The Movement Revisited: 651 Arts and Universes set it off with The Black Panthers and Young Lords

Universes "Party People" @ OSF

Universes “Party People” @ OSF

With the Occupy Movement arising in the wake of the financial crisis, finally calling attention to income disparity and economic inequality, we’ve become familiar with the idea of the 99% vs. the 1%. Every day we see a new video on the Internet, a new article, a new graphic, that shows clearly how things are out of alignment and in need of change. Even as the ideas and issues provoked by Occupy disseminate through the West, uprisings throughout the Islamic world call our attention to the gap between our professed democratic values and the way we operate in the world and as citizens at home. It may be the Internet age, but many of the struggles we face now have existed for a long time in different forms. The symptoms may change, but the disease remains the same. As we move forward into the 21st Century, what can we learn by looking back?

651 Arts, under the leadership of new Executive Director Shay Wafer, aims to find out. 651 Arts’ new initiative Movement ’63 is a series of performing arts, education and humanities events that reflect on 1963, one of the most catalytic years of the Civil Rights Movement, and its impact both historically and present-day. Wafer says of the initiative :

“Through the eyes and voices of contemporary and seasoned artists of the African Diaspora; urban, community and traditional historians; educators, students, local activists and community leaders, Movement ‘63 will reflect, renew and remix this fiery period in American history for a new ‘trans-media ready generation’ in the Borough of Brooklyn, New York and the surrounding diverse neighborhoods and communities.”

On Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 7:00pm 651 Arts presents the first of their Live & Outspoken series with performance group UNIVERSES in conversation with Ericka Huggins and Aaron Dixon ( former members of the Black Panther Party) and a founder of the Young Lords movement, Jose “Cha Cha” Jiminez. This esteemed group will converge at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn to engage in an exciting dialogue over the legacy of these historical organizations and their impact on the world today.

651 Arts Live & Outspoken series features live music, theatrical readings, dance, and provocative interviews and one-of-a-kind conversation. Each event offers insights into the methods, lives, artistry and social concerns of some of the leading performance innovators, as well as some of the rising stars making their marks on contemporary performing arts. This event will feature UNIVERSES performing an excerpt from their new work Party People, a theatrical performance commissioned as part of Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions: The United States History Cycle. The performance will be followed by a moderated discussion led by author and professor Johanna Fernandez.

Four decades ago, the Black Panthers and Puerto Rican Young Lords were young activists providing food and health care in their impoverished communities while in a desperate struggle to survive the systematic dismantling of their movements. Now they are 60-somethings untangling a traumatic past and an unclear future. Party People fuses theatre, poetry, jazz, blues, hip-hop, boleros and salsa to investigate the story and legacy of one of our country’s most recent revolutions.

651 ARTS Presents
Live & Outspoken
Featuring Universes in conversation with former members of the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords and showing excerpts from their new work Party People.
Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 7:00pm
Mark Morris Dance Center
3 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: