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Watch now: Black Lives Matter Virtual Fundraiser

On Friday, July 31 from 7-10pm EDT, Pathos Trio and Blk Joy presented a Black Lives Matter Virtual Fundraiser.

The event featured an exciting lineup of talented artists and impassioned speakers, detailed below.

Missed it live? You can still watch the stream here.

The $10K fundraising goal will benefit Black Lives Matter Greater NY, Strategy For Black Lives, Freedom March NYC, and Warriors In The Garden.

Please consider donating toward the campaign. 

New Music USA is committed to providing ongoing support in the fight against systematic oppression and racial injustice.

Schedule of Events

– Intros w/ Roya and Pathos Trio

– Elliot Bless

– Strategy For Black Lives

– Flutronix

– Mahogany L. Browne

– Freedom March NYC

– Jessie Montgomery

– Whitney Greenaway

– BLM Greater NY

– Kendall Williams

– Jennifer Falú

– Warriors In The Garden

– Elena Pinderhughes

– Darian Donovan Thomas

– Closing Statements including New Music USA’s Vanessa Reed

Main Hosts
Roya Marsh: Roya Marsh is a Bronx, New York, native and a nationally recognized poet, performer, educator, and activist. She is the Poet in Residence at Urban Word NYC and she works feverishly toward LGBTQIA justice and dismantling white supremacy. Marsh’s work has been featured on NBC, BET, Button Poetry, Write About Now Poetry, Def Jam’s All Def Digital, and in Poetry magazine, Flypaper Magazine, Frontier Poetry, The Village Voice, Nylon, Huff Post, Lexus Verses and Flow, and The BreakBeat Poets Volume 2: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket 2018).

Pathos Trio: “Elevated themselves into those elite ranks alongside Yarn/Wire, So Percussion, Tigue, Iktus and Ensemble Et Al”, as described by the New York Music Daily, Pathos Trio (percussionists Marcelina Suchocka, Felix Reyes, and pianist/composer Alan Hankers) is a chamber/new music ensemble committed to engaging classical/contemporary music, while also bringing adventurous music to audiences through collaborations with young, living new music composers.

Flutronix: Flutronix is Nathalie Joachim and Allison Loggins-Hull, two blazing young flutists who are “redefining the flute and modernizing its sound by hauling it squarely into the world of popular music.” (MTV Iggy). Flutronix’s work as performers, producers and composers has led to collaborations with an impressive range of artists and ensembles including legendary hip-hop producer Ski Beatz, electronic music sensation Dan Deacon, the International Contemporary Ensemble and more. Flutronix’s music has also been broadcast on NPR, WNYC, WQXR, Q2, J-Wave, Tokyo FM, FM Yokohama and other popular radio stations internationally.

Jessie Montgomery: Jessie Montgomery is an acclaimed composer, violinist, and educator. She is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. Her music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, language, and social justice, placing her squarely as one of the most relevant interpreters of 21st-century American sound and experience. Her profoundly felt works have been described as “turbulent, wildly colorful and exploding with life” (The Washington Post).

Kendall Williams: Having been born around the Trinidadian culture, Kendall K. Williams has adopted the country’s national instrument, the steel pan. From as early as the age of four, Kendall made efforts to mimic his parents as they displayed their talents in a Miami-based steel band and since then has traveled countless times to Trinidad and Tobago to work and perform with world-renowned steel bands. He received his Masters of Music Degree in Music Theory & Composition at NYU Steinhardt, where he studied under Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon, and Rich Shemaria and is currently a doctoral student in music composition at Princeton University, where he studies under the auspices of Dan Trueman, Steve Mackey, Dmitri Tymockzo, and So Percussion.

Darian Thomas: Composer, multi-instrumentalist, and interdisciplinary artist born in San Antonio, Texas, Darian is currently based out of Brooklyn, New York. He is interested in combining genres and mediums into a singular vocabulary that can express ideas about intersectionality (of medium and identity). Necessarily, he is interested in redacting all barriers to entry that have existed at the gates of any genre – this vocabulary of multiplicity will be intersectional, and therefore all-inclusive. Most recently he has recently performed in a NPR Tiny Desk concert with critically acclaimed dreambow band Balun, toured internationally to Iceland with Apartment Sessions, toured nationally and recorded with the Katie Martucci Band,  and performs currently with MEDIAQUEER, Mordechai, String Orchestra of Brooklyn, Prompts Collective, and constantly performs his solo set in different venues around NYC.

Spoken Word Poets
Elliot Bless: Elliot Bless is an Independent American rapper from Queens, New York. Bless began his musical journey playing trumpet, which peaked with a Carnegie Hall performance. Post trumpet, he continued to find passion in music through Spoken Word Poetry and rap while attending boarding school and college in Pennsylvania. Paying homage to his Black and Puerto Rican background, Bless’s sound is a mash-up of genres, with a rich foundation of melodious narratives and worldly production.

