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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Music and Voting

Jonanna Widner, SFR's Arts and Culture Editor, sent me an article today on Can Music Make Youth Vote from ABC. Basically, the article says that things like Rock the Vote haven't made any difference in increasing youth participation in elections but that, nonetheless, efforts to link music and politics continue, as they are with our Hip Hop Voter Project (the next one is scheduled for July 2, by the way, stay tuned for more details). At any rate, the article basically talks about how to take the energy people bring to music and get them to bring it to something else, like politics or issues. This was kind of my thinking when we started this project—just that there's so much live, raw energy at Chicanobuilt, because rap and hip hop is a pretty invigoriating form of music, that it's a good time to try to engage people in something else. A lot of it also depends on having the right group there with the right energy. Our gay pride night was terrible, but some of the other groups we've had have made some pretty good contact with people and they were high energy themselves. It's also a matter of having good spokespeople, I think. I mean, if Talib Kweli had really gotten into it with people, and we'd had voter reg people there, that could have been something. Because just the few time Kweli got political (and you could actually hear what he was saying), people were responding. We need to really get something going for our last reg. night in October. All ideas are welcome!
In other news, there is a Latinas Empowerment Conference from the National Hispana Leadership Institute here on June 19, which I have been invited to. Yeah, I know, I don't get it either.