Greenfield, MA — The LAVA Center is proud to present a new series of presentations and performances, Social Justice in the Arts and Media: Theory and Practice.
The series will feature a variety of presenters speaking to the topic of social justice and how it relates to their own work as artists and media-makers. There will also be performances of social justice-themed plays. All presentations and performances will take place on weekends in March, April and May and will be held at The LAVA Center, 324 Main St., downtown Greenfield.
The Social Justice in the Arts and Media series will explore many of the social justice issues facing our citizens and our community today, and the creative ways local artists and media-makers have addressed them. By offering this series, we hope to entertain, educate, and inspire others to practice their social justice passions creatively.
The series will kick off at the end of February with an online reprise of two presentations on this topic that were given at The LAVA Center last year: GCTV’s Philippe Simon’s “Social Justice And Media: How Community Media Can Help” and GCC’s Lillian Ruiz’s “Ticket to Terror: Horror Film in the Age of Anxiety.”
Saturday, Mar. 5 and Mar. 12, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.: Listening Ear sessions
Christian McEwen’s “The Listening Ear” is a joyous and subversive antidote to a world increasingly dominated by cell phones and other entrancing devices, reminding us of the special pleasure to be found in long, meandering, face-to-face conversation, most especially with friends and family. It gives everyone a real chance to be heard and serves as a metaphor for the entire series, as we invite ourselves and our audiences to practice radical listening.
Saturday, Mar. 5, 7 p.m.; Sunday, Mar. 16, 3 p.m.; Saturday, Mar. 12, 7 p.m.; Sunday, Mar. 13, 3 p.m.: Bridges performance
In the West Bank and in Israel, the traumas of occupation are inescapable and never ending. Clinging to hope or overwhelmed by despair, these Israelis and Palestinians are determined to make their stories heard. Inspired by and drawn from verbatim transcripts from Compassionate Listening conversations. Produced by Theater Initiative of Temple Israel.
Saturday, Mar, 26, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Saturday, Apr. 2, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.: Every Moment of Every Day performance
Stories of women who relinquished their babies to adoption weave together to illuminate this landscape of loss, endurance and courage from the point of view of the birth mothers. Six stories are drawn from and represent the two dozen interviews conducted by playwright Lindy Whiton.
Saturday, Apr. 9, 1 p.m.: Eveline MacDougall presentation
Eveline MacDougall founded the Amandla Chorus (now known as Fiery Hope) in 1998 to support the then-growing campaign to end apartheid in South Africa. Since then, the chorus has added songs from many lands and in many languages to share the joy of singing in community and to take a stand for human rights.
Saturday, Apr. 23, 1 p.m.: María Sparrow presentation
María Sparrow is a painter, teacher and musician. She grew up in Iowa and Maine and was awarded a scholarship to attend Amherst College. In her work she is interested in representations of womxn and in themes of belonging and alienation. She had a bilingual gallery show at The LAVA Center last year titled “Ancestors/Ancestras.”
Saturday, Apr. 30, 1 p.m.: JuPong Lin presentation
JuPong Lin is an interdisciplinary artist-researcher, writer and educator working to shift climate colonialism through culturally-responsive contemplative arts. She is a PhD candidate in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England and a faculty member at Goddard College.
Saturday, May 7, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Saturday, May 14, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.: Most Dangerous Women performance
A one-act version of the play by Jan Maher celebrating over a century of women the world over working for peace and justice, featuring the words and songs of scores of women activists and allies, including Jane Addams, Jeannette M. Rankin, Coretta Scott King, Helen Caldicott, Joy Harjo, Holly Near, Shirin Ebadi, Malala Yusafzai and Greta Thunberg.
Saturday, May 28, 1 p.m.: Música Franklin presentation
Música Franklin’s after-school program is based on the belief that the pursuit of musical excellence teaches students to strive for excellence in all areas of their lives. It is modeled on El Sistema, a music and social change program that was started in Venezuela 40 years ago and is practiced globally, helping to lift up children and their families.
Details on how to access the series
The play performances will be available both in-person and online. Reserve tickets for either for a donation of your choice ($5-$10 suggested; $1 minimum). Seating will be limited for both plays and presentations. You can reserve a seat for the presentations with a donation or your choice ($1 minimum), or see it for free if there are seats available the day of. Everyone who comes into The LAVA Center to see a play or presentation must show proof of Covid vaccination upon entry. Space can be reserved at https://thelavacenter.eventbrite.com.
The LAVA Center is a community arts space in Greenfield, MA whose mission is to create opportunities and build inclusive community in and through the arts and humanities. We are focused on making The LAVA Center a space where all artists, including marginalized communities and individuals, can have their voices heard. The LAVA Center is located at 324 Main St., in downtown Greenfield, MA. It is run by Local Access to Valley Arts, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. https://localaccess.org