This has been a great day. It’s exciting for WITNESS staff to see first hand how people react to hearing about the work WITNESS and WITNESS partners are doing. There is a real sense of gratitude from the people passing by, and a real interest in getting involved.
I spoke on a panel about Arts and Activism yesterday with Marc Ross of Rock the Earth, Marc Brownstein of the band Disco Biscuits (and co-chair of Headcount), Tania Elizabeth of the Grammy nominated band The Duhks, Jennifer Fahy of Farm Aid and a few others. There were some interesting questions being raised, in particular – do artists have an obligation to use their platform for change? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think artists have more of an obligation then any one of us. We all live together on this planet, so it’s up to each of us to do what we can, if we can, and if that is what we choose to do. It’s great to be in the company of folks who are spending their time that way, but we’re each our own people.
There was also lots of great music to be heard. A highlight being Stephen Marley on the main stage, and his version of No Woman, No Cry. Swell Season was an unexpected favorite. Glen Hansard and Marketa (Swell Season) were the stars of the film, “Once” and won an Oscar for best song from a soundtrack earlier this year. Chatting with Glen briefly after the show, it’s clear that he’s interested in human rights and hopefully will get involved with WITNESS in the future.
Rilo Kiley rocked the Roo. It was good to see them, as they are old friends from back when they would couch surf when they passed through NYC.
And then there was the great Willie Nelson! No words. And the day was topped off with M.I.A.
All in all, a jam packed day (no pun intended).
The rain started at about 9 PM and has yet to stop.
Cheers for now.
Becky and Team W