The International Human Rights Art Festival is a growing initiative to connect artists, activists, politicians, and community members through events around the world. We produce art-advocacy events throughout the year, culminating in a week-long Festival. Our artists offer quality, sincerity and beauty -- advocacy art based in the mystical/activist "I am" or "I should," as opposed to the political/religious/oppositional "you are" or "you should." We do not have angry, oppositional or accusatory work on our stage.
Exiled in Africa
Our November IHRAF event highlights two of our African partners, Zimbabwean poet and activist Mbizo Chirasha, currently living in exile in southern Africa, and ASODECOM, a grassroots organization improving life in Burundi. Exiled in Africa will take place on November 20, at Lucky Jack's, 129 Orchard Street, in New York City's Lower East Side. Tickets and further information HERE.
Our December IHRAF event will be held in conjunction with International Human Rights Day on December 10 , 7-8:30 pm, at the Playroom Theater, 151 W. 46th Street, 8th Floor, NY, NY. We will feature an evening of dance, music and warmth. Signed on for the evening are the Dancing Georgina Project, performing Deconstructing Venus; internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter Rachael Sage; Marni Rice, presenting her original musical/text piece "In Search of the Past: Memories of a NY Farm Girl from the 1920’s” and Xiomara Evans, performing a dance/live music piece inspired by Jayne Cortez's poem, "If the Drum is a Woman", and by Edvard Munch's painting, "Woman."
Our February IHRAF event, tentatively scheduled for February 15, in conjunction with Muslim-Jewish Solidarity, will focus on Muslim and Jewish participants sharing their stories,and then sharing some delicious foods which are claimed by members of both cultures and religions. Space and time TBD.
Our April IHRAF event will feature the improvisational group Thank You for Coming Out, interpreting the stories of three Transgender artists and friends of IHRAF. We will also be celebrating the nation's first transgender elected official in last November's election. Three, in fact!
This events series is in partnership with arts and advocacy organizations to raise awareness and action around specific local, national, and international human rights issues. More on the IHRAF Series can be found here.
ALSO: The banning of our October 15 program from performing at its original venue, St. Mary's Catholic Church, by Timothy Cardinal Dolan continues to reverberate. (The event was moved to St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.) The Cardinal's intolerance has been enshrined on his Wikipedia page. And read Producer Tom Block's statement on Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan censoring International Human Rights Art Festival HERE.
November 9, 2017
New International Partnerships
IHRAF has been contacted by three different potential partners this week, all of whom are exploring manners in which we might be able to bring our unique brand of art-activist event to their locale. The International University of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina; The Small Things, which works to build families and futures for orphaned and vulnerable children in Tanzania and ASODECOM in Burundi. Stay tuned for further developments with our international partners!
October 27, 2017
Congressman Keith Ellison (MN) signs on as Honorary Co-Sponsor
Congressman Keith Ellison (MN) has agreed to join our growing list of Honorary Co-Sponsors. Representative Ellison’s guiding philosophy is based on “generosity and inclusion” and his priorities in Congress are building prosperity for working families, promoting peace, pursuing environmental sustainability, and advancing civil and human rights. Congressman Ellison is one of two Muslim members of Congress.
October 20, 2017
Yip Harburg funding for La Bestia: Sweet Mother
The Yip Harburg Foundation has issued a grant to support the continued development of Producer Tom Block's dance/theatre piece La Bestia: Sweet Mother, to be premiered at the 2018 Festival at the Wild Project. La Bestia: Sweet Mother is a multi-media exploration of one immigrant's voyage from her home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras through Guatemala and Mexico and into the desert of the USA, looking for a better life. The piece utilizes art to raise social justice concerns, and, more importantly, humanize the individuals behind this central political concern of our time.
Banner Painting: Woman Shedding Burka by Tom Block