What is Unstoppable Voters?
We believe that every voter’s voice must be heard. The U.S. freedom to vote is under extraordinary attack–at the state level, the federal level, and due to widespread apathy, division, and distrust–but we have hope. We believe we can become a country where people feel invested in and excited about civic life. We believe legislation can be passed at the federal and state levels to support that civic life and protect the freedom to vote. And we know that we need to use the powers of art and culture to make this promise of democracy real for us all.
Through Unstoppable Voters, we support creatively risk-taking, strategic, ambitious organizations, people, and projects that address urgent and specific anti-voter attacks. We provide training and community building for individuals and groups who are passionate about protecting the freedom to vote and bringing the needed innovation to that fight. And we provide funding to help manifest that innovation and bring real, measurable impact.
Project Funding and Support
To date, we’ve funded 22 bold, impactful projects that have helped people vote and protected the freedom to vote.
We began in 2020, funding 17 projects in the lead-up to and aftermath of the election, including: Cirque d’Vote, which organized dozens of circus performances at early voting locations and on Election Day; Float the Vote, which mobilized Detroit food and ice cream trucks to educate people about registration, early voting and polling locations; Project Your Vote, which projected voting information and narrative imagery in dozens of cities near voting sites; Fuck Talking, Go Vote, which mobilized diverse cowboys and cowgirls across the country in 11 rides to the ballot boxes before election day; and Delivering Democracy, which put troupes of dancing mailboxes on the ground throughout Pennsylvania to make people excited about voting by mail and dropbox. Read more about the projects we funded in 2020 here and here.
So far in 2021, we’re funding 5 projects, including:
Song Power For The People begins with an original pro-voter song and spreads it through social media platforms and challenges. Then it brings in musicians of all genres to sing the song in Washington, D.C., continuously for 24 hours and 19 minutes (one minute longer than the longest filibuster ever recorded), to bust the filibuster and get the For the People Act passed.
How’s Your Voice Gonna Matter If You Don’t Vote?: Theater, puppets, music, and more engage youth in Philly and get them registered and amped to vote in crucial 2021 judicial races
¿En Serio Loca? ¡VOTA! Pride floats, drag queens, and lip sync battles celebrate queerness, promote mail-in voting, and counter Latinx poll intimidation in Florida
Senator Singing Lessons: Songs to sing to your Senators in New York and beyond help them find their voice and become full-throated leaders on protecting the vote
Chase the Erase: Raucous street actions featuring drum lines, cheer squads, and lots of chalk join the fight for fair districts in Pennsylvania
Stay tuned for our next call for proposals!
Our Unstoppable Voters Workshop is a three-session, online workshop where participants learn all about creative activism and refine ideas for creative, pro-voter projects. Great for staff and volunteers at voter advocacy organizations, for artists, advocates, activists, creative people, and more. This is a chance to experience our popular Creative Activism Academy training that we’ve been honing for 12+ years in workshops around the world–and immediately apply it to protecting the freedom to vote.
We held our first workshop in June 2021 for 60 participants, who were in 17 states with deep connections to 10 more plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Half of the participants came from arts backgrounds, half had more activist backgrounds. Many of them went on to develop inspiring project ideas that we’re funding now.
We’ll be offering more workshops soon–maybe even in person! Stay tuned.
Holistic Districts Hub
Through Unstoppable Voters, we also support work on specific key, pro-voter issues. In Fall 2021, we’re focusing on the drawing of fair districts across the country, through the Holistic Districts Hub.
The Holistic Districts Hub is an opportunity for a small number of select organizations who are leading the way in developing and implementing bold, creative, innovative, and impactful ideas for making fair districting a reality. It will take place over a series of online convenings facilitated by the Center for Artistic Activism.
Participating organizations will:
- Develop and implement impactful, innovative campaigns that have real, measurable results in ensuring the drawing of fair districts
- Share and learn from best practices at peer organizations around the country
- Become a part of a close network of organizations pushing the boundaries of what redistricting reform activism can be, and one that supports each other’s work nationwide
Specific focuses and benefits include:
- Unique strategic campaign outlines for each organization, developed by participants within the workshop
- Analysis of audiences and impacts
- Clear ideas of what works and doesn’t, and how to get beyond raising awareness and into moving people to action
- Specific, impact-driven, and wildly creative objectives and tactic ideas
- Assessment methods and questions
- Tools that can be utilized in future work
- Presentations and documentation that can be shared organization-wide
The expert facilitators at the Center for Artistic Activism have decades of experience helping organizations reach their fullest potential on campaigns. We’ve supported multiple creative projects around fair districting in the past, including a game-based map-making event in North Carolina around the 2020 election and, upcoming, a raucous street theater action that will take place across Pennsylvania. We’re excited to be able to contribute additional significant resources to this key, pro-voter issue at this critical moment.
Organizations are able to participate in the Hub for free, thanks to a generous sponsor. If you think your organization may be a good fit, reach out!
Song Power For the People
Our government should work for us, but the filibuster isn’t working. The Senate’s filibuster is a loophole to grab power and doom legislation the majority of Americans want. Senators need to know we’re holding them accountable for eliminating the filibuster and passing laws that protect our lives and freedoms–especially our freedom to vote. How will we do that? With 24 hours and 19 minutes of continuous singing outside of Congress on August 1-2.
24 Hours and 19 Minutes of Singing???
The longest filibuster ever recorded, by Strom Thurmond, lasted 24 hours and 18 minutes. Join us in D.C. as we flip that bit of history on its head, singing a new, pro-voter anthem continuously in a variety of styles and with special guests. Bring instruments or just your voice. It’s ok if you’re a beginner or a pro, and you can join in for as long as you can to help us keep the song–and our country–alive.
Check out Song Power for the People
Unstoppable Voters 2020
¿En Serio Loca? ¡VOTA!
Chase the Erase
How’s Your Voice Gonna Matter if You Don’t Vote!
Song Power for the People
Buck Expectations. Vote.
Packing and Cracking
Stir the Pot
Southwest Organizing Project
The Peace Poets
My Hope, Our Hope
Cheer the Count!
The Good Liars: Making Voter Suppression Personal
Don’t Mess with My Vote
Float the Vote
Courting Voters with Court Fees
Drawing out the Vote
Project Your Vote
Fuck Talking, Go Vote
Unstoppable Voters has been made possible through the generous support of Andrea Soros Colombel and Open Society Foundations.
Thank you hugely to our generous Unstoppable Voters anchor funder Andrea Soros Colombel for knowing that artistic activism is the future of advocacy, and for caring so deeply about democracy.