Mahogany L. Browne: Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer & educator. Executive Director of Bowery Poetry Club & Artistic Director of Urban Word NYC & Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research & Rauschenberg. She is the author of Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby & Black Girl Magic (Macmillan), Kissing Caskets (Yes Yes Books) & Dear Twitter (Penmanship Books). She is also the founder of the Woke Baby Book Fair (a nationwide diversity literature campaign) & as an Arts for Justice grantee, is completing her first book of essays on mass incarceration, investigating its impact on women and children. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Whitney Greenaway: When Whitney Greenaway started writing poetry at the age of thirteen about teenage love, she never realized that her hobby would propel her to eventually participate in one of the leading poetry competitions in the US and Canada. Greenaway was born in Hollywood, Florida but she got her early educational grooming in Dominica where she was taken to at one year and months old. Since moving to New York her poetry career took off and she’s competed countless times at the National Poetry Slam, one of the largest poetry slam competitions in the country, and has been featured to do spoken word poetry at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, the Brooklyn Poetry Slam at BRIC, and most recently was given a feature on PBS’s Brief But Spectacular tv series.

Jennifer Falú: Passionate for creative expression through poetry, Jennifer Falú is a celebrated performance artist throughout NYC and across the country. As a member of the 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2014 Nuyorican Poets Café Slam Teams, she became the top female poet of the year in 2006, and ranked 3rd in both 2009 and 2012 and was 1/4 of the Tri-State area’s first All Female Poetry Slam Team. As a performer, Falú has shared the stage with Jennifer Holliday and Patti LaBelle. She made her film debut in the movie, “Mania Days” alongside Katie Holmes, as well as the Rza directed “Love, Beats, Rhymes”, alongside Jill Scott and Common, where she is credited as a writer. Recently accepted to Pratt’s MFA Writing and Activism program, she is currently a Leadership Coordinator for a middle school and has been featured on panels to discuss topics like ‘Being A Womanist’ and ‘Identifying as AfroLatina’. A Cave Canem Fellow, as of 2016, she is using her writing as activism work for Black Poets Speak Out and Black Lives Matter.

We’re fundraising for
Warriors In The Garden: Warriors in the Garden is a collective of activists dedicated to nonviolent protest, who are determined to protect their communities from police brutality and all forms of systemic oppression. Through their activism in physical protest and using social media they plan to activate the educational, social, and economic sectors around the country in order to lift their cause to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health/well-being of all people of color in New York City. They are also currently working to vet candidates to run for local office positions, such as one of their own Chi Ossé, who will be the youngest candidate (Gen Z) to run for City Council District 36 in Crown Heights/Bed Stuy at the age of 22. You can find more press coverage from them through the New York Times, NBC News, Time Out, and The Guardian.

BLM Greater NY: Founded by Nupol Kiazolu and Chivona Renee Newsome (now candidate for U.S. Congress (NY15), BLM Greater NY is an organization dedicated to building community through civic engagement, education and mentorship. Our Vision is to directly impact the policies that impact our conditions focusing on: criminal justice reform, basic public safety, fair and equal access to education, jobs & infrastructure. Through grassroots organizing and direct action, we will serve as a resounding voice for the underserved and disenfranchised. We want to thrive not survive #BlacklivesmatterNY #BLMNY. More press can be found on ABC News, Forbes, VICE News, and FOX News.

Strategy For Black Lives: Strategy for Black Lives is an organization that intends to “organize, educate, and engage communities to raise awareness of America’s history in the mistreatment of marginalized populations.” They came up with the NYC Organizing Communities for Accountability and Policy reform movement, which is centered around three core principles: organizing communities, accountability and policy reform. The group is committed to “a multi-pronged approach,” that combines on the ground demonstrations, policy conversations and lobbying efforts. The group is focused on legislation that is part of the Safer NY Act, including: the Police Statistics & Transparency (STAT Act), which would mandate that police departments across the state document all instances of enforcement of low-level offenses including demographic and geographic data; legislation to curtail “unnecessary arrests for non-criminal offenses.”; and bring an end to qualified immunity for police officers.

Freedom March NYC: Freedom March NYC is a protest group organized by two Black Columbia University alumnae Chelsea Miller and Nialah Edari. We are currently at the frontlines of mobilization efforts in NYC non-violently protesting and advocating for policy reform. Freedom March NYC is mobilizing to become a youth-led civil rights organization for our generation. We provide training to help organizers in NYC and different cities center the message, de-escalate situations that may occur on the frontlines, and equip them with resources to push policy reform. We are helping supply those on the frontlines with (face masks, goggles, water, etc.), equipment (megaphones, flyers, etc.), and travel (transportation to various demonstrations to provide frontline support). And lastly we are currently organizing non-violent protests and will be presenting policy reforms leading up to the 2020 presidential elections and 2021 NYC mayoral race.

Explore the work and thoughts from the artists involved