Our current moment has formed an energy many of us have never experienced in our lives. The electric buzz of social change paired with the stillness required to ensure physical distancing forces internal mechanisms to search new pathways to connect — and harness — the power to move ahead and transform inertia itself. This week presents ways to tune in to that power, and activate our own.
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Visual Studies Workshop returns to live, in-person programming with an outdoor multi-media presentation, The Power of Protest: Poetry and Film. Local poets Sarah Adams, Sabine Bradley, Reenah Golden, and Rashaad Parker will engage words, performance, and insight in open-air readings as prelude to archival films that will screen at dusk. The films, "B'ism Allah" (1975), "No Justice No Peace: Young, Black, ImMEDIAte" (1992), "Black Body" (1992), and "Police Brutality" are set to examine some persistent realities and inspire persistence in fighting for change. A suggested donation of $10 will support the local Black Lives Matter movement. Be sure to check out Jeff Spevak's closer preview in this week's installment of Across the Universe.
Those who would prefer to stay in can join historian Maya Rook at her latest virtual History Happy Hour, Tituba of Salem, on Thursday at 7 p.m. Tituba was a key figure in the Salem Witch Trials, but has remained elusive to definition and understanding. Rook will examine the mythology around Tituba as well as known history to present a more complete portrait. Tickets are $15, with 20 percent of proceeds benefiting the Manicato Taíno Cultural Center, which works to preserve the heritage of the indigenous Caribbean people who share an ancestry with Tituba.
On Saturday at 7 p.m., Geneva Theatre Guild Youth Theatre presents a live, virtual performance called "Youth in a Pandemic." Original monologues, scenes, poetry, and song will channel the power and perspectives unique to local young people experiencing this unprecedented moment in their lives. The suggested $5 donation will support continued youth classes and programming.
We can be inspired by the power of others, or perhaps even take that leap to channel our power through artistic expression. There are several calls for art, writing, recordings, and more that are currently open, urging reflection on the history happening now. A full, expanding list of opportunities can be found on CITY calendar's calls for art and calls for participants, while some highlights include opportunities especially for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color):
Main Street Arts in Clifton Springs has an Open Call for Upstate NY BIPOC Artists through September 5. Artists can submit up to six pieces, and at least one will be included in an exhibition that opens on September 26. Artists and their submissions will help shape future programming at the storefront gallery space as well as their remarkable interactive exhibitions website.
In tandem with the gallery's call for art, neighboring Sulfur Books is holding a BIPOC Poetry Contest for writers in New York state. Local poet and radio host Albert Abonado will judge entries for cash awards, and finalists will be published in a printed journal later this fall. Entries are due September 5.
If you're in need a boost of power, you can plug in to the Rochester Museum and Science Center any day of the week, where music becomes electric both day and night: During museum hours, check out Electricity Theater for a pair of Tesla coils shooting musical interpretations through bolts of lightning, sparks, and arcs. (The shows are included with museum admission, $14-$15.) Then at night, sit back at the Strasenburgh Planetarium for their classic Beatles in Laser Light. Now is a good time to see the planetarium's new interior and contemplate the past and future. ($9/$10, no children under 5 years old.)
Keep up to date with full listings of local online events on the CITY Events Calendar. Do you have an event you wish to include? You can submit online, or email event information to firstname.lastname@example.org.