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#ArtActionDay: Events in NYC

Today, the first anniversary of the inauguration of Donald Trump, is Art Action Day.
The day is organized by The Federation, founded last year to spread the message:

Art is essential to democracy

There are events planned throughout the country. Here are some in New York:

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Martin Luther King Jr on The Three Sicknesses of U.S. Society: Racism, Poverty, and War

On Martin Luther King Day, many people read or listen once again to his most famous speech, from August, 1963,  I Have a Dream, But today, people are finding King’s speech below, delivered four years later, on August 31, 1967, especially apt. Speaking at the first and only National Conference on New Politics in Chicago, he focused on what he considered the “triple prong sickness” of “racism, excessive materialism and militarism,” and exhorted the listeners:

“Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world, declaring eternal opposition to poverty, racism and militarism.”

He said:

“…on some positions; cowardice asks the question, is it safe; expediency asks the question, is it politic; vanity asks the question, is it popular, but conscience asks the question, is it right?”

King was killed seven months later.

Transcribed excerpts of the speech, with some sentences highlighted, are below the audio of the complete speech.

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#WorldAIDSDay: Still Here, Still Affecting the Theater Community

The death from AIDS of theater artist Michael Friedman in September at the age of 41 was a shocking reminder that, yes, people still die from AIDS — and yes it is still affecting the New York theater community, a fact worth repeating on World AIDS Day, which is today.

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Appreciating Michael Friedman: Review of His 2011 Occupy Wall Street Musical

In honor of Michael Friedman (September 24, 1975 – September 9, 2017) here is my October 29, 2011 review of “Let Me Ascertain You: Occupy Wall Street, Stories From Liberty Square,” a one-night only musical presented at Joe’s Pub by The Civilians, the theater company Friedman co-founded. (It’s astonishing this was only six years ago, no?)

OccupyonStage1 There is the man who was laid off a year and a half ago as the creative director for a children’s television production company, and showed up at Zuccotti Park a day ago after being evicted from his apartment. There is the firefighter from New Jersey who has served Read more of this post