Archive for July, 2012

Posted on: July 31st, 2012 by Elisa No Comments

Directors Call for IMPACT 2012’s
Directors’ Weekend: American Foreign Policy (apply by Aug 3)

Culture Project is seeking proposals from directors for its second IMPACT Directors’ Weekend, August 24-25 as part of Culture Project’s IMPACT 2012 Festival: A Festival of Political Art drawing attention to important issues leading up to the 2012 Election.

Beginning July 14 through August 25, Culture Project’s mainstage is being offered to artists, activists, musicians, directors, economists, provocateurs, filmmakers, occupiers, transformers, patriots and visionaries. The festival will consist of documentaries, satirical and political comedy, and new theater created by emerging and established artists along with provocative conversations focusing on subjects crucial to the decision making process and the preservation of our democracy and constitution. One of Culture Project’s oldest initiatives, the goal of the Directors’ Weekend is to create a laboratory for new ideas and inspiration, and to provide opportunities for directors to put their work in dialogue with one another and to participate in our national conversation.

For the final weekend of the festival, we are asking directors to consider the humane and inhumane aspects of American Foreign Policy, how our atrocities have been concealed from the American people and what level of atrocity is necessary to compel the American public into action. We’re interested in how you explore and address the following prompt in your own work and are inviting you to propose a 10-15 minute piece in response. Work can be completely original, an interpretation of a classic, or anything in between. Each selected director will be given a small production grant towards the piece, to be allocated as he or she sees fit, limited rehearsal time and tech time in the space.
August 24-25

What are the most egregious contemporary and historical uses of power engaged in by current and previous administrations? How has the media played a complicit role in these atrocities? What potential solutions should be explored?

Selected proposals will be presented in a festival format in Culture Project’s mainstage theater at 45 Bleecker St. on Friday August 24 at 7PM and Saturday August 25 at 7PM. Tech will take place between 10 and 6 on Thursday August 23 and Friday August 24. Please apply only if you are available on these days.

Please send your resume, two references and one page describing your proposed project to by Friday August 3 at 12:00PM. Accepted directors will be notified by Monday, August 6th.

Directors of all experiences and backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Posted on: July 26th, 2012 by Culture Project No Comments

UPDATE: Sinking Ship

Last night in New York, Chris Hedges, used his tongue like a machete to rip liberal imposters, corporate hegemony, normalized corruption, venal politicians, exploding cultural hedonism and deluded platitudes about American democracy to shreds in a conversation called ‘Sinking Ship’ as part of Culture Project’s IMPACT 2012 festival. With equal passion, he inspired those present to participate in powerful movements of disciplined and strategic civil disobedience.

Hedges and cartoonist/journalist Joe Sacco have a new book: Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (Nation Books), which Hedges signed after the discussion. It’s a shocking portrait of four shattered communities, languishing in grinding poverty and environmental destruction ranging from Pine Ridge, South Dakota to Immokalee, Florida. Symptoms of ‘unfettered capitalism’—these ‘sacrifice zones’, have broken out like festering sores on our body politic. They’ve been “offered up for exploitation in the name of profit,” Hedges said, “and they’re coming for us next,” he warned.

The discussion was moderated by Majority Report’s Sam Seder. He was joined by the Roosevelt Institute’s Rob Johnson, Patrick Markee of Coalition for the Homeless and Taylor Jo Isenberg, National Director of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network. Deep Dish TV taped the conversation. Stay tuned for broadcast details.

Posted on: July 25th, 2012 by Culture Project No Comments

TONIGHT: Sinking Ship

Tonight at Culture Project, as part of IMPACT 2012, Sam Seder, talk show host of The Majority Report, will moderate a conversation on banks, government, the housing crisis & Occupy. He will be joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Chris Hedges author and columnist for Truthdig, Robert Johnson the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking and a Senior Fellow and Director of the Global Finance Project at the Roosevelt Institute, Taylor Jo Isenberg the National Director, Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, and Patrick Markee, a Senior Policy Analyst for Coalition for the Homeless.

