Meeting #5: Orlando – Tuesday June 14, 2016

Over three hours on Sunday morning in Orlando, a man armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun opened fire on a packed gay nightclub in Orlando, leaving fifty people dead and fifty-three wounded.

Let’s gather and consider how we will respond.

Willing Participant whips up urgent poetic responses to crazy shit that happens. Join us this Tuesday, June 14th from 7pm to 10pm at The Flea Theater, 41 White Street in Manhattan. Ringleaders Todd Shalom & Niegel Smith will lead the group in a meeting and start crafting a response to be performed in public at a later date.

Dialogue #2: Charleston Murders – September 2, 2015

At our last Willing Participant dialogue, we wrote poems, crafted memes and drafted social media posts to incite action in response to:

-the systemic racism embedded in the founding of our nation
-the lack of conversation about & reconciliation with our past
-our national post-traumatic stress

On Wednesday, September 2nd from 7pm til around 10pm, we will host our second dialogue at The Flea Theater, 41 White Street in Manhattan.

Focus: how might we poetically deploy our bodies in order to ignite significant social change?

We’ll play with the dialogue form to engage our personal and national histories. Then we’ll individually and collectively respond to a variety of movement-based prompts. All ages and abilities are welcome. Please wear comfortable clothes.

Please RSVP at info@willingparticipant.org so we know how many chairs we’ll need.

Dialogue #1: Charleston Murders – August 2, 2015

At our Willing Participant meeting on June 21, 2015, we decided to host a series of dialogues that investigate:

-the systemic racism embedded in the founding of our nation
-the lack of conversation about & reconciliation with our past
-our national post-traumatic stress

On Sunday, August 2nd, 2015 from 2pm til around 5pm, we hosted our first dialogue at The Flea Theater, 41 White Street in Manhattan.

Focus: how do we deploy text to ignite significant social change? We played with the dialogue form to engage our personal and national histories. Then we individually and collectively responded using a variety of poetic prompts.

Meeting #4 Charleston Murders – June 21, 2015

On Wednesday night in Charleston, a young white man sat in a church amongst black congregants for over an hour before yelling hateful words and shooting nine people dead. This is a lot to unpack. How will we respond?

Willing Participant whips up urgent poetic responses to crazy shit that happens. Join us this Sunday, June 21st from 2pm to 4pm at The Flea Theater, 41 White Street in Manhattan. Ringleaders Todd Shalom, Niegel Smith & Ben Weber will direct the group in creating a response to be performed in public at a later date.

Please RSVP at info@willingparticipant.org so we know how many chairs we’ll need. And if you can’t attend the meeting, you can always join us for the response–we’ll email after the meeting with the details.

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Thanks to our Willing Participants: Kelcie Miles, Liz Eckert, Carly Hoogendyk, Yonit Friedman, Sanaz Ghajarrahimi, Ricardo Perez Gonzalez, Mariana Vily, Sean Devare, Alec Duffy, Rebeca Rad, Donaldo Prescod, Michael Padden, Elijah Trichon, Zell Williams, Justin Ahdoot, Erin Daley, Aynsley Vandenbroucke, Duke Albada, Emily Cordes, Alesandra Nahodil, Emily Alexander, Jeorge Watson, Judith Aidoo, Kelly Higgins, Leroy Graham, Elise Ston, Craig Smith, Jordan Carey, Evan Smith, Kristin Friedlander, Kaili Turner, Alex Randrup, Nara Garber, MC Hyland, Josseline Engeler, and Daniel Shieh

Response #3: disarm – December 8, 2014

Eric Garner and countless others have been murdered by police who are trained in a system that does not value the lives and humanity of the citizens they serve. This is unacceptable.

Join Willing Participant in “disarm,” a performance that will peacefully engage New York City police officers in a dialogue. We’ll meet this Monday, December 8th at 7pm at the SE corner of 49th Street & 6th Avenue in Manhattan. From there, ringleaders Todd Shalom, Niegel Smith and Ben Weber will provide participants with prompts to encourage meaningful conversation with police officers around Times Square. Again, this is a peaceful engagement. Please arrive unencumbered–preferably without bags, backpacks, signs, etc.

RSVP not necessary. Please arrive on time.

