NEW YORK: The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) has announced their new Artist Ambassadors program, a multidisciplinary partnership between the organization and the performing arts community. The program will engage, educate, and empower arts community members who are passionate about the intersection of art and social justice.
“The fight for justice doesn’t just take place in the streets, courts, legislatures, and polls. It also takes place on the stage,” NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman said in a statement. “The NYCLU is ecstatic to partner with New York’s creatives to build bridges between the arts and activism.”
The inaugural class of ambassadors includes over 50 members of the performing arts community and is coordinated by producer Ari Conte. The program is co-chaired by composers and performers Shaina Taub and Arianna Afsar.
“We believe art changes culture and culture changes policy,” Taub and Afsar said in a joint statement. “We have a responsibility as artists to shift the narrative, and we are so excited to be able to share this belief as a collective of Artist Ambassadors.”
In the first year of the program, the ambassadors will promote and participate in the advocacy and public education work of the NYCLU, work to deepen their understanding of civil liberties work in New York, and unite for a NYCLU benefit concert, Sing Out for Freedom.
The ambassadors include playwrights, actors, producers, and photographers, among others. The 2021 class includes Afsar, Saheem Ali, Preston Max Allen, Kelsey Angel Baehrens, Mikayla, Bartholomew, Denée Benton, Erich Bergen, Cheyenne Brady, Maybe Burke, November Christine, Layan Elwazani, Shruti Ganguly, Lora Lee Gayer, Emmett Grosland, Somáh Haaland, Wesley Han, Jacob Haren, Brooke Ishibashi, Jax Jackson, Nikki M. James, C.A. Johnson, Maggie Keenan-Bolger, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Judy Kuhn, Michael Kushner, Treya Lam, Zhailon Levingston, Jess McLeod, Paola Mendoza, Arian Moayed, Lauren Molina, Jevares C. Myrick, Robb Nanus, Shakina Nayfack, Sam Pinkleton, Nikki Pitre, Alba Ponce de León, Eva Price, Zachary Prince, Geena Quintos, Nikhil Saboo, Holly Sansom, Justin Elizabeth Sayre, Arya Shahi, Leigh Silverman, Phillipa Soo, Liana Stampur, Ali Stroker, Rachel Sussman, Taub, Brandon Uranowitz, and Princess Victome.
The NYCLU, also known as the American Civil Liberties Union of New York, fights for civil liberties and civil rights through a multi-layered program of litigation, advocacy, public education, and community organizing.
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