Art Meets Activism at the National Conference for Media Reform

In just two weeks, Denver will be inundated with journalists, activists and media makers all coming together for the National Conference for Media Reform. But one of the things that sets this conference apart from the rest is the key role of artists and performers — from world-renowned musicians to politically inspired comedians to Denver’s very own DJs.

“We believe that art and activism are integral components of our movement to change the media,” said Conference Manager Mary Alice Crim, “and we’re bringing in all kinds of great artist-activists to join the conversation.”

Over the course of three days, conference-goers will enjoy a range of performances from musicians, theater artists and comedians, including Public Enemy beatmaker and Grammy-nominated producer Hank Shocklee, Grammy winner Kimya Dawson of the Moldy Peaches and Shawn King of DeVotchka.

The conference film festival features award-winning films with political themes. Among the films on tap are the Sundance winners Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry — a look at China’s most famous dissident — and Middle of Nowhere, which chronicles a woman’s separation from her incarcerated husband.

The Culture, Creators and Media Makers sessions look at cultural production — the making of media, how creators use media and technology and the influence of pop culture in our society.

These sessions feature artists ranging from musicians and comedians to radio producers and documentary filmmakers. There will also be workshops on the creation of media in its many forms and the policies that support — or threaten — media making. Look for some great conversations in sessions including “Where Music Meets Activism” and “Pop Culture Critiques: Somewhere Between Love and Hate.”

 But wait, there's much more, including art galleries, poetry readings, book signings, and performances from:

  • Staceyann Chin, award-winning theater artist
  • Jamie Kilstein, political comic and Citizen Radio co-host
  • Favianna Rodriguez, interdisciplinary artist and cultural organizer
  • Hari Kondabolu, comedian from Comedy Central Presents
  • Jonny 5 and Brer Rabbit, musician-activists from the Flobots
  • Molina Speaks, slam poet     
  • Laura Goldhamer, singer-songwriter       
  • Romero Theater Troupe, socially progressive theater collective
  • Youth on Record, student music showcase

There will also be a chance to hit the town and check out some of Denver’s great cultural sites, from the Denver Art Museum to the art district on Santa Fe Drive. And for those of you just looking to have a little fun, the conference has the Shake Your Media Maker dance party and a comedy showcase featuring some of the nation’s best up-and-coming comedians.

If you haven’t registered yet, now’s the time. Advance registration ends on March 31, so don't delay; register today!

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good