In an interview
with Rolling Stone about the musical phenomenon Hamilton
, Lin-Manuel Miranda describes his moment of insight that hip-hop and the story of the founding fathers are inextricably linked: When a hurricane destroyed Hamilton’s childhood home, he wrote a poem about the storm that was so good that local business leaders agreed to send him to New York for an education. “The second he writes a poem to get himself off the island, I was like, ‘Well, that’s very hip-hop,’ “ Miranda said. “To literally write verse that gets you out of your circumstances that’s about
how terrible your circumstances are, I mean, that’s everyone from Jay Z and Marcy to Lil Wayne writing about Hurricane Katrina. As I was reading the book, all these hip-hop analogies couldn’t help but pop up.” For as long as people have worked to drive change, music has amplified their efforts, brought new people in, and inspired others. Films and stories create empathy and present fresh perspectives on stereotypes. When music, books, film and comedy accompany movements, change happens. Social movements have soundtracks. In 2016, we launched Changeville, a film, music, comedy and virtual reality festival that connects artists, storytellers, comedians and movement builders. Set among the coffee shops, music venues and tech companies that define Gainesville, Florida’s downtown, Changeville draws on the energy and innovation of the city’s growing technology and media culture. Screenings, exhibits and shows are open to all moviegoers and music lovers. This music and arts festival is the intersection where passionate filmmakers, digital media innovators and musicians cross paths with professionals who build movements and drive positive social change.