WitnessArtsis a public arts campaign that invites artists to bear witness to the history we are living through. The art and experiences that emerge from this project are meant to live in the public square and to connect people to each other and to action.
- Backyard Band/with: Launched in 2009, this public art experience involves “Silent Film, Live Music, and Homemade Pies.” Each night is organized around a theme that is treated with whimsy and provocation. TPP works with Saving Daylight Productions, Ryland Brooks, Jennie Pakradooni, Angela Letizia and other local artists to co-host this series. During the summers of 2009 and 2010, Backyard Band/with hosted five shows in Jamaica Plain, MA, drawing an average of 150 people each night; on a peak night, audience members baked over 25 pies. We are planning a BYBW tour during the summer of 2011.
- In 2008, Andrew Suseno coordinated Living Room Chats in the Park, a series of spontaneous gatherings in New York City’s Union Square Park to invite people to talk about the issues and ideas that matter to them.
- In New York City, Mathu Subramanian and Pooja Makhijani organized Love & Marriage: A Reading to Support Marriage Equality on February 15, 2009 at Bluestockings Bookstore in New York City. All proceeds benefited the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The event featured writers Aseem Chhabra, Janice Erlbaum, Elisha Miranda, Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, and Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Haslett in a literary celebration of love and marriage.
Witness expands upon the tradition of “witness literature” to include other disciplines in the project of bearing witness to the world we live in and naming the moral imagination as a driving force in the creative and narrative processes.