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  • 06/05/2024 11:44 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    The New York City Chapter of the People's Music Network will host an in-person gathering of musicians and activists for peace and justice on the weekend of July 19-21, 2024.   It takes place at the Henry Winston Unity Hall on W 23rd Street in NYC.  This is a great chance for the beloved community of PMN -- both within NYC and beyond -- to gather, to sing, to share skills and musical traditions, and to continue building a community of artists who are dedicated to using their craft in service of the urgent movements we're part of.

    There will be a welcome party and hybrid concert on Friday, July 19, which will include PMN members performing remotely.  We'll have a full day of workshops on Saturday, July 20 with an evening collaborative concert.  On Sunday, July 21, we'll have Songs of the Spirit.  Make your travel plans today!  We're aiming to support members to find housing in the city, and the process for that is still getting established.  Registration will be posted in early June.

    How did this event come about? For many decades, long-time PMN members have gathered for a 3 day overnight music experiences around this time of year, usually at a remote summer camp location.  In 2024, the timing of that gathering had to be shifted to the Fall, because the camp hosting us only had one weekend available: October 4-6, 2024 in Groton, MA.  That left Summer 2024 open for an additional event, and the best date was July 19-21.  The Steering Committee is grateful to members of the local Chapter in NYC for stepping up to host us again as they have done many times before.  We realize this announcement is coming out later than we would prefer, but we also know that the local NYC Chapter is doing a very good job of including new artists and maintaining a vibrant musical culture with the monthly song gatherings they have been hosting since late last year.   So we're confident that drawing members together in NYC will be an inspiring experience.  Please consider attending!

    If you'd like to get involved with workshop ideas, housing offers, and/more, please reach out!  <>

  • 02/08/2024 5:41 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)

    In 2024, PMN will be holding our traditional "Summer Gathering" as a Fall Gathering, taking place October 4-6, 2024 at at Camp Grotonwood in Groton MA.   

    In May 2023, PMN held a wonderfully successful 3 day community building event at Camp Grotonwood.  It was our first time using the camp, and its facilities supported our community in coming together in a beautiful way (see videos from the event).  In the months to come, expect to hear about additional plans coming together for the 2024 PMN Fall Gathering. 

    Looking ahead to 2025, PMN is tentatively scheduled to come back to Camp Grotonwood for Memorial Day Weekend, May 23-25, 2025.

  • 01/18/2024 3:34 PM | Ben Grosscup (Administrator)


    We have exciting news to share about the PMN Winter Hybrid Convergence taking place in NYC and on Zoom from January 26-28, 2024 as well as a "Save the Date" for the next PMN Fall Gathering, October 4-6, 2024 in Groton, MA!

    There's been great interest among PMN members making plans to come to NYC from out of town for the Winter Hybrid Convergence, taking place from January 26-28, 2024!  Originally, we planned Friday and Sunday would be Zoom-only and we'd have in-person activities on Saturday, January 27 at The People's Forum on West 37th Street in Manhattan.  In order to give a bigger and richer container for our musical community to grow, we've added in-person events in NYC at the Henry Winston Unity Hall on West 23rd Street on both Friday evening, January 26 and Sunday morning and afternoon, January 28. 

    Every year from 1982 to 2020, PMN held a major three-day Winter Gathering in the final weekend of January.  Since the pandemic, PMN has been hosting multiple one-day in-person events in NYC.  The added energy for in-person gatherings on Friday and Sunday at this upcoming Winter Convergence is another sign that PMN is rebuilding the pre-pandemic organizational momentum that once was regularly drawing over 200 musicians, activists and allies together for our Winter weekend events.

    Meanwhile, PMN hasn't lost the momentum we built during the pandemic for our virtual events, which have been connecting PMN members all over the world.  For this hybrid convergence, we're once again offering great Zoom-only workshops and song swaps as well as the option to tune into some of the workshops taking place in-person in NYC and various Zoom hang-out spaces where you can meet other PMN members around the country.  Take a close look at this year's full schedule for the Winter Convergence.

    On Friday, January 26, PMN Members anywhere in the world may register to perform in the Virtual Round Robin @WinterConvergence, which begins promptly at 6:30pm (ET).   The additional new plan is that the PMN-NYC Local Chapter will host an in-person gathering space at Henry Winston Unity Hall (HWUH) during this same time, which includes a watch party. Doors open at 6:00pm.

    Any PMN member signed up to perform in the Virtual Round Robin who comes to HWUH in person may perform from the space.  Their audience will be people gathered together for the watch party as well as the larger audience watching from home on Zoom.  Watch party attendees will see performances by PMN members from around the world.

    Dinner will be provided at HWUH and an additional financial contribution on a sliding scale of $15-$50 from attendees is requested.  We have access to a separate space for song sharing and socializing late into the night.

    On Saturday, January 27, the Winter Convergence takes place all day at The People's Forum.  Lunch and Dinner are provided as part of the registration fee.  Following an opening ceremony, we have morning and afternoon workshops, followed by a Collaborative Performance space in the evening.   

    On Sunday, January 28, all Winter Convergence participants are invited back to HWUH.  For the morning session, a big highlight will be Jane Sapp's Choral Workshop in which participants will be "Learning Gospel Songs of the Black Church & Freedom Songs with a Gospel Sound".  There will be a simultaneous session called "Hard Hitting Song Swap."  In the afternoon, we'll be holding a membership meeting that includes a presentation on how to build a local chapter of PMN, led by the PMN-NYC Chapter.  There will also be a dance party.  The event on Sunday is new, and we're going to create a separate registration form for it.  We're still working out the details about how we will provide breakfast and lunch, and will be able to provide a suggested sliding scale for Sunday Registration, which will be a lower cost than Saturday's in-person event.  Registration will also be available on site for Sunday, January 28. 

    If you aren't registered, just register for the in-person event on Saturday at The People's Forum, and know there will also be an opportunity to register for Sunday if you can make it.  And do it today if you can.  Registrations received by tonight Saturday, January 13, 2024 at 11:59 PM, receive a $5 discount.

    Housing:  If you live in NYC and you are able to offer housing on January 26 and 27, OR if you are coming to NYC from our of town for this event and you need a place to stay, please reach out to our housing coordinators: Erland Zygmuntowicz <> and Dave Tarlo <>.  We are trying to support our community in participating in the convergence all weekend long. 

  • 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!

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