Celebration of Black Men
March 5, 2018
Celebration of Women
in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt
and the 70th anniversary of the United Nation Declaration of human rights
December 10, 2017
THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ART FESTIVAL'S "PROLOGUE TO PROGRESS," IN CONJUNCTION WITH the CULTURE PROJECT
October 15, 2017 at St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church, Brooklyn, NY
Banned by His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan from performing as planned at St. Mary's Catholic Church
Press from after the banning:
New York Times: Festival Moves Event After Church Objects to Gay-Themed Content
"I think it’s absolutely, completely wrong," Ms. Kathleen Turner said. Deciding who should be heard and who silenced, she said, "is very much against the teaching of Christianity."
Crain's NY Business: Arts festival scrambling for space after archdiocese nixes LGBT performances
"The New York City arts community does not take kindly to censorship, especially now under the current political situation," Producer Tom Block said.
The International Human Rights Art Festival is based in inclusion, honesty and sincerity - and brings together artists who will stand proudly before an audience and open their hearts, exposing their struggle in whatever arena they feel most challenged. "The idea that some of us would go forward while others were rejected is antithetical to our mission, our belief and frankly, our faith - respect does not stop at the doorway to one or another segment of the population," said Producer Tom Block
Father Bernárd Lynch, an out gay Catholic priest persecuted by the Archdiocese of New York for his gay rights and AIDS work in the 1970s and ‘80s, wrote in an email from Ireland: "The news regarding Cardinal Dolan’s rejection of this most recent event with Kathleen Turner and others over LGBTQ content is no different. They still hate us. They hate who we are and how we love. Living or dying, my Church simply cannot accept us as co-equals in God’s image. What a disgrace. Thirty years later, we have marriage both here, in the land of my birth, and in New York, the land of my spiritual birth. The Church institutionally still spells death to us. What kind of God do they believe in?"
Episcopal Cafe: Arts festival too hot for Catholics moves to Episcopal church
“I feel fortunate in that I am not beholden to a spiritual structure that tells me who is worthy of a voice and protection, and who is not,” the producer commented. “We believe that all people share this right—we will not pick and choose among our acts or our issues, allowing some while rejecting others.“
Pink News, U.K.: Catholic Church banishes human rights festival over LGBT performance
Christian Post: NY Church Nixes Human Rights Art Festival Over LGBT Content
Press from before the banning:
Broadway World: Kathleen Turner Headlines 2017 International Human Rights Art Festival at Culture Project; Lineup Announced!
Broadway World: Kathleen Turner to Headline International Human Rights Art Festival This Fall
NBC Live! Catching Up with Kathleen Turner
Inaugural INTERNATIONAL Human Rights Art Festival
March 3-5, 2017 at Dixon Place, NY
"'Activist artists are not the center of the American culture, but we’re at the center of the American soul,' Block says. The artists involved echo Block’s passionate belief in activist art as an essential core of both who we are as Americans and what we aspire to become as we continue to build towards an ideal society."
-- Pirronne Yousefzadeh
"The fight for human rights doesn’t end with the festival. Organizers hope people come out of the festivities inspired into activism of their own. Block says, 'If everybody in that room tonight did one more thing, there would be a lot more things happening in terms of fighting or struggling or dreaming of a better, more gentle world.'"
-- Jasmine Ting
“I look at Donald Trump as the representation of a human energy that goes back to the beginning of time. He’s not an individual. He’s a representation of fear. He’s a representation of human tribalism. These kind of ideas go back to the caveman, so I feel very strongly that … positive energy becomes part of the reverse movement.”
-- John Soltes
Artists and Climate Change: Festivity in the Darkness
Broadway World: Bessie Award-Winning Choreographer Joya Powell on the IHRAF
Broadway World: Celebrating Advocacy through the Arts with the International Human Rights Art Festival
Huffington Post: Chinese Dissident Wei JingSheng featured at International Human Rights Art Festival in NYC
Voice of America (Mandarin): The International Human Rights Arts Festival Uses Its Soft Power to Face Anger and Division
Theater in the Now: podcast
WPAT Multicultural Radio 930 AM (interviews with Producer Tom Block): February 18, 2017 & February 24, 2017 NYUNow: New York's First Human Rights Art Festival
Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival
40 venues in Silver Spring, MD, April 23-25, 2010
Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County: AHCMC Montgomery Traditions at the Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival
Persianesque Magazine: ROYA ENSEMBLE TO PERFORM AT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ART FESTIVAL
UNESCO Center for Peace: Amnesty International Human Rights Festival - The Artists