Broadway Advocacy Coalition's second annual Arts in Action Festival begins September 10. Running for two days, the festival serves as an opportunity for arts and advocacy to intersect in discussions of justice and equity. The first day of the festival will be held at The Building for the Arts, while the second day of the festival will take place at New World Stages.
Expanding from being a single-day event in 2022, this year's two-day event focuses on the theme "Envisioning the Possible." Programming will kick off with an all-day conference on September 10 including workshops, panels, and screenings. Following on September 11 will be keynote speakers and performances in addition to the festival's presentation of galleries, discussion groups, video exhibits, and more. The festival will showcase how storytelling can be use as a tool for creating a more humane society with just policies and systems.
The first day of the festival will include workshops held by Marissa Gutierrez-Vicario of ARTE, BAC Fellow UGBA of Dark-Skin Support Group, and Dr. Anderson P. Smith of All Literary Citizens and Sarah Rim. There will also be panels featuring PEN America, Artistic Noise, and Midtown Community Court; and screenings from Zealous, JustMedia, Empowerment Avenue Films and the Arts, Justice and Safety Coalition, Tabling from the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, Peoples Campaign for Parole Justice, Freedom Agenda, Women’s Community Justice Association, Alliance for Quality Education, Envision Freedom Fund, and Community Voices Heard.
The second day of the festival, hosted by Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins and Yolanda Johnson-Peterkin, will kick off with a performance by the G Stars, the step team from Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. It will be followed by Envisioning the Possible, a showcase of artists, poets, dancers, and musicians. The performance will include spoken word by New York City’s Youth Poet Laureate Stephanie Pacheco, vignettes by the Women’s Theater Ensemble, performances by Music on the Inside and Sound Off: Music for Bail, dance from Black Iris Project, an original commission by Waterwell’s Youth Drama Program, and world premiere works by Tony winner Kara Young (Cost of Living, Purlie Victorious), Tiffany Mann (Waitress), Shakina Nayfack, Britton Smith (Be More Chill), BAC Fellowship alum Camille Thomas, UGBA, and Andrea Ambam. The second day of the festival will be co-directed by BAC’s Leia Squillace and Musical Theater Factory’s Brisa Areli Muñoz.
The Arts in Action Festival launched in July 2022 with the mission to provide a space for organizations and individuals to collaborate on combining arts and advocacy, celebrate the resilience of the justice-impacted community, and bring attention to how the justice system fails to create real justice for New York City’s inhabitants. This year’s festival is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the David Rockefeller Fund.