Culture Project Presents IMPACT 2012 Festival, 7/14-8/26

Culture Project Artistic Director and Founder Allan Buchman announces today IMPACT 2012, a festival focusing on human rights, social justice, and political action. The 44-day festival, with more than 35 events, will take place at Culture Project at 45 Bleecker Street in Noho. See below for highlights; full schedule available at

IMPACT 2012 will consist of theater, music, documentaries, satirical political comedy, and new art created by emerging and established artists along with provocative conversations focusing on subjects crucial to the decision making process and the preservation of our democracy and constitution.

Culture Project first presented IMPACT in 2006 to great acclaim. IMPACT 2006 hosted the world premieres of Eve Ensler’s The Treatment, Iris Bahr’s Dai (enough), and the stage adaptation of Speak Truth to Power, among many others.

“We originally conceived IMPACT to energize conversations around critical issues and to establish critical mass around significant creative ideas and individuals,” shares Allan Buchman, Artistic Director and Founder of Culture Project. “Now with one of the most critical elections of our time just around the corner and our own theater to work in, we have a golden opportunity to undertake and accomplish some thing of great significance.”

Each week’s events will focus on a different theme facing the nation, with different artists-in-residence developing new works to be presented each Saturday evening.

Week 1 (July 16-22): “WE” THE PEOPLE: Immigration, Education & Incarceration

Week 2 (July 23-29): SINKING SHIP: Banks, Government, Home Foreclosures & Occupy

Week 3 (July 30 - August 5): THE CORPORATE AGENDA: Healthcare, Energy, & Environment

Week 4 (August 6-12): THE BLIND EYE: Women & Veterans

Week 5 (August 13-18): DEMOCRACY MATTERS: Voter Suppression & Citizens United

Week 6 (August 19-26): MANIFEST DESTINY: American Foreign Policy & the Media

Events include a performance by The Citizens Band; a screening of acclaimed documentary To Be Heard; conversations with Sam Seder and Jose Vargas; performances by Urbana Poetry Slam, a comedy night curated by Iranian-American comedienne Negin Farsad, and two Directors’ Weekends. More details below.


*All events and times are subject to change. Up-to-the-minute information can be found at

Directors' Weekends

July 14, 7pm & 15, 5pm
August 25, 7pm & 26, 5pm

Over two weekends during IMPACT, in series of 10-15 minute pieces, 14 directors are invited to develop present pieces of their own choosing in response to a particular topic. The first Directors Weekend (July 14 and 15) will focus on issues surrounding the 2012 election and the second (August 25 at and 26) will focus on foreign policy. Participants to include Joe Barros, Reginald Douglas, Vanessa Lancellotti, Sara Lyons, Ashley Monroe, Jonathon Musser, and Michael Rau, among others.

To Be Heard (film and discussion)

July 16, 7pm

Produced and directed by Edwin Martinez, Roland Legiardi-Laura, Deborah Shaffer, and Amy Sultan, To Be Heard is the story of three teens from the South Bronx whose struggle to change their lives begins when they start to write poetry. Hailed as "one of the best documentaries of the year" by The New York Times, the screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Roland Legiardi-Laura and a larger conversation about education and literacy.

Conversation: Immigration with Jose Antonio Vargas

July 18, 7pm

Jose Antonio Vargas, a multimedia storyteller and founder of Define American, whose story was recently featured on the cover of TIME (along with the story of nearly 12 million undocumented Americans), joins IMPACT for a conversation on immigration in the context of the upcoming national election.

Adaptations from Howard Zinn's Voices of a People's History of the United States

July 19, Time TBA

IMPACT 2012's resident artists take the stage to present their own stage adaptations from Howard Zinn's Voices of a People's History of the United States, focusing on the extraordinary history of ordinary people who built the movements that made this country what it is today.

[to be confirmed]

Urbana Poetry Slam

July 17, 24, 31, 7pm

For three weeks only the three-time-winner of the national slam championship, Urbana Poetry Slam, takes up residence at IMPACT 2012. A quirky and eccentric series, Urbana features all kinds of poetic voices: political, confessional, musical, and spiritual.

The Citizens Band

July 20, 8pm

Equal parts show-stopping performers, political activists, eclectic tastemakers and headstrong personalities, The Citizens Band has been one of the most lauded and prominent staples of New York City nightlife - a potent combination of the city's urban smarts, diverse style and forward thinking attitude. For this special evening at IMPACT 2012, members of the Band will perform a mix of classic songs and original compositions as they ponder such issues as fear mongering, war, immigration, xenophobia, poverty, and their own dreams for political change.

Artist Residencies

July 21, 28, August 4, 11, 18, 7pm

During week-long residencies, IMPACT 2012 Resident Artists will discuss, create, and rehearse new work surrounding the week’s topics. Each week will culminate in a free public presentation of the new works-in-progress. Participants to include Manuel Borras, Richard Vetere, Heather Raffo & Joanna Suttle, among others.

Conversation: Sinking Ship

July 25, 7pm

A conversation about the current state of the economy and the influence of banks, the government, and the Occupy Movement, moderated by Sam Seder, New York-based writer, director, and comedian, and host of the daily political radio program, The Majority Report.

IMPACT: Comedy Edition

July 26, 8pm

The “smart, funny, and fascinating” (WSJ) comedian and writer Negin Farsad curates an evening of young and fiery comedy and political satire, featuring Lee Camp (Showtime, MSNBC), Nato Green (FX), Sabrina Jalees (Last Comic Standing, Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival), and others.

Democracy Now! Café

Throughout the festival, Culture Project will screen thematic interviews from the Democracy Now! archives. This will take place in a pre-theater slot at 6pm.

Most tickets are $10 or less, available for purchase online at or by calling OvationTix at 1.866.811.4111. All events at Culture Project, 45 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012.

ABOUT Culture Project: Culture Project is dedicated to addressing critical human rights issues by shining an artistic spotlight on injustice. Founded by Allan Buchman in 1996, Culture Project has premiered celebrated shows including The Exonerated, Sarah JonesBridge & Tunnel, Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, Lawrence Wright’s My Trip To Al-Qaeda, Tings Dey Happen, the Lucille Lortel Award-winning world premiere of George Packer’s Betrayed, and Temple University’s acclaimed production of In Conflict. Culture Project also produced Breaking the Silence, Beating the Drum, a groundbreaking concert at the United Nations to commemorate the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Most recently, Culture Project presented James X, directed by Gabriel Byrne and the revival of Rinde Eckert's acclaimed And God Created Great Whales, in addition to hosting the world premiere of Tennessee Williams’ final full-length play, In Masks Outrageous and Austere. In 2012, Culture Project celebrates its return to the theaters at 45 Bleecker Street.

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