The first ever Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival will be held in Silver Spring, MD (just outside of Washington D.C.) from April 23-25, 2010. This multi-venue, multi-media event will bring together artists, local businesses and politicians to use socially transformative art to raise awareness of human rights and justice issues, as well as the important work of Amnesty International.
The festival will run from 4 pm to late night Friday, and then 10 am to late night Saturday and Sunday. Amnesty International will have a presence at all of the events, and the art festival will be a manner in which to raise awareness of the important work that Amnesty undertakes, as well as the quintessentially American values that they espouse.
Each day will include a variety of events including visual art shows, new media events, performance art, spoken word, theater, book readings, panel discussions, film, music, hands-on workshops, art walks from exhibit to exhibit, participatory parades, international foods etc. throughout the Arts and Entertainment District of Silver Spring, all centered on raising awareness of human rights issues. Venues will include local restaurants, art spaces, theaters and community spaces.
Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. Amnesty International has more than 2.2 million members and subscribers in more than 150 countries and regions. They coordinate this support to act for justice on a wide range of issues.
Norman Lear joins the festival…
Norman Lear (American television writer and producer, who produced such sitcoms as All in the Family, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Good Times and Maude, as well as founding People For the American Way) became the Executive Producer of the Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival over the weekend. In officially joining the endeavor, he sent along a note to Art Festival Producer Tom Block that said: “I couldn’t admire more your idea and plan for the Human Rights Arts Festival.”
Lear’s first act as a member of the Executive Committee was to commission spoken word artist Steven Connell to create a work based on Amnesty International’s postcard actions. The piece will be premiered at the Art Festival in April. Connell’s work has been featured on ABC World News, Good Morning America (ABC), Hardball (MSNBC), Def Poetry (HBO), Crossover (Showtime), the World AIDS Festival (MTV), Lyric Café (B.E.T.), as well as Oprah Winfrey’s celebration of Maya Angelou’s 75th birthday. He has also performed at private events for Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama.