music activism


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“A good song reminds us what we’re fighting for,” ~ Pete Seeger

The core of my life has been my desire to share music and music writing with others to encourage critical thought and inspire change. I’ve done this first as a feminist historian, scholar, writer, and curator on music topics, and then as an activist guitarist, singer, band leader, and instrument teacher. Today I am both of those things, and an organizer too. I consider the merger of my scholarship with on-the-ground performance of music as activism to be my most important life’s work. I am constantly humbled by the magnitude of Pete Seeger’s work in this realm, and hope to continue his work, albeit with a more cosmopolitan, plugged in and contemporary sensibility.

To that end, I am a student and practitioner of the following music activism skills:

• music as tactic for direct action (project managing, strategy)

• live music event booking and production

• activism on music as labor on the working lives and conditions of performers and songwriters

• songbook production (selection, chords, design)

• music advisory for grassroots organizations, social media campaigns, and actions

• instrument, song, and street performance workshops

• talks on the history of music as social justice and movement music history

• writing about contemporary and historical music in social movements

Some of the work I’ve been thankful to do:

Music group coordinator, People’s Climate March (Fall 2014)

Occupy Wall Street Music Working Group co-organizer (NYC)

Guitarmy co-organizer and member

Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, instructor, lecturer, advisory committee member

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Recent work:

Netroots 2015: panelist, “People’s Climate March: music and art in service of social movements

Netroots 2015: moderator, “Women on the musical frontlines”

Netroots 2015: moderator, “How to start a riot: Grrls, queers, and other rabble rousers”