Imagine troupes of dancing mailboxes, amusing people in public spaces in different towns all across Pennsylvania, and then giving out flyers with useful and accurate information about how and where to vote by mail, to vote by drop box, and/or to vote in person. This is #DeliveringDemocracy!
There has been a lot of disinformation going around lately, knocking the post office and saying that mail-in ballots are “fraudulent.” We know this isn’t true, and we are making playful street theatre across the state of Pennsylvania to uplift morale, instill faith in the Post Office and dropbox/in person voting, and spread useful voter information to as many people as we can during the last, crucial month before Election Day.
Post-Election Day, Delivering Democracy is shifting the message from telling everyone HOW to vote in their locality to the concept that “Democracy is Worth Waiting For.” We give speeches, pass out flyers, put out press releases, and hold events explaining that it is normal and fine for vote counting to continue for a while, especially in a pandemic. As patriotic, harmless, cute and fun mailboxes, we provide the civil service of calm, confidence, and accurate information–in character.
L.M. Bogad, Artistic Director/Producer
Leese Walker/Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble, Theatrical Director
Rolf Sturm, Music Director
Tannis Kowalchuk, Artistic Director, Farm Arts Collective
Andrea Ariel, Choreographer
Jennifer Varbalow, Costume Designer
Mary Workman and Ed Smit, Vocals
L. M. Bogad (a newly declared WPA Artist for the United States Department of Arts and Culture) is an author, performance artist/activist, Professor of political performance, Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at UC Davis, Director of the Center for Tactical Performance, and co-founder of the Clown Army. He has performed and led workshops across the USA, Europe and South America, from SFMOMA to a squatted military base in Barcelona. He was the Art and Controversy Fellow and Distinguished Lecturer on Performance and Politics at Carnegie Mellon University, and a Humanities and Political Conflict Fellow at ASU.
Bogad’s first book, Electoral Guerrilla Theatre: Radical Ridicule and Social Movements, analyzes the international campaigns of performance artists who run for public office as a radical prank and was recently republished in an updated and expanded second edition. His second book, Tactical Performance: On the Theory and Practice of Serious Play, analyzes the use of guerrilla theatre/art for human/civil rights, social justice, labor and environmental campaigns. He also wrote and produced a documentary, Radical Ridicule: Serious Play and the Republican National Convention. His third book, Playing the Plague: Works of Infectious Dissent for Times of Political Pandemic, is a collection of many of his performance scripts.
Taylor Swift’s “Only the Young” (Check out 0:52!)
New York Times Early Voting Photos
WVIA Public Radio
New York Times “Photo of the Day”
Unstoppable Voter Projects Throughout the Country Will Bring Art and Entertainment to Voters and Polling Places; Artists Hope to Inspire Others in Their Own Communities
In this contentious election season, many people are wondering how we can move past division and tension to celebrate democracy and our freedom to vote. Artists, in the business of storytelling and culture-making, are working around the country to turn the focus to honoring and encouraging participation in our democratic process. With this in mind, the Center for Artistic Activism created the Unstoppable Voter Project. We funded 11 of the most ambitious, innovative collaborations between artists and civic organizations seeking to increase voter engagement after receiving more than 100 applications. Artistic events will take place nationwide, with a focus on states where voters are facing barriers to the polls.