Representation and How to Get It
A Play about Julia Ward Howe
Registration for this program is now closed.
“I would be human, and American, and a woman.”
Julia Ward Howe, author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, is up at 4:00am. She’s rehearsing a talk she’s about to give to the Boston Radical Club on representation for women, and she has some pointed questions for her audience. Prophetically, she foresees our nation’s crisis today, when she says that one day we will lose our democracy, if this remains an America for some of us, not an America for all of us. The stakes are high, and what – Julia demands to know – are we doing about it?
Revolutionary Spaces teamed with Mass NOW for a stunning site-specific performance and community programs inspired by Julia Ward Howe that challenges audiences to become politically active citizens of our democracy.
Revolutionary Spaces and Mass NOW co-present Representation and How to Get It, at Old South Meeting House, September 28th through 30th. Each evening features a unique, post-performance program featuring celebrated civic leaders, trailblazing representatives, and award-winning performers. The performances and programs are free and open to the public and made possible by the support of the New England Women’s Club Fund.
Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - Panel Discussion
The performance will be followed by an exciting, post-performance panel featuring some of Boston’s most incredible civic leaders discussing the past, present, and future of female-identifying persons' role in civic life and the unfinished struggle for representation. Moderated by Revolutionary Spaces' Executive Vice President of Museum Experience Anne Freeh Engel.
If we want a better future, we need to think and live beyond silos. We must participate in local planning and political processes that affect your everyday life and your future (or your children.) With action, comes change. With patience and strategy, change can occur at scale. Through effective and people-centered policy, strategy, and organizational development, Wilnelia's work seeks to unlock the hearts, hands, and minds of constituents and leaders to advance equity and social justice in their own backyards, organizations, municipalities, and companies. Currently, she is the Founder and President of Rivera Consulting, Inc. (2015), a management consulting firm committed to co-planting the seeds for deep democracy, collective care, and just sustainability. We work with municipalities, planners, urban designers, executive principals, social justice organizations and companies, and philanthropy.
Recognized by Boston Magazine in 2022 and 2021, as one of Boston’s Top 100 Influential Bostonians, as well as by the Tufts University Alumni Magazine, Wilnelia is a seasoned movement-building professional, facilitator, researcher, and strategist with a track record of success at the intersection of cross-sector collaboration, organizational development, and planning. By focusing her firm's practice and approach on the nexus between people, planning, research, and politics, her firm partners with local and national clients and consultants to assess and prototype 21st-century solutions and frameworks that addresses or unearths past harm or assets and build trusts to plan and operationalize these action plans and playbooks.
She holds both a B.A. in International Relations, B.A. in Women's Studies (2004) and an M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy & Planning from Tufts University (2014), as well as a past Mel King Fellowship recipient at Massachusetts Institute for Technology's CoLab, where she focused on public policy research related to urban politics, economic democracy, community planning, and sustainable community economic development. Featured contributor to WBUR, GBH, the Boston Globe, and Boston Herald as well as co-author of Turnout! Mobilizing Voters in an Emergency (2020). A self-described strategic disruptor, she understands that in the world, country, and at home are in transition and that the time is now to enable, inspire, and operationalize solutions to rewrite the American social contract for the 21st century.
Thursday, September 29, 2022 - Fireside Chat
The performance will be followed by a fireside chat between Mass NOW Executive Director Sasha Goodfriend and Massachusetts State Senator Lydia Edwards, exploring representation in action.
Friday, September 30, 2022 - Poetry & Music
The performance will be followed by a celebration in honor of women, poets, and Julia Ward Howe. Boston poets, storytellers, and cultural change makers, including Amanda Shea, Princess Moon, Valerie Stevens, and Krysten Hill. The evening will feature DJ WhySham.
Krysten Hill is the author of How Her Spirit Got Out (Aforementioned Productions, 2016), which received the 2017 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize. Her work has been featured and forthcoming in The Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day Series, Poetry Magazine, B O D Y, Boiler Magazine, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Muzzle, PANK, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Winter Tangerine Review, and elsewhere. The recipient of the 2016 St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award and 2020 Mass Cultural Council Poetry Fellowship, she received her MFA in poetry from University of Massachusetts Boston, where she currently teaches.
Princess Moon is a 2nd generation Cambodian-American award-winning poet, illustrator, muralist, teaching artist, and community organizer based in Boston, MA. Her storytelling work unearths conversations with ancestral spirits, trauma left behind by the ghosts of violent men, and the hauntingly beautiful journey of finding one’s self. As the daughter of refugees, her work as an artist is heavily informed by the Cambodian Civil War and America’s involvement leading up to the genocide. She was the first woman SlamMaster to the Mill City Slam and formerly served as the Programs Director of the youth organization FreeVerse! Princess Moon has graced the Finals stages of the 2011 Brave New Voices as well as the 2012 and 2013 Louder Than a Bomb Massachusetts. In 2014, she coached the winning team of LTABMA and was awarded the Charmaine Santiago Galdon Award for her tireless community building. Princess Moon has featured at the Boston Poetry Slam and the House Slam amongst other venues and presented the Keynote Speech at the 2016 Massachusetts Mental Health Forum. In 2018, Princess Moon founded Let Me Write You a Poem, an online platform geared towards community healing through storytelling. In 2020, she launched Tiny Trophy Shop, a one woman design studio specializing in making Early Childhood Education fun and accessible through art and play. She is published in Merrimack Valley Magazine, Gateways Mag, Swift Collective’s Stop Asian Hate campaign, and in her first debut collection of poetry The Genocide’s Love Baby Learns to Sing (Bootstrap Press). Currently, she is represented by Jill Grinberg Literary Management in NYC and is writing her second book. She lives in Boston, MA with her partner and their two sons. For more information, check out byprincessmoon.com.