A performance by The Civilians, a noted Obie award-winning theater company, will share performances from their Occupy Your Mind grassroots project that is dedicated to collecting the living history of the Occupy movement through interviews and live performances.

Chris Hedges will sign copies of his latest book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, a collaboration with cartoonist Joe Sacco, after the discussion. His book is a searing on-the-ground report about the ‘sacrifice zones’, “… those places that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement.”

In Hedges’ introduction he begins by noting the following:

• highest poverty rate, both generally and for children;
• greatest inequality of incomes;
• lowest government spending as a percentage of GDP on social programs for the disadvantaged;
• lowest average number of days for paid holiday, annual leaves, and maternity leaves;
• lowest score on the United Nations index of “material well-being of children”’
• worst score on the United Nations gender inequality index;
• lowest social mobility
• highest public and private expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP

• highest infant mortality rate;
• highest prevalence of mental-health problems;
• highest obesity rate;
• highest proportion of population going without health care due to cost;
• second lowest birth-weight for children per capita, behind only Japan;
• highest consumption of antidepressants per capita;
• third-shortest life expectancy at birth, behind only Denmark and Portugal;
• highest carbon dioxide emissions and water consumption per capita;
• second-lowest score on the World Economic Forum’s environmental performance index, behind only Belgium;
• third-largest ecological footprint per capita, behind only Belgium and Denmark;
• highest rate of failure to ratify international agreements;
• lowest spending on international development and humanitarian assistance as a percentage of GDP;
• highest military spending as a portion of GDP’
• largest international arms sales;
• fourth-worst balance of payments, behind only New Zealand, Spain and Portugal;
• third-lowest scores for student performance in math, behind only Portugal and Italy, and far from the top in both science and reading;
• second-highest high-school dropout rate, behind only Spain;
• highest homicide rate
• largest prison population per capita”

The picture that Hedges and Sacco sketch out is not a pretty one; but it’s real. It’s time that we took a look at the kind of pillaging and plundering that is becoming legitimate, institutionalized and legal in this country.

Come and find out what your assignment is in righting our sinking ship of state in a searing, no-holds-barred conversation about the economy and our body politic.

Click HERE for tickets.
The event begins at 7:00 pm at Culture Project.
45 Bleecker St (near the NE corner of Bleecker St and Lafayette)

Posted on: July 24th, 2012 by Elisa No Comments

Recap: Directors’ Weekend: IMPACT

IMPACT 2012 kicked off on July 14 with the first of two Directors’ Weekends. Through 10-15 minute pieces featuring docudrama, clowning, Brecht, Comedia del Arte and musical theater, seven directors made their voices heard on the most important issues in the 2012 election. [Meet the directors]

Photos by Naomi Olson

See what the directors had to say about this exciting weekend of political theater!

“The welcoming environment of the Culture Project team allowed for me and the other directors to focus on telling our stories, our expressions of self, with honesty, excitement and fearless creative abandon, knowing that we were being supported by a great team of leaders and theater-makers who believed in our vision and potential.”
-Reginald Douglas

“The experience was great for me since it allowed me gave me the space, time and resources to grapple with making political work and really examining my artistic practice in relationship to the political situation of the world.”
-Michael Rau

“I can’t express how much I appreciate having the artistic freedom to tackle an issue I care deeply about, take risks artistically, and be connected to a company and other artists who also care about making politically and socially engaged work.”
-Sara Lyons

“IMPACT 2012 Director’s Weekend gave me the rare opportunity to not only explore a topic of my choosing, but to put it in conversation with the work of my talented peers. It was fascinating to see the incredible variety of styles and formats that were used to explore the political issues of our day.”
-Vanessa Lancellotti

“I had a fantastic time creating my piece and working with my incredible team of sophisticated writers and young actors. Choosing young actors to explore mature political issues was terrifying but ultimately rewarding.”
-Joe Barros

“Having the logistical support and backing of Culture Project definitely helped me direct my focus solely on my play and I know that the work was better for it.”
-Ashley Monroe

Posted on: July 21st, 2012 by Culture Project No Comments

Via: Democracy Now!
“Inside Job” Director Charles Ferguson: Where Are the Criminal Prosecutions for Financial Crisis?

