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Taken from Tucker Foundation (October 23, 2002)

What Does DEMOCRACY Look Like?

An intellectually and artistically engaging evening designed to bring people together to reflect on.
by Carl Burnett

Michael Franti & Spearhead
Internationally acclaimed hip-hop/funk/soul band sharing their socially & politically conscious lyrics designed to remind us to "Stay Human," the title of their current tour.
Music with Heart: an interview with Michael Franti in the Dartmouth Free Press

Judith F. Baca
Internationally acclaimed visual artist known for her public murals and social and community activism - fall 2002 Montgomery Endowment Fellow.

The evening was intellectually engaging and good for the soul. It was a wonderfully innovative student program.
Ozzie Harris II, Special Assistant
to the President for Institutional Diversity and Equity

It was a highly effective event: amazing, magnetic, educational, and beyond all, FUN! I've rarely seen Dartmouth students so happy!
Callie Thompson, '05

By the end of the evening, it was clear what progressive hip-hop sounded like; Baca's visual art had provided an explicit and overwhelming example of a community coming together in the democratic process of creating art.
Article posted in The Dartmouth on Thursday, October 24 2002.
Written by Carl Burnett '03

Every single soul is a poem written on the back of God's hand.
Michael Franti

In short, we seek to produce public art that includes the multiple perspectives of the people who inhabit public space by creating sites of public memory.
Judy F. Baca

At 8 p.m. on October 23, 2002 Sally Newman '05 began her welcome to over 600 students, faculty, and staff gathered in Alumni Hall.

"Welcome to What Does DEMOCRACY Look Like? -- An evening of performance, thought, and celebration. I hope you're all wide-awake, because we've got a lot to think about and a lot to celebrate tonight. Our challenge is to stay human and to build on the energy, inspiration, and intellectual curiosity that we've gathered here in this one little room, a roomful of life, humanity, diversity, animation, possibilities, and art.

Do we have need of inspiration? Do we have really tough issues facing this nation -- this world? Do we have political, economic, health, injustices, global aggressions, and other challenges that often seem tough to comprehend or leave us questioning how we can REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Yes, there's a lot to question, a lot to worry about in our world today, and many ways we should take action. There also is a lot to celebrate and many chances for each of us to embrace staying human in the face of forces we don't understand or don't like - by intentionally acting in ways that will create a more humane world"

As anticipation and energy rose in the audience Sally went on to further introduce the program, list the sponsors, recognize the committee organizing the event, and thank the over 59 student volunteers working that day to host the event. Linda Fowler, Director of the Rockefeller Center offered an additional welcome and introduced the exciting new and evolving campus initiative called "Public Impact." Sally Newman '05 and Lynn White Cloud, Assistant Dean & Director of Special Programs for the Tucker Foundation who had created the vision for this event smiled with the other committee members Ryan McDermott '03, David Bradt '05, and Lois Schonberger '03 as the collective energy rose in Alumni Hall. It was the initial supporters (the Tucker Foundation, Rockefeller Center, Dean of the College, and Dartmouth Greens), the desire of their leadership to think outside the box that paved the way for other departments and student organizations to financially and collectively work to deliver this new and innovative student program.

Judy Baca took to the podium and in a fantastic multi-media presentation shared her art and role as an important visual artists, historian, and social and community activist. As she spoke to the audience who were collectively seated on the floor, images of her murals were projected onto two large screens. She gave an emotionally and intellectually stimulating talk, some audience members were moved to tears, and all to inspiration and recognition of our interconnected histories and stories. Judy said: "Murals are pulpits: what you say in the pulpit is different from what you say to an intimate. Next, you must consider their scale. Scale is about amplifying the voice, about making it the voice of people who were excluded from history."

