Fort Lauderdale’s FATVillage Hosts
Ripped from the Headlines: The Free Speech Forum on June 28
Forum content reflects and drives the cultural zeitgeist, from South Florida SunSentinel’s Pulitzer to activist poetry mirroring a new Netflix hit
FATVillage on June 28 will host “Ripped from the Headlines: The Free Speech Forum,” designed to foster dialogue about the First Amendment amidst “fake news” demonization of professional journalists, the rise of hate speech, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the shootings at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas in Parkland.
The forum — an extension of FATVillage’s “Ripped from the Headlines” art exhibit — is even more timely given its literary dimension. African-American poet Darius V. Daughtry will read from his new book echoing the social injustices explored in “When They See Us,” the internationally acclaimed Netflix series recounting the true story of four black teenagers and one Hispanic wrongfully convicted in a notorious rape case.
“Our mission is to curate, exhibit and provide a forum for critical dialogue among artists, curators and the public, and that’s exactly what’s happened with Ripped from the Headlines,” says Doug McCraw, founder of FATVillage Arts District. “The ‘Headlines’participants are using their visual artistry to comment on news of the day, so it makes sense to host an event with a journalistic and literary perspective. We’re particularly honored to recognize the Sun-Sentinel’s Pulitzer with two reporters on the panel.”
Curated by Elle Schorr the exhibit features numerous artists including: Manuel “Change the Ref” Oliver, whose son Joaquin was one of 17 people murdered in Parkland; Rolando Chang Barrero, who lays body bags on the floor; Aurora Molina, whose fiber art depicts immigrant children in cages; Mary Catello, whose six female figures tell of their sexual assault; and Arctic-exploring climate change activist Xavier Cortada, whom I also interviewed for Lifestyle.
A group of distinguished speakers will lead the June 28 forum’s dialogue with attendees:
- Darius V. Daughtry, author,And the Walls Came Tumbling: Poems that Unapologetically Speak Truth to Powerand executive director, Art Prevails Project
- Jon M. Garon, J.D., dean of the Shepard Broad College of Law, Nova Southeastern University
- Karla D. Kennedy, Ph.D., visiting instructor, Department of Journalism and Media, Florida InternationalUniversity
- Aurelio Moreno, multimedia reporter, South Florida Sun-Sentineland Spanish edition El Sentinel
- Megan O’Matz, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The Free Speech Forum is produced and moderated by freelance journalist Sally-Ann O’Dowd, whose communications company, Sally On Media, promotes non-profits and progressive brands. She self-published the multimedia magazine “Creativity Is Risky: Free Speech in a Charlie Hebdo World” following the 2015 murders of 11 French journalists by two Al Qaeda members.
“Within a few minutes of viewing ‘Ripped from the Headlines,’ I saw genius in Elle’s curation and each artist’s soul,” O’Dowd says. “Together, we’ve set out to create an event focused on the First Amendment, without which we wouldn’t have the media coverage catalyzing their work. Whether you attend in person or livestream, we hope you walk away enlightened.”
The Free Speech Forum
June 28, 6 – 9 pm, FATVillage, 521 NW 1stAvenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Schedule of events
- 6–7pm: wine reception and tour of the “Ripped from the Headlines” multimedia art exhibit with curator Elle Schorr
- 7–9pm: poetry reading by Darius V. Daughtry; official welcome by FATVillage Founder Doug McCraw; panel discussion and open dialogue
Tickets are free but limited. RSVP to attend: bit.ly/FATVillagefreespeechforum
Livestream at 7 pm: rippedfromtheheadlines.art/freespeech
The purpose of FATVillage is to curate, exhibit and promote the work of emerging, contemporary artists. We strive to generate an inclusive art community through a diverse series of programs and by championing cross-disciplinary collaboration and experimentation.www.fatvillage.com
Media Contact: Sally-Ann O’Dowd firstname.lastname@example.org