What would a world be like without the Arts? Here, at FALA, the Arts are near and dear and personally precious to us all. However, recent words and actions out of Washington have made the future of the Arts in America, unclear and unsure. The new Administration has demonstrated small regard for vitally important organizations such as the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, the Center for Public Broadcasting, PBS, and others and is poised to eviscerate their essential funding, essentially leading to their demise.
Responding to these threats, on Friday, April 7th, coinciding with First Friday and the Artwalk, an important new event, in defense and celebration of all the Arts, will make its debut in Flagstaff. “April for the Arts” is the first in what we anticipate will be a regular celebration, perhaps presented seasonally. And FALA will be well represented in both attendance and performance!
Initially gathering outside Theatrikos Theatre Company (11 W Cherry Ave,) at 5:15p, we will then follow the marvelous merrymaking music of the well-known local Brazilian samba band, Sambatuque, to Heritage Square for an hour of interactive (e.g. audience participation encouraged and welcomed,) performance from a wonderful diversity of the Arts: Dark Skies/Studio Aerial Arts, the Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy dancers, African Drum and Dance, written/spoken word creation with Allison Gruber and Maia Tipton, and a plethora of other varied and talented Arts groups and individuals from FALA as well as the community in general.
At 6:30p, all will be invited to affix strips of cloth over our mouths, symbolizing the threat to our freedom of creative expression, and, together, process around the Square in a Silent March, reminiscent and honoring the massive silent protest of the African-American community in NYC, 1911.
Returning to the Square at 6:45p, we will enter into a powerful experience of performance art, “Commonality”, lead by FALA Theatre director, Mike Levin, which graphically illustrates what connects and strengthens, rather than divides and weakens us.
The highly respected, local indigenous band, Sihasin, will then share their music until 7:30p when the event is scheduled to conclude.
In addition to FALA, there will also be multiple Arts organizations represented at the event, with interactive information on what they offer our community. Booth openings (at no cost) are still available.
For more information, please see our Facebook page: April4Arts. We very much hope to welcome a significant participation from those who celebrate our diverse and vibrant Arts community here in Flagstaff!!!