CULTURAL WORKINGS

Welcome to THE CULTURAL WORKER, a blog dedicated to protest arts on the Left ranging from the radical avant garde to revolutionary folk song. This blog is aligned with John Pietaro's revolutionary music website www.DissidentArts.com . The Cultural Worker celebrates art at its boldest and features a variety of articles, reviews, fiction, essays and musings by myself--a musician, writer, and labor organizer by design. Scroll straight down and you'll also find also find an extensive, ever-expanding Photo Exhibit of cultural workers in action, and a series of Radical Arts Links. The features herein will be decidedly revolutionary and unabashedly partisan---make no mistake about that. The neo-fascists and the slaves to capital and conformity will find no words of warmth in the content of this blog. 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 musicians, writers, painters, dancers, actors 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

Monday, May 28, 2012

Preview: THE DISSIDENT ARTS FESTIVAL 2012----Save the Dates!




Press Contact:    John Pietaro       (646) 599-0060        leftmus@earthlink.net             www.DissidentArts.com

THE DISSIDENT ARTS FESTIVAL 2012
TWO STAGES!   TWO DAYS!   TWO BOROUGHS!
Friday August 17, 17 Frost Theatre of the Arts (Williamsburg, Bklyn) –and-  Saturday August 18, the Brecht Forum (Greenwich Village). The 2012 edition of THE DISSIDENT ARTS FESTIVAL will feature a wide array of artists of conscience from radical jazz musicians to protest singers to experimental artists and everything in between. Featured performers include legends of Free Jazz and World Music KARL BERGER and INGRID SERTSO. Another special feature will be a screening of ‘METROPOLIS’ with live improvised accompaniment. The Festival is a showcase of cultural workers and serves as a bridge between the arts and the progressive activist community. We present a great span of just what 'protest' art is: radical avant garde Jazz, topical Song, dissentful Poetry, revolutionary New Music, social justice Film and Theatre, Post-Punk dissidence, World sounds, progressive performance of social change. *****************************************************************************************
DAY ONE: FRIDAY AUGUST 17, 8PM - 11PM
17 Frost Theatre of the Arts - 17 Frost Street (between Lorimer and Union Streets), Brooklyn NY
www.17frost.com
 RADICAL SONGWRITERS FORUM: (8PM – 10PM):
*JACKIE SHEELER, punk-laced topical song & poetry
*DONALD JOHNSON, contemporary songs of work, struggle and life
*JOE KIDD, protest music by Michigan-based singer-songwriter
*FASTER, the experimental side of social parody with soprano sax/voice and avant guitar duo

FILM SCREENING w/LIVE ACCOMPANIMENT (10PM – Midnight):
*The silent sci-fi/social change film classic 'METROPOLIS' with a live improvised score by THE DISSIDENT ARTS ORCHESTRA: John Pietaro (xylophone/drumkit/percussion/musical direction), Cheryl Pyle (flute), Quincy Saul (clarinet), Rocco John Iacovone (soprano and alto saxophones), Nick Gianni (tenor saxophone and flute), Ben Barson (baritone saxophone), Javier Hernandez-Miyares (electric guitar/keyboards), Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic (upright bass).
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DAY TWO: SATURDAY AUGUST 18, 4PM - 11PM
The Brecht Forum - 451 West Street (between Bank and Bethune streets), New York NY
(212) 242-4201   www.brechtforum.org
FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION (4PM - 5:45 PM):
*'CULTURES OF RESISTANCE'  -
Can music and dance be weapons of peace? In 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, director Iara Lee embarked on a journey to better understand a world increasingly embroiled in conflict and, as she saw it, heading for self-destruction. After several years, travelling over five continents, Iara encountered growing numbers of people who committed their lives to promoting change. This is their story.