The Labor Department has just announced the United States economy gained only 69,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent. We air part two of our interview with Academy Award-winning director Charles Ferguson, who first examined the network of academic, financial and political players who contributed to the nation’s financial crisis in his documentary, “Inside Job.” In his new book, “Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America,” Ferguson draws on newly released court filings to continue his investigation. Ferguson notes the Clinton administration oversaw the most important financial deregulation, and since then, “We’ve seen in the Obama administration very little reform and no criminal prosecutions, and the appointment of a very large number of Wall Street executives to senior positions in the government, including some people who were directly responsible for causing significant portions of the crisis.” Ferguson also calls for raising the salaries of senior regulators and imposing stricter rules for how soon they can lobby for the private sector after leaving the public sector.

[read more at]

Posted on: July 15th, 2012 by Culture Project No Comments

Via: Truthout
Gov. Cuomo Calls for Curbing Money in Politics, but Will Money Infuence His Decision on Fracking?

By David Halperin, Republic Report

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that reducing the role of money in politics will move to the top of his agenda: He will begin a push for campaign finance reform in the state. This is great news. But some are questioning whether Cuomo is ready to put his money where his mouth is right now, on an issue of critical importance: Pressure from big money lobbyists might be a factor pushing Cuomo’s administration toward lifting a moratorium on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Cuomo has indicated he will decide shortly, and he seems to be close to a decision to permit fracking in some areas.

Fracking involves pumping large amounts of water, plus chemicals and sand, underground to extract natural gas. There’s plenty of evidence, especially from Pennsylvania, that fracking can be a terrible deal for local residents, with many of them ripped off in deals leasing their land to energy companies and suffering from contaminated water. (Watch this video).

[read more at]

Posted on: July 12th, 2012 by Allan No Comments

Message from the Artistic Direct on IMPACT 2012

This year’s IMPACT 2012 festival has a necessity and an immediacy—a response shared by many that there is an urgent need to discuss our future. With spontaneity in mind we decided to set forth on the challenging course of creating an open forum of artistic and intellectual expression. We are happy to report there is indeed life in the progressive movement.

We have developed an exciting, rich, and robust schedule of theater, film, conversation, artists, poets, and activists, with new programming added daily. Come visit our activist hub over the summer. If you come once I’m certain you’ll come back.

Warm regards,
Allan Buchman, Founder and Artistic Director

Posted on: July 6th, 2012 by Elisa No Comments

Lineup for Directors’ Weekend: IMPACT Announced

This Saturday, July 14, IMPACT 2012 kicks off with the first of two Directors’ Weekends. Through 10-15 minute pieces featuring docudrama, clowning, Brecht, Commedia del Arte and more, seven directors make their voices heard on the most important issues in the 2012 election.

The directors lined up for this weekend are Joe Barros, Reginald Douglas, Vanessa Lancellotti, Sara Lyons, Ashley Monroe, Jonathon Musser, and Michael Rau. Schedule and tickets available here.

Posted on: July 5th, 2012 by Culture Project No Comments

Re-post: Democracy Now!
Climate Change: ‘This Is Just the Beginning’

By Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan

Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman

Evidence supporting the existence of climate change is pummeling the United States this summer, from the mountain wildfires of Colorado to the recent “derecho” storm that left at least 23 dead and 1.4 million people without power from Illinois to Virginia. The phrase “extreme weather” flashes across television screens from coast to coast, but its connection to climate change is consistently ignored, if not outright mocked. If our news media, including—or especially—the meteorologists, continue to ignore the essential link between extreme weather and climate change, then we as a nation, the greatest per capita polluters on the planet, may not act in time to avert even greater catastrophe.

More than 2,000 heat records were broken last week around the U.S. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the government agency that tracks the data, reported that the spring of 2012 “marked the largest temperature departure from average of any season on record for the contiguous United States.” These record temperatures in May, NOAA says, “have been so dramatically different that they establish a new ‘neighborhood’ apart from the historical year-to-date temperatures.”

[read more on Democracy Now! blog]

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 1,000 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.
© 2012 Amy Goodman