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  • 08/22/2023 6:49 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    The Steering Committee of the People's Music Network for Songs of Freedom and Struggle unanimously signed a letter, "McCarthyism Is Back: Together We Can Stop It", which excoriates The New York Times (NYT) for "McCarthy-like attacks against individuals and organizations criticizing US foreign policy."  The Times recently published a piece, unfairly targeting organizations including CODEPINK, Tricontinental Institute, and The People’s Forum.  Since 2019, The People’s Forum has hosted multiple PMN-sponsored events.  The People’s Forum will also host the upcoming PMN Fall Hybrid Convergence, taking place in person on Saturday, October 28, 2023 and on Zoom from October 27-29.

    The Times is engaging in a political witch hunt, making baseless insinuations about peace activists who oppose a New Cold War with China but who have committed no crimes.  Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is now amplifying these insinuations, citing the Times article in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, pushing the Justice Department to investigate the organizations targeted by the Times.  The People’s Music Network stands against this witch hunt, which fosters a climate of fear about anyone connected to China and produces a chilling effect on US citizens who oppose their government’s policy toward China.  This article by Caitlin Johnstone summarizes the issues at stake here and links to documents referenced above.

    Moreover, the People’s Music Network stands with The People's Forum, which has provided PMN with a beautiful and accessible event space, nutritious meals, and a supportive technical staff for four major events in October 2019, January 2020, October 2022 and February 2023.

    TPF has helped enable our membership to foster a welcoming and open community where members have engaged in open political dialog and collaborative musical performances that address today's urgent social justice struggles.  When friends in the movement who support us in pursuing our mission come under such scurrilous attack by such a powerful media organization, we stand proudly with them.

    - PMN Steering Committee

    August 22, 2023

  • 04/17/2023 11:35 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    On February 5, 2023, People's Music Network and Music to Life co-hosted a special showcase called "Songs of Hope and Change."  The live event was the closing showcase at the Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City.  

    The video includes performances by social justice artists from all over the world including: Rebecca Folsom, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Seth Walker, Phyllis Sinclair, Chuck McDermott, Ben Grosscup, Kamica King, Robinson & Rohe, Ernest Aines, Rachel Sumner & Traveling Light, Siena Christie, Ken Whiteley, Brant Miller, Savannah Brister, and Luci Murphy.

  • 03/15/2023 12:33 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    On March 11, Northern Spirit Radio producer, Mark Helpsmeet, created an  hour-long radio program presenting a sampling of songs from the PMN  Winter Hybrid Convergence in NYC from February 10-12, 2023.   His  syndicated program regularly features music of peace and social justice.  Check out the episode program here:

  • 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 <>.  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!


    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?


    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 <> 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:

  • 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!

  • 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:
    • Webinar: How independent working musicians can earn a living in a pandemic. One new resource is:
    • 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  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

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