪ ♪ We would heal the land
it’s impossible to own ♪ ♪ We always tried though
they knocked us down ♪ ♪ Tried to stop the sound ♪ ♪ Of a sacred tribe ♪ ♪ We will forgive but never forget ♪ ♪ How you play Russian roulette ♪ ♪ With our stories, with our souls ♪ ♪ What will we do with the lost among us ♪ ♪ The one’s who’ve been
dealt the coldest hand ♪ ♪ Will we atone for
their vanishing face, ♪ ♪ Face, face ♪ ♪ There before the Grace go I ♪ ♪ Go I ♪ ♪ Go I ♪ ♪ There before the Grace go I ♪ ♪ Go I ♪ ♪ Go I ♪ ♪ They say he got no ambition,
he just sick of pretending ♪ ♪ Them checks every two weeks
are no longer fulfilling ♪ ♪ Makin’ it rain, don’t take the pain ♪ ♪ He disengaged from the
war for which he pays ♪ ♪ His tax dollars bombed Syria,
it was while eating cereal ♪ ♪ Looking in the mirror all
the stuff like it’s hysteria ♪ ♪ Looking for a miracle,
never been political ♪ ♪ Human life and politics
so now he on a mission ♪ ♪ If he quit his job how
will he pay his momma rent ♪ ♪ They’re already gentrified ♪ ♪ He vied for every cent ♪ ♪ Wanna be global citizen,
locally they’re killing him ♪ ♪ Not just don’t liberate
him the way he envisioned ♪ ♪ How can he continue to
contribute to the genocide ♪ ♪ The systematic
imprisonment of his mind ♪ ♪ He’s compromising 40 hours of his life ♪ ♪ To spend on richer men ♪ ♪ Who don’t care if he
livin’ or if he dyin’ ♪ ♪ I ♪ ♪ Go I ♪ ♪ Go I ♪ ♪ There before the Grace go I ♪ ♪ Go I ♪ ♪ Go I ♪ ♪ There before the Grace go I ♪ I see y’all. You can dance. ♪ There before the Grace go I ♪ What’s up? (audience cheering and clapping) How you doing? That was Grace, that was an original tune. My album is coming out this year. I’m gonna put that in the universe. (audience cheering and clapping) I’m excited for that track to come out because I know that gentrification is not confined to Oakland. It’s happening everywhere
including in Boston. This is like a community event, so I like to do community
participation when I’m up here. Some of this work that’s
done in social justice and arts equity is tough. It gets heavy sometimes
when you see how people are actually affected by inequity. Sometimes, you just need somebody to tell you that everything’s
gonna be alright. We’re gonna do this PJ Morton song called Everything Is Gonna Be Alright. I’m gonna say something, and then you guys are gonna say, “Everything’s gonna be alright.” Because I feel like if
you say that enough times, you put that energy out into the universe, and some things start shifting, some people’s minds start
changing along with the work. Music is gonna shift it. So, y’all ready? (audience cheering) Alright. My band’s gonna help me out too. (laughing) ♪ Some people never change their minds ♪ ♪ Everything’s gonna be alright ♪ ♪ Well either way we’re
gonna be just fine ♪ ♪ Everything’s gonna be alright ♪ ♪ Even when you try to put me down ♪ ♪ Everything’s gonna be alright ♪ ♪ Well see I’m still here ♪ ♪ Let me adjust my crown ♪ ♪ Everything’s gonna be alright ♪ ♪ It will be alright ♪ ♪ Alright ♪ ♪ Alright ♪ ♪ Alright ♪ ♪ It will be alright ♪ ♪ Alright ♪ ♪ Alright ♪ Y’all ready?
It’s y’all turn again. ♪ Two steps forward, ten steps back ♪ ♪ Everything’s gonna be alright ♪ ♪ Killing us dead, black
lives don’t matter ♪ ♪ Everything’s gonna be alright ♪ ♪ I can hear you loud and clear ♪ ♪ Everything’s gonna be alright ♪ ♪ It feels like you don’t want me here ♪ ♪ Everything’s gonna be alright ♪ ♪ But it will be alright ♪ ♪ Alright ♪ ♪ Alright ♪ ♪ Alright ♪ ♪ It will alright ♪ ♪ Alright ♪ ♪ Alright ♪ ♪ Alright ♪ Right now, I’m gonna
introduce you to my band. (audience cheering) Because they have been working
so hard behind me so far. On bass we got the lovely Donna Roth. Give it up for Donna. (audience cheering and clapping) On drums we got Jarrell,
The Chop Bandit, Campbell. Give it up for Jarrell. (audience cheering and clapping) On keys we got a Boston native right here. Give it up for George Russel III. (audience cheering and clapping) And again, my name is Dom Jones. (audience cheering and clapping) So repeat after me. ♪ Everything’s gonna be alright ♪ ♪ One, two, three, hit it ♪ ♪ Everything’s gonna be alright ♪ On Saturday, when y’all
come back tomorrow, ♪ Everything’s gonna be alright ♪ And then, when you close
on Sunday, the big finish, ♪ Everything’s gonna be alright ♪ Alright. (audience cheering and clapping) (upbeat funk music) Y’all ready for the big finish? One, two, three, hit it. ♪ Everything’s gonna be alright ♪ (audience cheering and clapping) Yeah! So, I want y’all to remember that song. If you don’t know PJ Morton,
get hip, he’s so dope. He’s actually gonna be
in Boston on May 3rd, so check him out live at City
Winery if you get the chance. This is gonna be our last tune. [Audience Members] Aw. Thank you for doing that. (audience laughing) I think sometimes artists say, “This is gonna be our last tune.” just for the awes. (audience laughing) And then if they don’t get it,
we don’t give the validation. So, I appreciate the aw. (laughing) A lot of my songs are
social justice songs. This song is called Saying Nothing. I wrote it because there’s
plenty, and plenty, an abundance of social media,
social justice, warriors. But the work just doesn’t
happen on social media. It’s a means to spread the word. It’s a means to educate, but the real work happens on the ground. It happens in people’s faces,
