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  • 09/06/2022 6:09 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    The People’s Music Network Hybrid Fall Convergence, taking place October 21-22, 2022 (Friday and Saturday) at The People’s Forum in New York City, and around the world via Zoom, will create a unique encounter between artists and activists. Workshop offerings will be divided in two tracks:

    1. The Movement Track relates our music to specific struggles confronting systemic injustice.

    2. The Traditions And Skills Track explores where People’s Music comes from and how artists make it today.

    We’re seeking collaborators to help hold a space for members of our network to be heard and to inspire one another.  If you’re interested in helping us to organize, please write to <convergence@peoplesmusic.org>.  Your message will be immediately forwarded to the Workshop Committee (Erland Zygmuntowicz,  Ben Bath, and Ben Grosscup).

    Registration for the Convergence will be open soon.  Stay tuned and save the date!

    GET INVOLVED WITH THE MOVEMENT TRACK!

    The Movement Track of the PMN Fall Convergence will relate the music of PMN-affiliated artists to the urgency of our current political moment.  We identified six major peace and justice struggles to highlight:

    1. Demanding justice and speaking truth in the face of the climate crisis.
    2. Confronting racism and police violence.
    3. Defending abortion rights.
    4. Abolishing nuclear weapons, resisting U.S. military aggression, & ending militarism.
    5. Organizing workers on the job.
    6. Defending people’s democracy.

    Movement Track workshops will foster artistic and political collaboration among participants, create a space of political common ground through music, and lift up the craft of song as a social movement organizing tool.  Our goals are: 1) advance a strategic dialog about the use of music in movement spaces;  2) promote future collaborations between artists and activists outside the convergence; and 3) strengthen community ties and mutual awareness among attending artists. 

    We have the capacity to create hybrid workshops involving people physically present at the People’s Forum AND participants attending via Zoom.

    When reaching out to us, please speak to the following questions:  

    1. Do you have music relevant to one of the six topics above?  Which?
    2. Do you wish to help facilitate a workshop coalescing music on one or more topics?
    3. Can you tell us about facilitation skills and/or relevant contacts you can draw upon in shaping sessions around each topic area?
    4. Are you an activist currently engaged in organizing around any of these struggles?

    GET INVOLVED IN THE TRADITIONS AND SKILLS TRACK!

    People’s Music is defined not only by its relation to specific political struggles, but also by its rootedness in the cultural traditions from which today’s songs emerge as well as the skills to make songs and have them heard.  We’re seeking Traditions and Skills workshops for both the in person program at The People’s Forum in NYC and our online-only program.  Here’s some common topic areas we’re interested to see proposals for:

    • Creative Process: Inspiration to develop new creative work and instruction on vocal, instrumental, and/or performance technique.

    • Group Singing: Singing together in traditional performance settings and street protests.

    • Music in the Movement: Knowledge, experiences, and strategies to make music more vibrant in today’s social justice struggles and in society at large.

    • Music Promotion: The business end of being an independent working musician, with a focus on promoting music with a peace and social justice message.

    • Musical Traditions of Struggle: Understanding the cultural and political history of specific traditions of music that support people struggling for freedom.

    Please reach out to us using the email above if you're interested in helping us to organize a workshop session in one of these areas!

    JOIN US!

    We are excited to reconvene our network in person at The People’s Forum (320 West 37th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues) New York, NY) while also including people who can’t be present physically.  Music has an essential role to play in this critical time in world history.  Join us!


  • 09/01/2022 10:33 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    The People’s Music Network (PMN) will host our first ever hybrid activist music convergence from October 21-22, 2022 (Friday and Saturday) in New York City and around the world via Zoom.  This will be the first in person gathering of the People's Music Network since January 2020, and we are very excited about it!


    The People’s Music Network (PMN) will host our first ever hybrid activist music convergence from October 21-22, 2022 (Friday and Saturday) in New York City and around the world via Zoom.  This will be the first in person gathering of the People's Music Network since January 2020, and we are very excited about it!

    The hybrid convergence will facilitate an encounter between artists using music to build social and political consciousness and activist leaders in urgent struggles for liberation and justice.  We’re combining the best in PMN’s long history of musical networking gatherings with the best of our virtual events.  

    We will meet in person at The People's Forum -- 320 West 37th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues) New York, NY.  On Friday, October 21, 6:00-9:00pm (ET), we will host a Round Robin open mic, featuring performances by attendees.  Starting at 9:00pm (ET), we will shift to hosting a Virtual Round Robin where PMN members anywhere in the world are eligible to perform.   During the day on Saturday, there will be simultaneous workshop sessions.  The event culminates Saturday night with a special concert arising from our in-person participants. We’re aiming to foster participation and collaboration while presenting music that speaks to the issues of the day.   Lunch and dinner will be served throughout the event by the in-house cafe at The People's Forum.