Response #2: For Trayvon – July 23, 2013

More in this video: Write An Essay For Me

Willing Participant whips up urgent poetic responses to crazy shit that happens. On the night of Wednesday, July 17, about 20 participants met with us to consider the death of Trayvon Martin. From that meeting, we decided to create a response inviting the public to show greater respect for the lives of young black men.

So, on Tuesday July 23rd at 10:15pm in Times Square a group of 30 participants joined together in making a 30 minute, slow-moving sculpture by morphing our bodies into various versions of the hoodied self.

On the iPad? Can’t see the slideshow above? Click here to see the photos.

Thanks to our Willing Participants: Jocelyn Bioh, Danielle Davenport, Nicolette Dixon, Shannon Eaves, Chanelle Elaine, Teresa Eyring, Davey Field, Yohanna Florentino, Melanie Gerald, Birgit Huppuch, Katie Jacobs, Tiffany Jewel. Cookie Jordan, Leo Klim, George Maracineanu, Andrea-Rachel Parker, Caroline Podraza, Soroya Pognon, Barbara Rogers, Anahita Sarabhai, Riti Sachdeva, August Schulenburg, Todd Shalom, Yona Silverman, Niegel Smith, Channie Waites, Pernell Walker, Ben Weber, Sasha Weiss, & Michael Wilson.

Meeting #2: For Trayvon – July 17, 2013

George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s killer, was acquitted late Saturday night. No one should be reduced to a moving target. We must respond.

Thousands of people have already taken to the streets demanding change. Let’s continue this dialogue in the best way we know how.

Willing Participant whips up urgent poetic responses to crazy shit that happens. Join us this Wednesday, July 17th at 7pm at 50 Lefferts Ave, Apt 3B, Brooklyn, NY. Ringleaders Todd Shalom, Niegel Smith & Ben Weber will direct the group in creating a response to be performed in public at a later date.

On the iPad? Can’t see the slideshow above? Click here to see the photos.

Thanks to our Willing Participants: Nicole Brydson, Danielle Davenport, Nicolette Dixon, Davey Field, Rhett Henckel, Katie Jacobs, Michael Padden, Barbara Rogers, Riti Sachdeva, Akin Salawu, Todd Shalom, Niegel Smith, Pernell Walker, Ben Weber, Sasha Weiss, & Michael Wilson.

Response #1 – May 4, 2013

On Sunday, April 28th from 12–4pm, the public was invited to dissect and unravel the news of the day. The assembled group decided that the media sells fear and celebrates a police state, as evident in the narratives surrounding the Boston bombings. We have crafted this idea into a poetic response to be performed within the footprint of Ideas City on Saturday, May 4th at 3pm.

You are all invited to participate. Please meet at the SE corner of Chrystie Street & Stanton Street in Manhattan. Bring a backpack or two. The performance will end at 4:30pm. No RSVP required. Admission is free. Latecomers call Niegel Smith at: 718.541.9160

On the iPad? Can’t see the slideshow above? Click here to see the photos.

Inaugural Meeting – April 28, 2013

On Sunday April 28, from noon–4 p.m., we’ll dissect and unravel the news of the day. What sticks? What stinks? We’ll find what’s most pressing to participants and what we need to say. We’ll craft that message into a poetic performance and, six days later, on Saturday May 4, we’ll perform our response in the public sphere. Think whispers over bullhorns, but let’s feel the weather.

You’re all invited. Please bring the fire in your belly.

Location for the inaugural meeting on April 28 at noon is the New Museum Theater, basement of 235 Bowery. The meeting spot for the May 4 response will be collectively decided upon in the April 28 meeting.

On the iPad? Can’t see the slideshow above? Click here to see the photos.

Thanks to our Willing Participants: Amy Findeiss, Ilona Bito, Matthew Kittredge, Thomas Gallagher, Soo Kim, Akiko Togami, Jonah Siegel-Warren, Jackson Van, Tiffany Dantin & Christian Hubert

Special thanks: Annie Wachnicki, Ayesha Ngaujah, Camilo Godoy, Chiara Bernasconi, Einat Manoff, Jen Song, Jody Kuh, Julia Taylor, Nicolette Dixon, Ryan Inouye, Tiffany Jewel & Travis Chamberlain