Amanda Shea is a renowned spoken word and multidisciplinary artist, educator, mentor, activist, publicist, power networker and mother. She knows, loves, and uplifts artists all over Greater Boston across New England to the DMV, Atlanta, Chicago... and beyond. Amanda is a community heartbeat. She's hosted BAMSFest and countless poetry events; she facilitates youth workshops for spoken word poetry, visual arts, and public speaking; she is a publicist for hip hop artist Brandie Blaze; she has managed and supported countless other artists in Boston. Last year, she was named among WBUR The ARTery's 25 artists of color transforming the cultural landscape. To top all of that -- she co-founded and curated five iterations of Activating ARTivism, a community festival to amplify POC through art, activism, and resistance. This event has featured artists from Boston, Brockton, Chicago, Virginia, D.C., and more. Importantly, it has raised awareness and provided support for local nonprofits like Mission Safe, The New England Innocence Project, Trans Resistance MA, The Simple Good (Chicago), and the LDB Peace Institute. Amanda is versed in running community events, putting together impactful, inclusive lineup of artists, and bringing people together.
Valerie Stephens is a performing artist/arts educator whose professional career spans more than 35 years. Boston Massachusetts born, Valerie was introduced to performing arts at the University of Massachusetts/ Amherst and the shy, young woman became smitten by the creative freedom and transformative force of theater. Following that passion, she has developed her skills as an actor, storyteller and vocalist/band leader. In addition, Valerie is a sought- after historical researcher, educator and producer. “I am always exploring!” In addition to receiving a 2019 Brother Thomas Fellowship with an unrestricted award of $15,000, Valerie has received a Bridge Award in Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts Creative City Grant for creating the Elder Storytelling Performance Project, Boston City Council Resolution for creating the annual event Princess Day: Celebrating Little Girls of Color and her commitment to icon Nina Simone’s legacy, a Get Konnected! Boston Legends & Pioneers Award, a NAACP Image Award, Urban Music Award in Blues and nomination in Jazz as well as Citations of Appreciation from the cities of Boston, New Bedford and Springfield. As a vocalist/ band leader, Valerie is known for her work in Jazz, Blues and Spoken Word. She has produced a series of innovative concerts: Women of the Village celebrating female commonality in English, Spanish and Xhosa. Sweet & Salty: Dressed to the Nines a tribute to classic Blues Women and a four-concert series dedicated to Dr. Nina Simone, currently touring Nina Simone & HipHop. Storyteller Valerie Stephens has performed throughout New England for three generations of audiences. She has been contracted to research, present and/or perform historical event production and folktales for a number of organizations including Boston Children Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Science Museum, Springfield Arts Museum, Cambridge Cultural Council and the House of Blues. Valerie toured nationally for nine years, as lead actor with the award-winning Underground Railway Theater developing the lead role of Harriet Tubman and performed with other local and resident theater productions. After a 15 years absence, she returned to theater stage in Company One’s controversial production of Neighbors in the character role of Mammy Crow. She, then, created a solo performance piece, The Mammy Diaries. In 2018, Valerie performed the lead role in Marblehead Little Theater’s heart wrenching production of Letters from War in the lead role as Mae, a 75-year-old woman suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease. Arts Educator & Artist-in-Residence Valerie has taught creative dramatics & improvisational theater technique to ages 4 – 85, developing a performance-based program specifically designed for elders, Mother and Father Wits: Life Lessons. She has developed and taught three middle school courses focusing on 19th Century Women in Medicine & Public Health Methodology for "Girls Get Connected", a program affiliated with Simmons College, committed to inspiring girls to choose technical careers.
Dj WhySham is the CEO of Boston Got Next Entertainment and visionary of Bringing Back Boston (BBBMA) now known as “The Social Justice Trap Movement” (Creating future womxn engineers using creative arts to address trauma, public and mental health). She believes in bringing music, hardship and pain together while creating events as a release for collective trauma. Her background in Criminal Justice, Communication and Community Outreach has led her to merge her artistry as a DJ. WhySham is a part of the 2021 WBUR ARTery’s Top 25 cohort and was the only female nominated for the 2021 New England Music Awards “Producer of the Year”. WhySham is also 3x ‘DJ of The Year’ Boston Music Awards Nominee‘. Her debut project “Finally” released in 2020 featuring all womxn, where she coined the term “Social Justice Trap” music. In February ‘22 she released a collaborative project “The Pencess” featuring ‘CakeSwagg’. Stay tuned for The Social Justice Trap Movement Presents: “A Survivor’s Prayer EP” releasing in 2022. This EP will take you on a journey of Harmonies, Heartbreak and Healing. Check Out DJ WhySham’s Music Here Her first virtual concert “Finally Live” has now reached over 500 views on YouTube. September 10, 2021 she hosted her first festival “Finally Reloaded” featuring local acts from Massachusetts with over 250 in attendance. WhySham has definitely created the DJ Khaled effect in her hometown. Check out Snippets from DJ WhySham booked events here. She has been featured on: Allston Pudding, Boston Compass, Boston Herald, Boston Globe, GBH, Vanyaland, WBUR and more.