CULTURAL WORKINGS

Welcome to THE CULTURAL WORKER, a blog dedicated to arts on the Left ranging from the radical avant garde and free jazz to dissident folk forms and popular arts . The Cultural Worker celebrates revolutionary creativity and features a variety of essays, reviews, fiction, reportage, poetry and musings through the internet pen of this writer, musician and cultural organizer. Scroll straight down and you'll also find an extensive historical Photo Exhibit of cultural workers in action, followed by a series of Radical Arts Links. The features herein will be unabashedly partisan---make no mistake about that. The concept of the cultural worker as a force of fearless creativity, of social change, indeed as an artistic arm of radicalism, has always been left-wing when applied with any degree of honesty at all. No revolutionary act can be truly complete in the absence of art, no progressive campaign can retain its message sans the daring drumbeat of invention, no act of dissent can stand so strong as that which counts the writers, musicians, painters, dancers, actors, photographers, film and performance artists within its ranks. Here's to the history and legacy of cultural work in the throes of the good fight...
john pietaro

Sunday, June 19, 2011

THE DISSIDENT ARTS FESTIVAL 2011 COMES TO BE

in photo: Upsurge!

THE DISSIDENT ARTS FESTIVAL :
THE SIXTH ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF PROGRESSIVE CULTURE

August 13, 3PM - 11PM The Brecht Forum 451 West Street (between Bank and Bethune streets), New York NY 212-242-4201
www.brechtforum.org

Producer/Organizer – John Pietaro, Poetry Director- Steve Bloom

New York, NY: In the midst of reactionary fear-mongering, ongoing war, rising unemployment and a right-wing assault on organized labor, progressive artists speak out for social justice. The Dissident Arts Festival, now in its sixth year, is a platform for cultural workers to create, sing, recite, improvise, act and orate against war and inequity and in honor of the struggle of workers and the globally oppressed. Event organizer John Pietaro, a cultural and labor organizer, is proud to present the Dissident Arts Festival in conjunction with the Brecht Forum.

Festival performers include:
San Francisco’s radical poetry/jazz ensemble UPSURGE!
The explosive post-modern jazz band SECRET ARCHITECTURE
Art Deco-damaged protest/improv music RADIO NOIR
Jazz violinist/vocalist GWEN LASTER and her ensemble
Topical singer/songwriter JUDY GORMAN
Political satirist DAVE LIPPMAN
Labor/peace choir THE NYC METRO RAGING GRANNIES

And Poets STEVE BLOOM, JACKIE SHEELER, ANGELO VERGA, RASHIDAH ISMAILI, ROBERT GIBBONS, SARA GOUDARZI

The Festival will open with a screening of the long-blacklisted film ‘SALT OF THE EARTH’; discussion led by film artist KEVIN KEATING will follow

The Dissident Arts Festival was founded in Beacon NY, 2006 with a primary goal of establishing an annual showcase of politically progressive music, poetry and performance art---perhaps the only such vehicle in the nation. But this Festival has always sought to bring together a wide variety of sounds and styles, tearing down boundaries, bending rules and infusing all of the arts with the strongest, most radical activism, where folk-protest song meets free improvisation and contemporary composition. Featured among our past performers and speakers were actor/raconteur Malachy McCourt, folk legend Pete Seeger, poet Louis Reyes Rivera, revolutionary hip hop group ReadNex Poetry Squad, protest/garage band The Last Internationale, labor luminary Henry Foner, topical singer Bev Grant, ‘anti-folk’ singer Lach, and filmmaker Kevin Keating (“Giuliani Time”). We presented tributes to Woody Guthrie, Paul Robeson, Bertolt Brecht and Phil Ochs along the way. As of 2010, the Festival became affiliated with the Brecht Forum, a center of Left education and culture which has proven itself the perfect host of the Dissident Arts Festival.

The arts ARE a weapon for social change…….

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