What if the annual State of the Union
was not a speech spoken by one,
but a poem created by many?
At story circles convened in over 150 communities between January 23-30, participants will gather to share stories reflecting on the state of the union as experienced in their own lives and communities. As a way to augment the President’s annual speech, these stories will be collected and shared through an online portal, supplemented by commentary from the USDAC National Cabinet. Inspired by these stories, a group of award-winning poets will create and deliver a Poetic Address to the Nation, broadcast live from New York City’s Bowery Poetry Club on February 1, 2015. Contributing poets include: Margaret Randall, Patricia Smith, Bob Holman, Luis Rodriguez, E. Ethelbert Miller, Claudia Rankine, Joy Harjo, Eileen Myles, and many others.
The People’s State of the Union is the first in a series of new civic rituals planned by the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture.
For Tucson area residents:
WHAT: People’s State of the Union story circle
WHO: Hundreds of individuals and civic organizations, partial list below
WHEN: Monday January, 26 - 6pm-8pm
WHERE: Citizens Artist Collective 44 W 6th St. (enter on 9th Ave. side) Studio #13
Attend Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/605450912917925/
Online Conversation: #PSOTU, #USDAC
“We're holding these events across the country because we believe that democracy is a conversation, not a monologue,” said USDAC Chief Instigator Adam Horowitz. “Instead of a speech spoken by one, the Poetic Address is a work of art created by many.”
USDAC Minister of Poetry and Endangered Language Protection Bob Holman, an award-winning writer and creator of Language Matters (soon to be broadcast on PBS), is leading creation of the collaborative address inspired by the stories.
A small sampling of participating communities and organizations includes:
See the Full Map Here: http://peoplesstateoftheunion.usdac.us/
- Ferguson Youth Initiative (Ferguson, MO)
- Gender and Sexuality Center and the University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, IL)
- Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR)
- Esperanza Peace and Justice Center (San Antonio, TX)
- Westmoor High School, 10th Grade English (Daly, CA)
- United Caring Services Homeless Shelter (Evansville, IN)
- Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City (Overland Park, KS)
- Migrant Education Program (Salinas, CA)
- University of Nebraska Social Practice Coalition (Lincoln, NE)
- Bronx Music Heritage Center Lab (Bronx, NY)
- Wise Fool Circus (Peñasco, NM)