This year’s lineup is jam-packed with some of the most dedicated changemakers in the industry
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As a University of Florida College of Journalism graduate, Benjamin Booker already has a name for himself here in Gainesville. While Booker is an accomplished musician, having played at festivals the likes of SXSW, he also uses his talent to preach for change. More specifically, Booker is outspoken about his convictions considering police violence, the social issues surrounding the black community as a whole, and gun violence. In the songful track titled “Witness”, Booker speaks out about the false pretenses that often mean the life of another black person. He sings, “Thought that we saw that he had a gun / Thought that it looked like he started to run.”
“This is not a fabricated personality within in her music. […] The duality within her sound and her advocacy for equality is what allows her to be the genuine in a generation that is looking for authenticity” – Birdlessly Magazine, September 2016.
“Taking a swing at the glass ceiling that has long hindered the success of many female rappers, Nokia is one of the industry’s few MCs whose music reflects her feminist ideals” – Affinity Magazine
Destiny Nicole Frasqueri, affectionately known as Princess Nokia, is the latest alpha-female icon to emerge into the rap game. Nokia is known for her androgynous fashion, unapologetic feminism, and fervent advocacy for intersectionality. The New York City native is constantly pushing the envelope, giving female rappers the voice of legitimacy that is usually squandered in a highly male-dominated sphere of the music world.
Princess Nokia, alongside her social activism, is known for her outspokenness and ingenuity. “I’m a very eloquent, well-spoken, educated woman, and I never change my voice for nobody, because I never wanted to, because I knew that my culture was special,” says Nokia about staying true to her “ghettoness” and Afro-Nuyorican roots.
Recently, Nokia has begun encouraging others to join her in activism and donate whatever they can to her GoFundMe page for Hurricane Maria disaster relief in Puerto Rico. Donations can be made here: https://www.gofundme.com/adztf-hurricane-maria-disaster-relief
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Dirty Dozen Brass Band is the closest you can get to New Orleans without physically being there. Their electric New Orleans style jazz infused with elements from other genres such as funk and bebop can hook any listener. The band came together in 1977 after participating in the Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band together, an organization dedicated to finding a positive outlet for young people to use their free time. Although the big brass band might seem like a dying art, Dirty Dozen Brass Band has breathed an unmistakable amount of life back into this form of music and has even been featured on albums by artists such as David Bowie and Elvis Costello.
War On Women
Hardcore punk band War on Women is the perfect cup of tea for the loud, remorseless feminist within us all. Frontman Shawna Potter has no qualms about speaking up about feminism and the obstacles women face within society. “I’m not going to dance around the fact that there is a war on women,” she told Bitch Media. “I’m not implying it. I’m telling you.” Potter and her bandmates have also undertaken a project called Safer Scenes. While War on Women was scheduled to perform at Warped Tour, the band wanted something to in place to help prevent harassment and violence at music events of all sizes, whether they be a large scale festival or a small house show. Alongside Safer Scenes, Potter has also dedicated time to run the Baltimore chapter of Hollaback!, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about street harassment and giving victims the tools needed to rise up against it in a nonviolent manner.
Harvie toured for years with Margaret Cho as her opening act, then turned cross-country headliner and groundbreaking transgender comedian, playing clubs, theaters, and colleges around the US, CAN and AUS. He has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious comedy festivals: JUST FOR LAUGHS in Australia and Canada, and the MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL in Australia.
Ian made his acting debut as “Dale” in the critically acclaimed, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning TV series TRANSPARENT on Amazon. You may have also seen Ian guest starring as ”Michael” on the ABC soapy, nighttime drama, MISTRESSES; as “Chris” on FREEFORM’s hilarious, millennial sitcom YOUNG AND HUNGRY; and as himself on COMEDY CENTRAL’s THE NIGHTLY SHOW WITH LARRY WILMORE.
Most recently Harvie filmed his one-hour standup comedy special MAY THE BEST COCK WIN for SEESO (NBC’s premium comedy digital network).
He’ll be a lead in the Broadway Play LOG CABIN by the 2015 Pultizer Prize Finalist for Drama, Jordan Harrison.
As co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show and Air America Radio co-founder, Lizz Winstead has helped changed the very landscape of how people get their news.But she wasn’t just behind the scenes.
As a performer, Winstead brought her political wit to The Daily Show as a correspondent and later to the radio waves co-hosting Unfiltered, Air America Radio’s mid-morning show, where she brought on board Hip Hop legend, Chuck D and political big brain Rachel Maddow.Known as as one of the top political satirists in America, Winstead is currently touring the country, bringing her razor sharp insights to the stage selling out shows from LA to NYC.Lizz also gives back.
Her ongoing national comedy tour to benefit Planned Parenthood and NARAL has raised over 2 million dollars and was made into a documentary film, Smear Campaign just won “Best Documentary Comedy Short” at the Atlanta Documentary Film Festival.
Smear Campaign can be exclusively seen at: http://vimeo.com/ondemand/smearcampaign/72805081 Winstead’s first book, Lizz Free Or Die, Essays, was released in 2012 to incredible reviews and the paperback was released in May of 2013.