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Discussion at a Community Sing at Harlem Stage at Aaron Davis Hall^46 Michaela Angela Davis and Carl Hancock Rux in conversation at the NYC premiere screening of finding the 51st (dream) state. Photo by Vaughn David Browne.^46 Richie Harper leading a community sing at Harlem Stage at Aaron Davis Hall^46 Sekou at work at the Arab American National Museum with Detroit poets and staff during a semester long residency at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor ^46

The America Project

The People's Potlucks is a program of artist-led events that explore-- through creative expression, personal stories, honest dialogue and a shared meal-issues of importance to engaged, critical citizenship. Bringing together people from all walks of life in small, intimate settings for thoughtful reflection, deep listening, and the possibility of finding common purpose across difference, the Potlucks offer an alternative to political discussion focused on policy change or the latest issue of the day and instead aim to unleash fresh thinking, spark ideas and imagine new ways to see and act interdependently.

Each event is led by an artist whose own work is deeply embedded in community. The artist may provide common texts for reflection prior to the gathering and shares his or her artistic practice with the Potluck participants to create a collective experience from which dialogue can grow. Individuals or organizations may host a dinner in a private home or intimate community space. Hosts are asked to invite a group of participants, reflecting diverse backgrounds, viewpoints and beliefs.

This year, The People's Potlucks take their inspiration from the central question of Marc Bamuthi Joseph's red, black & GREEN: a blues (the 2010 America Project Commission): "what sustains life in your community?" Spread out over the entire year, this series will reflect on expanding definitions of sustainability, sustenance, community and life. 

Artist leaders Samita Sinha and Julia Ulehla use a balance of singing, action and dialogue to explore relationships as a fundamental component of sustaining life -- how do we as individuals affect one another, and the collective, through our actions—giving and receiving, listening and sounding, proposing and responding? Recognizing that all of our actions have impact in the world, how can we be present with other people in a way that sustains us? How can we build something together?

The People's Potlucks are created in partnership with Samita Sinha, Lead Artist Partner, and Create Collective.