CONCERT: (6PM - 11PM):
*KARL BERGER & INGRID SERTSO, improvisational world music by legendary founders of CMS!
*UPSURGE! rad jazz and poetry from San Francisco
*CHERYL PYLE & NICOLAS LETMAN-BERTINOVIC, free flute and bass + special guests
*RAS MOCHE, the improv of revolution
*ANGELO VERGA, activist poetry
*RADIO NOIR, dissident swing and realizations of the works of Brecht & Eisler
*CRYSTAL SHIPP, progressive performance art
*JENNIE LITT & DAVID ALPHER, radical cabaret
*NICK GIANNI EVOLUTION, free jazz and more
for more info see:
www.DissidentArts.comand-  www.facebook.com/pages/THE-DISSIDENT-ARTS-FESTIVAL/116881725023683
*****
About the Dissident Arts Festival…

Now, in the midst of right-wing fear-mongering and teabag hysteria, progressive artists speak out for social justice. The Dissident Arts Festival, now in its seventh year, is a platform for cultural workers to sing, recite, improvise, act and orate against war and inequity and in honor of the struggle of workers and the globally oppressed---and with an accent on an art that is as revolutionary and challenging as the politics of progressive change . Event producer John Pietaro, a percussionist, writer and cultural organizer, is proud to present the Dissident Arts Festival in conjunction with both the Brecht Forum and 17 Frost Theatre of the Arts.

Originally based in upstate New York, the Festival began life as ‘the Dissident Folk Festival’ in 2006. Its primary goal was the establishment of an annual showcase of progressive protest music, poetry and performance art--perhaps the only such fest in the nation. But this Festival has always sought to bring together a wide variety of sounds and styles, bending rules and breaking institutions whenever and wherever possible. Among our past performers and speakers were actor/raconteur Malachy McCourt, folk legend Pete Seeger, poet Louis Reyes Rivera,  jazz violinist Gwen LAster, hip hop ensemble ReadNex Poetry Squad, filmmaker Kevin Keating (“Giuliani Time”), labor leader Henry Foner, folksinger Bev Grant and many more. We presented tributes to Woody Guthrie, Paul Robeson, Bertolt Brecht and Phil Ochs along the way. The Festival has also offered a voice to progressive political candidates, particularly those of independent parties and radical labor organizations. As of 2010, the Dissident Arts Festival became added to the Brecht Forum's notable cultural program. The Brecht Forum was established decades ago as a center of Left education and culture in Greenwich Village. And now we have become a 2-day, 2-borough event with the affiliation of 17 Frost Theatre of the Arts, an independent radical gallery and performance space in Williamsburg Brooklyn.

THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL promises to be the best yet featuring an array of experimental and boundary-breaking artists in every realm of radical music, from the acclaimed explorations of Karl Berger & Ingrid Sertso, to the burning free jazz of Ras Moshe, the innovative avant garde of Nick Gianni, the nu sounds Cheryl Pyle & Nicolas Letman-Bertinovic, the edgy sonic journey of Faster, and the new realms of the bold and the old with Radio NOIR. But the 2012 Festival also presents an assortment of acts which encompass revolutionary poetry, song, and/or theatre through unique means: the outspoken San Francisco-based jazz-poetry of Upsurge!, the post-punk agitated songs of celebrated singer-poet Jackie Sheeler, the rad spoken word of Angelo Verga, the ‘People’s Cabaret’ of Jennie Litt & David Alpher and the multiple worlds of Crystal Shipp’s performance art. We will also present traditional topical songsters such as balladeer Donald Johnson and the Michigan-based protest singer Joe Kidd. This year’s film screenings include powerhouse social statements of two centuries: ‘Cultures of Resistance’ by Iara Lee (with discussion), and ‘Metropolis’ by Fritz Lang---featured here with a live score by the hand-picked improvisers of The Dissident Arts Orchestra.

THE DISSIDENT ARTS FESTIVAL 2012 is presented by
Dissident Arts, the Brecht Forum, and 17 Frost Theatre of the Arts.
Organizer/Producer/Host:  John Pietaro

The arts ARE a weapon for social change…….