it happens in Washington, in your Congress person’s face. For those of us who may believe that we need to break down the system, you still gotta understand the
system to break the system. I wrote this song called Saying Nothing to illuminate some of the injustices, but also to remind us that
we gotta say something, and then we gotta do something. I appreciate all of
you coming out tonight, because by being in this room, you are activating what you say. ♪ Bombs drop on babies slow ♪ ♪ We just worry about the latest TV show ♪ ♪ And I’m ♪ ♪ Guilty ♪ ♪ American ignorance ♪ ♪ No knowledge ’bout how taxes spent ♪ ♪ Blood on our hands and in our eyes ♪ ♪ From clips empty ♪ ♪ F the police but support the troops ♪ ♪ Cognitive dissonance our excuse ♪ ♪ If we don’t learn Babylon will burn ♪ ♪ We’re dying but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ We’re lying but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Protesting but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Got arrested and ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ We’re at war and ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Working poor but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Hear ya talking but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Ya talking but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Politicians doing dirt ♪ ♪ We re-elect them, then they turn ♪ ♪ And I’m still here ♪ ♪ The legislation that they passed ♪ ♪ Is recycling a wretched past ♪ ♪ Repeat ♪ ♪ History ♪ ♪ Stop the violence but
protect our youths ♪ ♪ Cognitive dissonance our excuse ♪ ♪ If we don’t learn Babylon will burn ♪ ♪ We dyin’ but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ They lyin’ but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Protesting but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Got arrested and ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ We’re at war and ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Workin’ poor but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Hear ya talkin’ but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Ya talkin’ ♪ ♪ So when they killin’ us ♪ ♪ Say something, say something ♪ ♪ When they’re stealin’ from us ♪ ♪ When we shed our blood ♪ ♪ Say something, say something ♪ ♪ ‘Cause we are one ♪ ♪ So when they’re killin’ us ♪ ♪ Say something, say something ♪ ♪ When they’re killing from us ♪ ♪ When we should’ve learned ♪ ♪ Say something, say something ♪ ♪ Cause we are one ♪ Let’s do that again. ♪ When they’re killin’ us ♪ ♪ Say something, say something ♪ ♪ They’re stealin’ from us ♪ ♪ When we shed our blood ♪ ♪ Say something, say something ♪ ♪ ‘Cause we are one ♪ ♪ We’re dyin’ but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ They’re lyin’ but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Protesting but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Got arrested but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ We’re at war and ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Workin’ poor but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Hear ya talking but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ ♪ Ya talking but ain’t
nobody saying nothing ♪ (audience cheering and clapping) Thank you guys so much. I wanna thank Arts International Connect and the Arts Equity
Summit, all the sponsors, the host Amanda Shea all day, girl, yeah! I wanna thank Joy, Ola, everybody who was involved
in putting this together. And most of all, I wanna
thank y’all for coming out and believing that artists
need equity because we do. We do. Have a great night, thank you so much. My name is Dom Jones.
Good night. (audience cheering and clapping) (upbeat funk music) (clapping) Let’s give it up one
more time for Dom Jones! (audience cheering and clapping) Yes! AMANDA: Now, it’s all you, baby. It is the conclusion of our night, but you do not have to go home yet. WOMAN: Get up out of here. LOL. So, this is the last call for alcohol. Y’all like how that rhymed? I am a poet, thank you very much. So, you have about 15, 20 minutes to get your last drink, last-ish drink. The bartenders are back
there, please tip them. AMANDA: Tip your bartender. Tip your bartenders! Thank y’all so, so, so
much for coming out. MAN: Thank you, Joy! Thank you!
Thank you, Joy. (audience cheering and clapping) Let’s give it up one more time for all of our artists tonight, all of our performers tonight. (audience cheering and clapping) Thank all of our artists, our performers, for coming out. We did have some visual
artists in the back. Hopefully, you guys showed them some love. Thank you so much for showing love to our performers tonight. Thank you so much for coming out. For everyone who has an all-access pass, we will see you bright
and early in the morning at the Institute for Contemporary Art for our Keynote at 9:00. Yes, hopefully I got that time right. Marian, please don’t kill me. Okay, 11:00 tomorrow. Okay. Yes, that’s our set, 11:00, yes. We have a… Yes, ICA at 9:00, I think. I think. It’s okay, we will see
y’all in the morning. Check your programs,
cause those are important. Like I said, it’s last call for alcohol. Please tip your bartenders. We are gonna get up out of here. We will do a final announcement
when y’all do have to go.

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