    In addition to performing in the Virtual Round Robin starting at 9:00pm (ET) on Friday, during the day on Saturday, Virtual Convergence participants will be able to join online workshops taking place entirely on Zoom.  Some of the workshops in NYC will be open to remote participation via live video feed, thanks to help from our livestream tech team in NYC.

    We’re now curating workshop proposals for both for the event in NYC and for the virtual workshops.   Please reach out to Ben Grosscup <ben.grosscup@peoplesmusic.org> if you’d like to contribute your creative energies and talents as activists and artists.

  • 06/30/2022 4:34 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    Colin Randall – a journalist who previously worked for The Daily Telegraph in the UK – reviewed, "Turning Silence Into Song: The Music of Leon Rosselson," an online concert hosted and produced by the People's Music Network for Songs of Freedom and Struggle.

    The concert celebrated Rosselson’s lifetime of work, featuring an international lineup of musical luminaries -- including Leon himself -- singing his songs and reflecting on how his music has made a difference in struggles for justice and peace.  Randall, who has been writing about the songwriting career of Leon Rosselson for over 30 years, wrote in his review: "I enjoyed every song and every spoken memory."

    He encouraged online audiences to “share [in] my joy at the exceptional renditions of Rosselson's songs by Billy Bragg, Nancy Kerr (who also co-comperes exquisitely), Janet Russell, Martin Simpson, Nancy's mum Sandra, Elijah Wald, Chris Foster, Robb Johnson and, crikey, many more. Despite life-threatening ill health, our hero contributes “My Father's Jewish World”, a treasure of a song that might have brought expulsion had he belonged to today's Labour Party.”

    Read the review and find a link to the full concert here:  https://www.salutlive.com/2022/06/turning-silence-into-song-a-covid-age-tribute-to-the-towering-songwriting-talents-of-leon-rosselson.html

  • 06/27/2020 3:12 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    On June 26, 2020 Billboard Magazine published an article on the People's Music Network, our history, and how we have been responding to the pandemic.   It includes in depth interviews with PMN Steering Committee Member, Luci Murphy, and the host of tonight's Hip Hop Livestream (more on that below), Dilson Hernandez.

    The article gives a pretty honest portrayal of how PMN is working to develop music as a tool for social change and also touches on some of the long-term issues our organization has struggled with, especially the role of the musician as a servant of the people as well as building a more racially diverse membership.  Give this a read!

    https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/features/9410055/peoples-music-network-songs-protests-luci-murphy


  • 06/26/2020 3:01 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    From June 11-15, 2020, the People's Music Network hosted an extended weekend of music, socializing, and community discussion. 

    The program included a number of public events that were livestreamed:

    • Thursday night livestreamed “PMN Summer Concert” 
    • Saturday night livestreamed “Round Robin” where members pre-register to get a chance to perform;   

    We also hosted some PMN Member-only events such as: 

    • Friday and Saturday afternoon “Schmooze Rooms” where members got to know other members; 
    • Sunday morning “Songs of the Spirit” where the community will sing together despite the distance between us;   
    • Sunday afternoon "Membership Meeting" where the community will discuss PMN’s future;   
    • And Monday night workshop where members will learn ways to get involved in PMN's ongoing efforts at "Building Online Musical Community".  
  • 06/09/2020 7:30 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    6/9/2020: From PMN/SFS Steering Committee: The People's Music Network for Songs of Freedom and Struggle stands in solidarity with movements demanding justice for Black people and all communities of color.  We condemn ongoing racist police violence and political repression.  PMN's mission is to sustain and grow a diverse community of performing artists, activists, and allies who use music, poetry, and other art forms as catalysts for a just and peaceful world.  We pledge to mobilize PMN members to amplify these movements’ messages through music, to highlight artists of color within our Network, and to recommit ourselves to building movements for racial justice.

    PMN hosts weekly online programs that advance our mission, including online song and poetry swaps, educational workshops, and other participatory activities. See below for Upcoming Online Events.


  • 03/17/2020 12:19 AM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    How can the transformative power of music lift up people’s spirits and inspire movements for justice in the face of a global pandemic? 

    The People’s Music Network annual Summer Gathering is scheduled from June 12-14, 2020 at the Woolman Hill Retreat Center in Deerfield, MA.  Large groups singing together face-to-face is what makes PMN Gatherings so exciting and inspiring.  During this particular pandemic, it also endangers people’s health.  

    PMN is considering how to move forward in this crisis, with our mission in mind: sustaining and growing a diverse community of performing artists, activists and allies that uses music, poetry, and other forms of cultural work as catalysts for a just and peaceful world.  As we assess our options, the PMN Steering Committee will continue to communicate with our members about our decision making for this year’s Summer Gathering.

    For decades, PMN has sustained our community primarily by hosting major gatherings.  In recent years, we’ve also developed ideas for programs to sustain our community through online platforms.  In response to this crisis, we’re reviving our exploration of how these ideas can help us fulfill our mission right now.  Confronting this challenge is new for PMN and just about everyone else, but we have the capacity to work together, learn, and develop new strategies.


