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RuckUS Announces Two Creative Days Of NYC Voter Activation

RuckUS is an artist-led activist group that aims to create a joyful critical mass for getting out the vote with events staged all across New York City.

RuckUS is an artist-led activist group that aims to create a joyful critical mass for getting out the vote with events staged all across New York City on October 17 and 24.

RuckUS is an urgent call for voter registration, voter planning, and voter protection leading up to the most consequential election in America's history. Created and produced by leading New York City artists, RuckUS aims to inspire everyone, especially young people, to vote by presenting outdoor activations in the crucial weeks before Election Day on November 3rd.

In support of these events, RuckUS is hosting pro-voter video statements from Salman Rushdie, Willem Defoe, Marc Ribot, Reverend Joan Halifax, Greg Saunier from Deerhoof and Todd Barry on the RuckUS YouTube.

Many RuckUS artists (including Laurie Anderson, Arto Lindsay, Melvin Gibbs,

Bill T. Jones) and event programmers and producers (HONK NYC's Sara Valentine, Joe's Pub's Alex Knowlton and M.A. Papper) are available for interviews regarding this project.

In collaboration with Joe's Pub, RuckUS has already held an open and free voter registration event at the Astor Place Cube on September 26 with featured sets from The Illustrious Blacks, Shaina Taub, Samora Pinderhughes, The Resistance Revival Chorus, The New York Philharmonic Bandwagon featuring

Anthony Roth Costanzo, and Laurie Anderson. That event was captured on video and is available via this YouTube link.

On October 17, RuckUS will hold Plan Your Vote events in Staten Island at Tompkinsville Park and The Bronx at the Andrew Freedman Home, with speakers providing potential voters with pertinent information on where and how to cast their ballot this November. Participating musical talent at these events includes

Extra Syrup Horns and Black Fire Percussion in Staten Island, and Off the Bar Brass in The Bronx.

On October 24, RuckUS will stage the inaugural Protect Your Vote processional with two dual rallies: one starting in Harlem, the other in Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza (the latter featuring speeches from authors Kurt Andersen and Siri Hustvedt). Each rally will proceed to Washington Square Park for a gathering featuring speeches from choreographers Elizabeth Streb and Bill T. Jones, musician Nona Hendryx, journalist Laura Flanders and Masha Gessen, plus more speakers TBA; readings of messages from artists Francesco Clemente and Marina Abramovic, educator and civil rights activist Joan Halifax, actors Willem Dafoe and Natasha Lyonne, and Tricycle magazine editor Helen Tworkov; with performances from NYC's rich collective of avant-garde street performers, including Batala NY, Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars, Kenny Wollesen and The Himalayas Marching Band, and The Blacksmiths Marching Band.

RuckUS was born from a conversation among musicians Laurie Anderson, Arto Lindsay and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Inspired to find a way for artists to engage with voter advocacy they joined forces with bassist Melvin Gibbs, choreographer Bill T. Jones, and artist and writer Aria Dean, as well as a host of cultural curators including Joe's Pub (where Laurie Anderson is the venue's 2020 Vanguard Resident), The Blacksmiths, HONK NYC and producer M.A. Papper to help coordinate this multi-borough pro-voting extravaganza. All RuckUS events are free to the public.

"This is an emergency," says Laurie Anderson. "There's never been a more crucial time for artists to show up, speak out and act. We invite everyone to join RuckUS and make history."

The RuckUS hashtag is #RuckUSVote2020. More performers, meet-up specific locations and timelines for the October 24 event will be announced on RuckUS's social media platforms:


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