Victory Boyd | photo courtesy of the artist
Victory Boyd, Batalá Philadelphia will play ACLU cultural celebration at 23rd Street Armory this week
The American Civil Liberties Union has been celebrating the hundredth anniversary of its founding throughout the spring with a nationwide tour featuring presentations, performances and community activities. The tour, which the organization describes as “a multi-city exhibition on your rights and freedoms,” began in Austin in March and will visit a total of fourteen cities — it arrives in Philadelphia today.
All the events will take place at 23rd Street Armory and will run from 11a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and 11a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday.
Wednesday’s events include a 6:30 pm performance by Batalá Philadelphia, a Samba Reggae percussion band founded in 2017 as part of the Batalá Mundo project for Afro-Brazilian music and culture. Philadelphia-based poet Victor Jackson will follow with a spoken word performance.
Thursday will feature an 11:45 am performance by singer-songwriter Victory Boyd, along with a discussion of her 2018 album Broken Instrument hosted by a panel of musicians, creatives, scholars and activists working in the Philadelphia community. Boyd comes from a family of performing musicians originally from Detroit, and she spent several years busking with her family in New York before she attracted the attention of JAY-Z and signed to Roc Nation, which released her debut EP as Victory, It’s A New Dawn, in 2017.
On Thursday at 5pm, Emmanuel Nsingani and Momo Baz will perform as a duo; Nsingani, a Congolese refugee, is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who performs jazz and gospel, as well as Congolese rumba and soukous.
In addition to performances of music and poetry, the ACLU’s events will include visual art exhibitions, a group yoga session, “Drag Queen Story Time” with Brittany Lynn, a live podcast, Q&A sessions about the ACLU’s current work, and opportunities for volunteer training. All the ACLU’s events this week will be free, family-friendly, and open to all members of the public. Find more information and a full schedule here.