A collaboration to present an intergenerational digital celebration of the ongoing fight for equality
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – coLAB Arts, in collaboration with National Organization for Women of New Jersey (NOW-NJ) presents “legacyNOW”, an intergenerational digital celebration of the ongoing fight for equality. The project includes five digital performances based on oral histories of second wave feminists from NOW-NJ, conducted by youth who have recently joined the movement. The commissioned artists include a diverse group of five New Jersey women playwrights: Karen Alvarado, Stephanie Bond, Aizzah Fatima, Angela Kariotis, and Antu Yacob. Starting October 22, these new works will be available on social media and the coLAB Arts website on a rolling basis up to and through the election on November 3. coLAB Arts’ website and project page is www.colab-arts.org/legacynow and can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @colabarts.
coLAB Arts and NOW-NJ are joined by Generation Ratify NJ and Period.org, in celebrating stories of the feminists who continued the legacy of the Suffragists and picked up the mantle for equality. These pioneers from NOW-NJ, in sharing their experiences from the front lines, hope they are preparing Gen Z for the fight that awaits them in the movement to achieve equity for all. The stories shared publicly on the coLAB Arts website at www.colab-arts.org/legacynow include transcripts of the interviews and commissioned digital performances that revolve around themes of 1) Reproductive Justice, (2) Racial Justice, (3) LGBTQIA Rights, (4) Ending Violence Against Women, and (5) Economic Justice and (6) Constitutional Equality.
“I am continually amazed by the power of art to examine complex issues and the depth of the human condition; creating a path for others to see, to hear, to understand, to engage, to take action,” said John Keller, legacyNOW project director and Director of Education for coLAB Arts.
The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg came as a shock to all feminists, everywhere. At the same time, it served as a reminder of how fragile our progress is. In introducing the Reproductive Freedom Act (Bills S3030/A4848), New Jersey has taken the first step to codify the right to abortion in the event of a federal repeal. New Jersey will protect access to time-sensitive care and prioritize the health and well-being of all people who need reproductive health care, such as birth control and pregnancy-related care, including abortion. The project calls upon viewers to take action by urging their legislators to pass these bills now.
“The feminists highlighted in this project all got involved for personal reasons, facing inequalities that many of our younger generations have not had to contend with. In telling their stories, we not only pay homage to their work, but also remind the future torch-bearers of the movement that we are not done yet and that there will be barriers and setbacks along the way. The pioneers of NOW did not give up hope, nor have we (the current leaders) and neither must they,” said Anjali Mehrotra, President of National Organization for Women of New Jersey.
Funding for this project was provided by NJ Women Vote: The 19th Amendment at 100, a partnership led by the New Jersey Historical Commission and the Alice Paul Institute, with assistance from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
coLAB Arts engages artists, social advocates, and communities to create transformative new work. coLAB Arts facilitates creative conversation through innovative programs and artist infrastructure, connects artists with community partners and mentors, and executes productions that challenge perceptions and inspire action. www.colab-arts.org | @colabarts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Download the press release here.