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The Future Is Present: A Casting the Vote Project Announced

“TFP is a process and a practice, it’s a model for building community in a very small and incredibly powerful way —and in this sense it’s theater."



The Future Is Present: A Casting the Vote Project Announced

The Future Is Present: A Casting the Vote Project, was launched by artists Charlotte Brathwaite, Justin Hicks, Janani Balasubramanian, Sunder Ganglani, June Cross, and Alyssa Simmons in late 2020. Commissioned and presented by the Fisher Center at Bard with Bard's undergraduate Theater & Performance Program, and co-commissioned by New York Live Arts, the project moves into its next phase following yesterday's inauguration.

Across seven weeks, a small community of Black and Indigenous young artists/activists and a small community of young artists from Bard College (Adrian Costa, Megan Lacy, Cam Orr, Anya Petkovich, Taty Rozetta, Hakima SmithStone, Dani Wilder, and Mengchen Zhang) virtually cultivated intimacy and discourse. Teach-ins, pertaining to and expanding on the subjects addressed each week-"Voice," "Intimacy & Practice," "Worldbuilding & Speculative Futures," "Justice," "Lights, Gift, Ceremony," and "Demand Generation"-were led by Meshell Ndegeocello & Ganavya Doraiswamy, Claudia Peña, Moiya McTier & Malcolm Shanks, Jamal Joseph & Nicholas Galanin, Helga Davis & Esperanza Spalding, and June Cross.

Over the course of these weeks, the youth cohort created demands on our collective future-first person offerings and assertions calling for shifts in being, understanding, and perception, in relation to social and environmental justice. A process of amplifying those demands is underway. Establishing solidarity through deep listening and reflection, the artists at Bard responded to transcripts of the youth cohort's virtual gatherings and discussions. Using the youth cohort's words to inspire scenes, animations, and other moving image fragments, they created a film for the youth cohort, to be released next month, as part of an ongoing collaborative process.

This video that just went online is an invitation for people to participate on terms that make sense in their communities. In it, the artists explain, "TFP is a process and a practice, it's a model for building community in a very small and incredibly powerful way-and in this sense it's theater. We built a small community of Black and Indigenous young people believing that their experiences, their voices and vision needed to be central in the process of imagining and making what's to come."


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