"Down by the Riverside" Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. San Francisco International Arts Festival Announces 2018 Program
SFIAF is pleased to announce its 2018 Program that will run exclusively at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture from May 24–June 3. Early Bird Tickets will go on sale on Thursday, March 1. The Festival will continue its commitment to promoting and presenting artistic work that focuses on issues of social justice and civil and human rights. In 2018 the theme "Down by the Riverside" will look to inspire a new generation of Americans to become politically active and engaged citizens.
Following the successful presentation of the Festival in 2017 with the theme In the Dark Times, Will There also be Singing? The Festival will continue its commitment to promoting and presenting artistic work that focuses on issues of social justice and civil and human rights. In 2018 the theme Down by the Riverside will look to inspire a new generation of Americans to become politically active and engaged citizens.
On what will be the 50th anniversary of his assassination in 1968, down by the Riverside will also recall his most controversial speech, Beyond Vietnam—A Time to Break Silence at the Riverside Church in New York City on April 4 1967—one year to the day before he died. In this speech, Dr. King declared a strong antiwar stance questioning the nation’s military role and morality in killing Vietnamese people. This opposition to the war was deemed extremely unpatriotic; he was vilified in the media, and mainstream America and even fellow civil rights leaders turned against him.
Festival Director, Andrew Wood said of the theme, “The most important thing for us in honoring Dr. King is posing the question: What are the things that he stood for in 1968 that are still in need of attention in 2018? In his speech at the Riverside Church he was saying that he could not remain a single issue activist. He was calling for organizing and resistance across sectors. This is still a very important lesson for us today. With the current administration in Washington DC we have to acknowledge that an attack on one is an attack on all. Some of the artists in the Festival have work that speaks directly to Dr. King’s legacy. Many others draw attention to socio-economic issues that are related to civil rights, but that highlight different concerns. They are all connected and they are all important.”
Artistic projects that speak directly to the theme include Anthony Brown and the Asian American Orchestra in collaboration with activist and academic Dr. Angela Davis with the premiere of a musical concert honoring the life of Dr. King. A large scale outdoor multi-media project titled Down by the Riverside by Paul Cartier that will be presented free to the public.
Projects that highlight related issues include Under Ice about the dark side of market capital by leading German playwright Falk Richter performed by Arturo Areimas Theatre from Lithuania and Solo Date about the dangerous combination of social media and artificial intelligence by Pao Chang Tsai from Taiwan.
Brian Copeland performs The Scion a true story about the 2000 triple homicide of three meat inspectors in San Leandro. The play examines the roles of privilege and government regulation in American society.
Yvette Dibos will perform as her persona "Miss Appropriation" in a series of vignettes that address gender, whiteness and appropriation. She humorously and cathartically critiques pop culture's adoption of historically iconic subversive acts, specifically those that counter heteronormativity and white supremacy.
STEAMROLLER Dance Company will perform Loserville, a queering of the iconic film The Breakfast Club. Loserville questions how media affects perceptions of race and sexuality and links the idea of the loser with the experiences of marginalized communities.
Lua Hadar will give a multi-lingual concert titled Our Common Humanity evoking the heritage of civilization with original lyrics and score.
The 2018 Festival will also mark the return of nouveau-cirque with performances by two all-women ensembles: Cirquantique from Montreal and Troupe Vertigo from Los Angeles.
The confirmed list of artists currently planning on participating in the 2018 Festival that will be revealed to the public on December 3 is as follows: Adrian Arias with Kristi Williamson, AguaClara Flamenco, Ambiguous Dance Company, Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra with Dr. Angela Davis, artpaul cartier, Arturo Areimas Theatre, Bandelion, Bahiya Movement, Baobab, Bay Area Salsa All-Stars, Brian Copeland, Charlie Levin, Chris Carlsson, Cirquantique, David Nihill “A Funny Thing Happened…,” De Rompe y Raja Cultural Association, Embark Gallery, Florante Aguilar’s Aswang, Igor Josifov, Interrogation Room, Jyotsna Vaidee, Krip-Hop Nation, Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco, Lua Hadar, Melody of China with VeVe Drummers, Orchestra Gold with Mariam Diakite, Pablo Estigarribia, Pao Chang Tsai, Priya Ramadoss, San Francisco Flamenco Dance Company, Sha Sha Higby, Shipra Dance, STEAMROLLER Dance Company, Tito Matos y La Maquina Insular, Troupe Vertigo, Ushanjali, ViBO Simfani, Vishwa Shanthi Performing Arts, Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco and Yaelisa & Caminos Flamencos.
Presenting partners include the Queer Cultural Center who will co-present Bahiya Movement and Pao Chang Tsai, the US/ Japan Cultural Trade Network who will co-present Baobab from Tokyo, The Korean American Cultural Center of San Francisco who will co-present Ambiguous Dance Company from Seoul and Embark Gallery who will present Yvette Dibos.
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