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Sol & Soul, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Performing Arts Centers

Mission: Sol & Soul is the result of a decade-long artistic collaboration between artists, activists, young people, community organizations, schools, and audiences. These artist-activists worked with people in schools,hospices,jails, and community centers to use popular forms of art -- from spoken word to hip hop, from graffiti art and mural creation to storytelling " to express their realities and engage others in dialogue about those realities. Sol & Soul was born directly out of these artistic "laboratories." Through community workshops and grassroots production/presentation of artistic work with a social conscience, we challenge people to think critically about social issues" from race relations to gentrification and become engaged in social change efforts.

Programs: Producing and Presenting Artistic Work With a Social Conscience: Sol & Soul produces and/or presents performances by socially-conscious DC-based artists and artists based in other cities. Through this work, we have connected emerging DC artists to established artists from around the country, including Regie Cabico, Ruben Martinez, the Poem-Cees, Psalmayene 24, Herbert Siguenza, and Jose Torres Tama as well as visiting hip hop groups from Mexico and Cuba. ?Making Art that Makes a Difference? Workshop Series: Sol & Soul is planning an open-ended series of capacity-building workshops for the Sol & Soul community that will enhance our artistic quality of work and create a space for thinking critically about art and social change. This series grows out of several half-day workshops we had last spring with B Stanley in production and directing; as well as creative workshops by artists including Regie Cabico, Joel Dias Porter, Bernadine Evaristo, and Reuben Jackson. Divided City: Approximately 4,000 copies of this year-old quarterly zine are distributed through a network of youth organizations, schools, and other gathering places. The response has been very enthusiastic, with submissions far exceeding space. We will double distribution in FY2007, invite nationally known poets and writers to contribute, and host regular release parties for divideDCity. Street Theater: A summer project (partially funded through the DCCAH) through which we promote the use of street theater to address social issues from the local to the global (including immigrants? rights, tenants? rights and gentrification). We sponsor our own street theater ensemble and assist other community organizations that want to incorporate a street theater component into their work. Collaboration with the Tenants? and Workers? United (TWU): Funded by Washington Area Women?s Foundation, Sol & Soul teaches TWU staff how to incorporate arts into their organizing, and TWU is helping Sol & Soul build its knowledge and skills in community organizing. Poetry of Witness Festival: Cosponsored with DC Poets Against the War and Busboys & Poets, this festival is timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the war and of the first day of poetry against the war. The dates are February 8-12, 2008, culminating at noon on the 12th (the first day of poetry against the war) with a reading in a symbolic spot like the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial or in front of the White House. Participating poets who've committed to date include commitments from Lucille Clifton, Carolyn Forché, Sam Hamill, Joy Harjo, E. Ethelbert Miller, Alix Olsen, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Pamela Uschuk.

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