The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Power of Truths Arts and Education Festival

Poster by Rodney Clancy

Power of Truths: Arts and Education Festival

Self-Evident Education’s Michael Lawrence-Riddell and Dr. Ousmane Power-Greene, in conjunction with the Northampton Arts Council, present an arts and education festival in Florence, MA for all members of the “teaching public”, defined broadly as anyone who is interested in helping others to learn. The event is the first in an ongoing series of experiential, educational, and artistic conferences to push our public use of education to create a just future. Power of Truths will feature multiple keynote speakers, sessions throughout the day, music and cultural events, curated food experiences, and more.

Join us on Friday night for the Opening Party presented in collaboration with Genuine Culture LLC, featuring DJs, dancing and a keynote speech. Our main event follows on Saturday with a full day of educational seminars, arts & culture offerings and experiential learning opportunities.

The guiding principle for this inaugural festival is examining ways to use art or education to push conversations about multiple truths and how the powers of those truths can help us build a better, more liberated future—a world on the other side of racial inequity. Sessions will be geared toward multiple segments of the teaching and learning public.

This will be the first in a series of many phenomenal events. Please consider joining our community in this critical work to understand and eradicate systemic racism.

– – – – – –

DAY 1 | Friday, June 10, 2022 | 6:30PM - 10:00PM

DJ Trendz

Performances by:

  • Marcia Gomes and her band, featuring June Millington, Eugene Uman, Denny Pelletier, and Fumi Tomia
  • The Lox & Keyes Theory
  • Akrobatik


DAY 2 | Saturday, June 11, 2022 | 8:30AM - 5:00PM

Speakers will include:

  • Debra Jo Immergut
  • Jared Bridgeman, AKA Akrobatik
  • Ousmane Power-Greene
  • Michael Lawrence-Riddell
  • Gina M. Ocasion
  • Marisa Mendonsa
  • Britt Rusert
  • Geoff Sanborn

Session topics will include:

  • Very Necessary: The Need for Hip-Hop Education in the Classroom
  • Representations of Black Girls in Graphic Novels
  • Critical Conversations—Critical Race Theory and Other Moral Panics
  • "The Truth About Speculative Fictions" Imagination and Speculation in Nineteenth Century African American Literature
  • "Is that really true?": Autobiography, Autofiction, and "Truths" in Fiction
  • "Friends of Slavery?" Rethinking Quaker Benevolence in the Early Republic
  • Educational Equity and Justice: The Clemente Program in the Humanities
  • “Can There Ever Really Be Justice on Stolen Land?”: Accurate and Honest History for All (AHHA): The Power of Stories to Change the World
  • "Jobs Not Jails?" Liberal Guilt, Radical Cynicism and the Movement Against the Prison-Industrial Complex
  • "Families with Power": Reflections on a local grassroots movement for educational equity
  • Moving Beyond Statements: Disrupting White Supremacy Culture in Public Schools
  • Identity and Visual Arts—A conversation with local Black visual artists

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