Judy Baca's bio reads: "As a visual artist, Judith Baca is best known for her large scale public murals. This art involves extensive community organizing and participation and addresses multi-cultural audiences. In the internationally known GREAT WALL OF LOS ANGELES mural in the Tujunga Wash Flood Control Channel, Baca designed a work which incorporated 40 ethnic scholars, 450 multi-cultural neighborhood youth, 40 assisting artists and over 100 support staff to paint a half mile long mural on the ethnic history of California." This Dartmouth audience was privileged to witness an important example of community activism and art. To be left to ponder how our community remembers the history and storytelling of Dartmouth and the Upper Valley.

With lead singer Michael Franti, Spearhead proceeded to throw out a two hour set that had the entire crowd on their feet dancing and singing. Some students and even Judy Baca joined Michael Franti on stage during the show! They played a variety of songs, many of which come off their new album "Stay Human." The renditions of "Sometimes" and the title track "Stay Human" (all the freaky people make the beauty of the world) were especially rousing. Michael Franti's lyrics ranged from hip to social to political to inspiring. If you were to name a theme it was how blind contradictions and abuse of power counter our humanity and equality.

"Do Ya Love" (a sampling of lyrics by M. Franti)
So many times, people turn they backs to you
'cause they don't wanna see, what's inside you
'cause lookin' inside of you
they might realize there's something inside of them
they might not wanna find
But it ain't about who ya love (who ya love)
See it's all about do ya love (do ya love).

During the show a series of activist displays were set up in the Top of The HOP by the various organizations. The Greens, Amnesty International and the Office of Asian and Asian American Student Advising all had booths set up, portraying both the tenets of their organizations and the diversity, peace, social activism, and human rights campaigns they were running. Merchandise and give-a-ways were also available.

After the show, there was a small gathering at the Tucker Foundation, where 30 students got to have a face-to-face talk with Michael Franti about himself and about the challenges and successes he's found as an artist addressing issues such as homophobia, the death penalty, and violence. His inspiring words closed the night with a warm sense of intellectualism and community.

Funding and creative support was provided by the Rockefeller Center, the Tucker Foundation, the Dean of the College, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, the Montgomery Endowment, Bildner Endowment, Advisors and Directors in the Office of the Associate Dean of Student Life for Leadership and Pluralism, the Dartmouth Greens, the Programming Board, and Amnesty International at Dartmouth. This event was organized by Sally Newman '05, Ryan McDermott '03, David Bradt '05, Lois Schonberger '03, and it was advised by Lynn C. White Cloud, Assistant Dean & Director of Special Programs at the Tucker Foundation.
Student Volunteers included: Evan F.

Jones, Matthew Therian, Josh Polon, Katie Gilbert, Ian McGullam, Sylvia Chi, Bryan Davis, Molly McIntosh, Sarah Ives, Crandall Peeler, James Lamb, Taylor Acosta, Tatyana Venegas, Niki Leiter, Hannah Haynie, Laura Christman, Jaime Singley, Paula Bigboy, Christine Coldiron, Julie Webb, Clara Gupta, Sara Carpenter, Amy Benziger, Lindsay Orchowski, Grace Lee, Katie Crawford, Jen Stewart, Michelle Maurer, Megan Lewis, Tate Lefevre, Ariel Rubin, Reid Coggins, Jay Giordano Sam Reisner, Kerry Quinn, Jen Nistad, Brad Bate, Peter So Kol Hersner, Jesse Van Garsse, Julie Wilkens, Jennifer Sy, Cindy Lin, Jackie Murphy, Damon Grant, Robin Deliso, Tim Fallon, Kensei Kurecha, Erika Fry, Erik Alskog, Jonathon Hancock, Karsten Barde, Mary Schartman, Chip Roundtree, Nick Taranto, Scott Anderson, Ian Kyle, Jesse Foote, Kate Schuerman, Callie Thompson, Paloma Wu, Erin Fifield, Alex Kirigin, Sarah Hackney, Peter Rapp, Victoria Tompkins, Jennifer Hauk, and Shannah Feldman.




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