Welcome.

 

Beauty, Sincerity, Vulnerability, Engagement

The International Human Rights Art Festival offers an ongoing series of art-advocacy events, festivals, workshops and community programs at the intersection of art, spirit and society.  We open up space to hear different points of view, to listen to unique stories and perspectives.  We believe that beauty, sincerity and vulnerability are the most powerful tools in the activist’s toolbox.  We engage in open-hearted creativity and discourse with politicians, social leaders and others as partners, not adversaries.

We partner with artists whose work is based in the mystical/activist "I am" or "I should," as opposed to the political/religious/oppositional "you are" or "you should."  

We open space for healing, reflection and engagement with those we agree with, as well as others who might seem foreign.

 

Official

Media Partner

Next up!

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ART FESTIVAL

November 12-18

Wild Project, 195 E. 3rd St., New York's East Village

FULL SCHEDULE AND TICKETS HERE

VOLUNTEER AT THE FESTIVAL HERE

30 performances, more than 150 artists over a full week!

BEAUTY, SINCERITY, VULNERABILITY AND ENGAGEMENT

AND THIS JUST ADDED (FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC)

Dance Party

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16 @ 9:30 PM

Join the Short Stack All Stars, the Festival team and friends and family for a rocking post Celebration of Justice celebration! Stop by the Wild Project to groove at the intersection of jazz and hip-hop, imbibe in some of our special human rights-themed libations (such as the Barbed Wire; Mahatma Colada; L, G, B and T; Emancipation Proclamation; Beautiful Trouble and others) and share the mellow buzz with fellow travelers. Short Stack All Stars is Keston McMillan (vocals), John Filmanowicz (vocals), Peter Enriquez (bass, guitar), Grant Meyer (keys, synth bass) and Zack Pockrose (drums).


IMPROV(E): IMPROV COMEDY MEETS SOCIAL ACTIVISM CLASS, January 23-March 13 (A.R.T.-Studios, 520 8th Ave., 3rd Floor): This course will offer improv comedy instruction, taught by the incomparable Katie Hutch, exploring how improv can be paired with social activism. We will be learning the principles of improv, as well as breaking new ground in using the medium as an activist tool: personal enjoyment and catharsis leading to social change and health. Wednesdays, 7-10 pm. Information and tickets here!

Latest News

November 2, 2018 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

180628074826-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-new-york-14th-district-intv-newday-vpx-00004930.jpg

We are thrilled to welcome soon-to-be elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — from the very same neighborhood in Queens where the Founding Producer lives — to the Honorary Committee, joining our growing list of partners who engage with us. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is a self-described democratic socialist.  She supports progressive policies such as Medicare for All, a job guarantee, tuition-free public college, ending the privatization of prisons, and enacting gun-control policies. Welcome to the team, Alexandria!

October 7, 2018

Senator susan collins

removed as honorary co-sponsor

Due to an outpouring of indignation over Senator Susan Collins’s (ME) casting the final vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, and her statement that she didn’t believe Dr. Ford’s assertion that Brett Kavanaugh accosted her, we have removed her name from our list of honorary co-sponsors for the International Human Rights Art Festival at the Wild Project, from November 12-18, 2018.

We very much appreciate all of the new friends who have contacted us about her vote and removing her name — we agree. Her lack of candor, of empathy, her reliance on “junk science” to ignore Dr. Ford’s claim and her insincerity has led us to believe that we do not want her name attached to an event that includes such a sincere and passionate collection of artists, activists, performers and speakers.

August 30, 2018

IHRAF PUBLISHES

We are very excited to announce our new publishing initiative, in which we will be occasionally featuring literary artists who base their work in our founding principles: beauty, sincerity and vulnerability.  As the Sufis say: "Words spoken from the mouth will never get past the ears, but words spoken from the heart, enter the heart."  We will feature such heart-speakers. Check it out here.

If you are a writer who would be interested in being featured as part of this initiative, and feel that your work fits our mission, please contact us at humanrightsartfestival@gmail.com!

August 1, 2018

Congressman John Lewis

A brief introduction to the video that Congressman and Civil Rights hero John Lewis made for the International Human Rights Art Festival. The full video, which explores the influence and importance of art on Congressman Lewis during the Civil Rights era, will be shown at the International Human Rights Art Festival opening event, Friday, November 16, 2018 at the Wild Project in NYC.

June 10, 2018

Unknown.png

WNYC:

Media Partner

IHRAF is thrilled to announce our new media partner: WNYC, the USA's largest public radio station! WNYC will be helping us get our word out to their 1.7 million listeners and 2 million website visitors a week, as our news and logo become part of their world! Thank you, WNYC, we are looking forward to sharing a great summer and fall together.

 

May 26, 2018

amy-poehler-3.png

Amy Poehler

We're very excited to welcome Amy Poehler as the latest addition to our list of Honorary Co-Sponsors!  Ms. Poehler, founder of NYC's Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, was a cast-member of Saturday Night Live from 2001-2008.  She is best known for starring as Leslie Knope in the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, for which she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Musical or Comedy Series in 2014 and a Critics' Choice Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series in 2012.  We're honored to have Ms. Poehler's support!

 

 

April 11, 2018

  Omoyele Sowore  at the inaugural  International Human Rights Art Festival  at Dixon Place, March 3, 2017. Behind him is a projected image of him and Festival Producer Tom Block, in front of a painting of Mr. Sowore by Mr. Block, in 2002 at the AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington DC.

Omoyele Sowore at the inaugural International Human Rights Art Festival at Dixon Place, March 3, 2017. Behind him is a projected image of him and Festival Producer Tom Block, in front of a painting of Mr. Sowore by Mr. Block, in 2002 at the AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington DC.

Omoyele Sowore

Festival friend, participant and supporter Omoyele Sowore is running to become President of Nigeria! Mr. Sowore was born on February 16, 1971 in the Niger Delta region of the country where he was also raised. He studied geography and planning at the University of Lagos and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Colombia University.  
While in the University of Lagos, he was deeply involved in anti – military demonstrations and student unionism which ultimately culminated in his election as the President of the Student Union Government where he served between 1992-1994. 
In 1992 at University of Lagos, Sowore led 2,000 students in protest against Nigeria’s notorious kleptocracy. Police opened fire, killing seven. Sowore was arrested, interrogated and beaten, and later found out his family too had been put under pressure. But he refused to back down in the struggle for decent education in his country. 
For his vociferous anti – government campaigns, he was harassed, arrested and detained for about 8 times in various detention centers. Sowore has remained consistent in his struggle to emancipate his country from the clutches of the racketeers and plunderers. He fled the country to the United States in 1999.
Omoyele Sowore represents different things to different people. To the corrupt politicians, the ruling class and their paid and unpaid apologists, Sowore is a tool in the hands of the opposition. However, to the incorruptible and liberated victims of misrule, corruption and dictatorship, he represents the audacious candle that brightens the scars inflicted on the soul of our nation.

 

March 5, 2018

bronxnet Tv interview 

IHRAF Producer Tom Block talks with Dr. Bob Lee on BronxNet's "Open" program about the Celebration of Black Men, at the Davenport Theater in midtown Manhattan, on March 12.

 

January 30, 2018

 Norman Lear with Festival friend Kathleen Turner at Norman's 95th birthday party last year.

Norman Lear with Festival friend Kathleen Turner at Norman's 95th birthday party last year.

Norman Lear

We are thrilled to announce that Television Producer, National Medal of Arts Winner, founder of the People for the American way and a strong activist for three-quarters of a century Norman Lear and the Lyn and Norman Lear Family Foundation, our strongest supporter to date, has granted us support to underwrite our interim events between now and the full Festival in November, allowing us to concentrate on providing the most passionate, powerful and transformative activist performances that we can muster.  Thank you Norman Lear, Festival Godfather!

 

 

 

 

 

January 15, 2018

Dramatist - article.jpeg

 

Dramatist Magazine

The Dramatist Magazine, official periodical of the Dramatists Guild, published an article in their edition on censorship (January/February 2018) about their important role in finding us a home for our banned program back on October 15.  Additionally, they used Festival Producer Tom Block's artwork on the cover of their magazine, as well as in the interior, to illustrate their exploration of censorship.

 

January 9, 2018

barbra-streisand-9497402-1-402.jpg

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand has joined the International Human Rights Art Festival as an Honorary Co Sponsor! Additionally, she has donated money to us through her Streisand Foundation. Ms. Streisand is a singular American talent, having won two Academy Awards, ten Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award, five Emmy Awards, a Special Tony Award, a Kennedy Center Honors prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and nine Golden Globes! 

January 1, 2018

Documentary from the first

International Human Rights Art Festival @ Dixon Place

 

 

Award-winning (C-Span Studentcam) high school videographers Dalya Block and Kalina Gibson completed their documentary of the first IHRAF -- check it out here! 

 

 

 

 

December 11, 2017

Video from a Celebration of Women

NYU Broadcast Journalist student Hannah Foley made a beautiful short reportage about our celebration on the 70th anniversary of the issuing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "A Celebration of Women's Power," in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt, who was chair of the drafting committee for the document.  Featuring Rachael Sage, Dancing Georgina Project, Marni Rice and Xiomara Evans.

 


 Video still of Senator Schumer from the 2017 IHRAF  Photo by Elisa Guiterrez

Video still of Senator Schumer from the 2017 IHRAF
Photo by Elisa Guiterrez

About

Find out about our History, Mission, supporters (including Senator Charles E. Schumer, Congressman John Lewis, Presidential Medal of Arts Winner Norman Lear, and more).

Learn More →

 Congresman and Civil Rights hero John Lewis, the youngest of the  Big Six  civil rights leaders as chairman of  SNCC  from 1963 to 1966, has made a video welcome for the 2018 IHRAF at the Wild Project, exploring the importance of art to his activism.  Movie by Mollie Block

Congresman and Civil Rights hero John Lewis, the youngest of the Big Six civil rights leaders as chairman of SNCC from 1963 to 1966, has made a video welcome for the 2018 IHRAF at the Wild Project, exploring the importance of art to his activism. Movie by Mollie Block

Get involved

Want to join in on the upcoming 2018 IHRAF in NYC? Have an event you'd like to cross-promote with us? We want to hear from you!

Find Out How →


Banner Painting: Woman Shedding Burka by Tom Block