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Broadway Advocacy Coalition And Columbia Law School Announce Participants In Course Including Cast Members From HAMILTON And WAITRESS

Broadway Advocacy Coalition And Columbia Law School Announce Participants In Course Including Cast Members From HAMILTON And WAITRESS

Broadway Advocacy Coalition and Columbia Law School announce the participants in their collaborative course entitled: The Theater of Change: Building the Capacity for Impact through Artistry, Law, and Activism.

This year's participants include Ari Afsar (Hamilton), John Michael-Lyles (Barrow Street's Sweeney Todd, This Ain't No Disco), Tyrone Davis (Waitress) and more. The group includes participants from all around the world and spanning varying backgrounds.

The first-of-its-kind course brings together an extraordinarily diverse and committed group of theater artists with community organizers and law students to collaborate towards using theater to impact policy and opinions. This year's course focuses on issues related to mass incarceration, education, and immigration.

Participants were selected based on a rigorous application process from the theater industry, individuals connected to this year's focal areas, and Columbia Law School. The course is created by Britton Smith (Be More Chill, Shuffle Along), Ben Wexler (Artistic Director, Broadway Advocacy Coalition), Zhailon Levingston (Neptune) and Columbia Law School professor and Director of the Center for Institutional and Social Change Susan Sturm, with a guest lecture by Tony-Winner Jeanine Tesori.

The full list of participants from the theater community include: Ari Afsar, Mikayla Bartholomew, Tyrone Davis Jr., Lilleth Glimcher, Averi Israel, John-Michael Lyles, Alexandra Kumala Moerdomo, Melissa Moschitto and Courtney Surmanek.

Organizers and advocates include: Ivan Calaff, Tomas Correa Jr., Angelica Lara, Carmen Pineiro, Alejo Rodriguez, Isaac Scott, Devon Simmons, and Mary Soto.

The Columbia Law School Students include: Nestor Almeida, Tiffani Burgess, Hicham Kantar, Sean Larner, Samarth Patel, Samanta Simpson, Kate Stone, Abigail Unger, Cora Wu, Ivy Xiaotian Yao and Brooke Zheng.

The course runs from January 14th to January 18th, 2019.

Building on our two years of work with artists from Brian Stokes Mitchell to India.Arie, with organizations from New York City Council to The Alliance for Quality Education, Broadway Advocacy Coalition is excited to announce a groundbreaking week-long course at Columbia Law School. We are living in a sociopolitical moment where so many of us are activated to push for justice, but are too often speaking to our own, separated by our professions, our social circles, and our degrees of privilege. This course is offered to an equal representation of artists, Columbia Law students, and community changemakers - some formerly incarcerated leaders, some parent organizers.

The course will be focused on how these three groups (performing artists, advocates and organizers, and lawyers/law students) can meld to create work that changes hearts and minds, then follows through with embedded policy goals. The week will focus on issues of educational and criminal justice, and the community leaders present all have extensive experience both fighting and feeling the effects of these systems. Artists will work alongside community members to create work (music, playwriting, spoken word, dance, or a hybrid) that responds to these experiences, and will join forces with law students to strategize as to how and where these performances can happen to achieve sustainable impact. The goals of this week-long course are not only to facilitate an exchange of ideas across disciplines, but to form lasting partnerships that can continue to generate game-changing work into the future.

The Broadway Advocacy Coalition? is a group of Broadway artists committed to building the capacity of advocates, students, artists, organizations and communities to use the arts as an integral part of their social change work. Past projects have included collaborations with the Alliance for Quality Education, New York City Council, the Center for Popular Democracy and artists like India Arie, Audra McDonald, Brandon Victor Dixon and more.

Founded in 2007, the Center for Institutional and Social Change (the "Center") has become a facilitator of innovation and collaboration for scholars, practitioners, and students striving to address structural inequality through institutional transformation. Housed at Columbia Law School, the overarching goal of the Center is to develop new frameworks, strategies, roles, and institutions for effective institutional and social change directed at addressing structural inequality and achieving inclusive institutions. The Center grew out of a shared recognition that the existing frameworks and strategies for advancing equality need to be rethought, and that institutional change should be a central focus of that rethinking project. Its work is designed to build this capacity to address structural inequality through education, strategic analysis, empirical and field research, and brainstorming by researchers, students, and innovative practitioners.

More information can be found on the Broadway Advocacy Coalition website:

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