    Your Input is Needed 

    We're interested in collaborating with our PMN community to maintain and strengthen the network even while many of us maintain physical distance from groups to protect ourselves and others.  Here are additional activities we think PMN could focus on during this period, especially with the engagement of a focused team of volunteers:

    • Song Contest for new social justice songs, each with a topical focus.
    • Songwriting prompt followed by sharing what we write.
    • Compiling a list of PMN members who are holding online concerts and collaborating with other organizations to promote them. One new resource is: www.stayathomefest.com
    • Webinar: How independent working musicians can earn a living in a pandemic. One new resource is:  www.covid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com
    • Webinar: Tips and Tricks for Home Audio Recording.

    What are your ideas for how the People’s Music Network can strengthen our community while making music for social change during this pandemic?  Please write to us at pmn@peoplesmusic.org  with your own ideas and how you could help organize these or other types of activities.

    Signed in song and solidarity,

    Ben Grosscup, Executive Director
    Tobie Hoffman, President
    Charlie King, Treasurer


  • 01/19/2020 11:19 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    Check out the full workshop program for the People's Music Network Winter Convergence in NYC from Jan 24-26, 2020: https://www.peoplesmusic.org/Winter-Gathering-Workshops


  • 12/11/2019 4:10 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)
    This story features images from the event courtesy of Bev Grant and Jeremy Aaron.

          If you were with us on October 20 for the one-day PMN Fall Convergence at the People’s Forum in NYC, you know what a success it was!  We had 100 registered participants for this one-day local event -- one of the most diverse in PMN’s recent history (See the livestream of the open mic here).  

          The same creative and dynamic NYC Local Organizing Committee that hosted the 2019 Fall Convergence is now busy planning the 2020 PMN Winter Convergence -- a full weekend of musical inspiration at two locations in NYC from January 24-26, 2020 that will draw hundreds of participants from around the Northeast U.S. and beyond.  

    Why Call it a “Convergence”? 
          For years PMN has held Gatherings: weekend-long events with music rooted in struggles for justice and peace.  The NYC Organizing Committee believes that in this moment of global crisis, the role of the People’s Music Network is to help our members join forces -- both musically and politically -- to help inspire and encourage the movements we are part of.  In response, The organizing committee is creating a number of workshop tracks in order to bring together different communities of activist musicians with whom PMN is building ever stronger alliances: 

    1. Activist Choral Music 
    2. Hip Hop
    3. Latin Music and Nueva Cancion

          The elements that many members have come to love about past  PMN Gatherings -- the eclectic Friday night concert; song swaps; jamming; Round Robin; skill sharing; songwriting workshops; shared meals; homestay placements in NYC; Songs of the Spirit; and, we hope, you -- will all be part of this Winter Convergence

    PMN Winter Convergence:
    Musical Collaboration for Global Justice
    @two different locations in NYC
    January 24-26, 2020

    Early Registration opens December 12, 2019. 




    Friday, Jan. 24:  A Concert Bridging Different Generations of Struggle, Musical Styles, and Communities

    The People's Forum -- 320 West 37th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues), NYC
        The show will feature musical performances by the Sing in Solidarity Chorus, Mario Cancel, Jendog Lonewolf, their artistic collaborators, and others.  

    Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 25-26: Workshops and Song Sharing
    Central Park East II School -- 433 East 100th Street, NYC
         We are delighted to be back at Central Park East II for the second year in a row!  The Saturday workshop program will highlight the distinctiveness of particular musical forms and traditions.  The evening Round Robin will draw shine to the individual talents and contributions of our diverse community. The Sunday morning Sessions will offer different ways for the community to integrate distinct musical forms into a louder, more united, and more powerful cultural force.  

    *** Propose a Workshop
          To propose a specific workshop for this upcoming Convergence, consider these Guidelines.  Then you can fill out this Workshop Proposal Form.  Deadline for workshop proposals is December 15, 2019.


  • 06/18/2019 4:38 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    The 2020 People’s Music Network Winter Gathering will take place in New York City from January 24-26, 2020. It includes:

    • Music to inspire dreams for a better world.
    • Traditions that strengthen social justice struggles.
    • A community where singers, listeners, songwriters, fans, are welcome in a common space.

    The location for the PMN Friday Night Concert, starting at 7:30pm on January 24, 2020, is yet to be announced. 

    On Saturday and Sunday (January 25 & 26, 2020) at Central Park East II in East Harlem (enter from First Avenue and East 101st Street), we’ll have participatory workshops and song swaps, mentoring sessions, and a Saturday night Round Robin – all highlighting the role of music in progressive social change. A specific track of workshops for youth called the Youth Creative Convergence will take place parallel to the adult workshop. Expect numerous opportunities to share music, sing together, and to join efforts to bring music for progressive social change into the heart of struggles for justice and freedom today.

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