OPENING NIGHT: FOR FREEDOMS TOWN HALL featuring the Resistance Revival Chorus

7 Aug 2018 2018 NIGHTTIME

A live Town Hall gathering by For Freedom, followed by highlights from UPI’s other big public art initiative, THE FENCE. The evening will also include a special performance by the Resistance Revival Chorus, a collective of more than 50 women who join together to breathe joy and song into the resistance, and to uplift and center women’s voices.

Featuring: Mark Skidmore, Paola Mendoza, Kisha Bari, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Lorie Novak
With Evan Walsh & Emma Nuzzo from For Freedoms and the Resistance Revival Chorus

Presented by

United Photo Industries, in partnership with For Freedoms

Thursday, September 13th at 7PM
Location: Beer Garden

United Photo Industries will be teaming up with For Freedoms, a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists co-founded by Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman in 2016. On the inaugural week of their 50 State Initiative, the For Freedoms team will present a Town Hall event for Photoville’s opening night to highlight a freedom which is close to all of our hearts—Freedom of Speech. As forums for inclusive public conversation and civic dialogue, For Freedoms Town Halls bring citizens together with contemporary artists, designers, and policy makers, welcoming many and diverse points of views. With special guests and performances, this evening will bring together the visual storytelling and artistic communities to ask how, both now and in the past, artists’ right to freedom of speech has been alternately infringed, upheld, and empowered. What is the importance and the power of creating art as a speech act?

The evening will also include a special performance by the Resistance Revival Chorus, a collective of more than 50 women who join together to breathe joy and song into the resistance, and to uplift and center women’s voices.

Following the For Freedom Town Hall, please join us for a screening of THE FENCE 2018 and the announcement of the People’s Choice winner.


Mark Skidmore is a political strategist and social impact entrepreneur. He is currently Co-Founder and CEO of Assemble an integrated media firm focused on politics and issues campaigns. He is also Political Director of For Freedoms. Prior, Mark was a founding partner of Bully Pulpit Interactive the digital media firm behind President Barack Obama’s and Secretary Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns.

Mark has been a campaign advisor to Presidents, Senators, Governors and Mayors across the country, including: Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Claire McCaskill and Patty Murray; Mayors Rahm Emanuel, Bill de Blasio and Ed Lee and Governor Andrew Cuomo. In 2012, Mark led the digital marketing launch for President Obama’s re-election campaign, helping the campaign focus on re-engaging with core Democratic voters and grassroots donors.

Over the course of his career he has married lessons from politics and corporate marketing with a particular expertise in public affairs and crisis management. Mark worked with Blue Cross Blue Shield during the adoption of the American Care Act. He has also advised Livestrong, Nike the Alliance for Climate Protection, American Red Cross, the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the U.S. Olympic Committee among others.

Mark graduated from New York University with a degree in Fine Arts.


Paola Mendoza is an accomplished film director, activist and author. A co-founder of The Women’s March, she served as its Artistic Director and co-authored the New York Times best seller Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard around the World. Mendoza is a critically acclaimed film director whose films have premiered at the most prestigious film festivals around the world. Her films have continually tackled the effects of poverty and immigration on women and children in the United States. She was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film and is a Tribeca All Access, Film Independent and Independent Film Week fellow. She is a co-founder of The Soze Agency and has been the creative director for campaigns fighting for immigration reform, criminal justice reform, incarcerated mother’s and women’s rights. She is a co-founder and a member of the critically acclaimed, Resistance Revival Chorus.


Kameelah Janan Rasheed is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist, writer, and former public high school teacher from East Palo Alto, CA. Through installation works that combine photography, printmaking, publications, poetry, and performance, Rasheed’s research and work examine language as it relates to constructions of Black subjectivity. Rasheed’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work has been presented at the 2017 Venice Biennale, Institute of Contemporary Art – Philadelphia, Printed Matter, Jack Shainman Gallery, Studio Museum in Harlem, Bronx Museum, Queens Museum, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Pinchuk Art Centre, and others. Her work has been written about in Artforum, Guernica Magazine, The New York Times, Art 21, Wall Street Journal, and ArtSlant.


Kisha Bari is an award-winning photographer from Australia who is passionate about capturing people through portraiture and visual storytelling with a focus on humanitarian issues. She has worked with a range of subjects from America’s union workers to Native American leaders, and from world-renowned ballet dancers to rockstars.

Kisha has been featured in three solo exhibitions at Photoville, New York City’s biggest photo festival; her portrait documentary How Sandy Hit Rockaway (2013), and ReSisters : Behind the Scenes of the Women’s March (2017) and this year’s ‘The Meaning of Now : Living Life with Cancer’. Her work has been published by numerous media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Kisha most recently photographed the I Am A Child campaign with Creative Director & activist Paola Mendoza, which can be seen at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee through December 2018.


Lorie Novak is an artist and Professor of Photography & Imaging at NYU Tisch School of Arts. She is the co-curator with Deborah Willis of the exhibition cit.i.zen.ship: reflections on rights,part of the For Freedoms 50 state initiative, on view at Photoville and Tisch School of the Arts. Her  work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and internationally, and she is a 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts fellow in Photography. She is also Director and Founder of Future Imagemakers, a social practice project at NYU Photography & Imaging, offering free digital photography classes to NYC area high school students. Novak’s installation Random Interference  was exhibited at the first Photoville in 2012. | @lorie.novak | @migraineregister


For Freedoms is a platform for greater participation in the arts and in civil society that produces exhibitions, installations, public programs, and billboard campaigns to advocate for inclusive civic participation. The 50 State Initiative is a non-partisan, nationwide campaign to use art as a means of inspiring broad civic participation.

THE FENCE is an annual call for entries to produce an outdoor photography exhibition in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Boston, Atlanta, Santa Fe, Durham, Sarasota, Denver & Calgary.

THE FENCE 2018 features a diverse roster of 42 photographers hailing from around the globe. They share stories across seven thematic categories — Streets, People, Home, Play, Nature, Food, Creatures — which we hope you’ll find compelling, comedic, and convicting.

Additionally, we create an annex series of Regional Photographers Showcases which feature local photographers and reflect the talent found in each region. This year, we are pleased to present showcases of photographers from New England, New Mexico, Colorado, Calgary, Sarasota and The Triangle of North Carolina.

THE FENCE 2018 has truly been a community endeavor. We’re grateful to all the photographers who shared their work through our submission call, to our dedicated jury members who contributed their time and expertise, and to our wonderful partners in each of our host cities for helping us share this work to an ever-growing audience.

Launched in Summer 2017 in response to the Trump presidency, the Resistance Revival Chorus (RRC) is a collective of more than 60 women who join together to breathe joy and song into the resistance, and to uplift and center women’s voices. The women range from Broadway performers, touring musicians, film and television actresses, solo recording artists, gospel singers, political activists and are led by Broadway singer and educator Abena Koomson-Davis. Representing a multitude of identities, professions, creative backgrounds, and activist causes, the RRC prides itself on its diversity. The great artist and activist Harry Belafonte once said, “when the music is strong, the movement is strong.” In that spirit, the RRC hosts a series of regular musical events, Resistance Revival Nights, where the community gathers to rejuvenate our spirits and honor the protest songs that have historically been central to civil rights movements. We believe that art and culture are essential to changing hearts, minds, and history; and we commit to the principle that joy is in itself an act of resistance.