Arts & Culture, Music, Our City, Our World

Activating ARTivism continues! A few questions with Amanda Shea & JD Neinast.

As we approach the event's second edition, I interview the event's creators about the event's genesis and first edition.



Dan Shea:
What is Activating ARTivism, and how did this event come together?

Amanda Shea & JD Neinast:
Activating ARTivism was a two day benefit festival led by Amanda Shea, JD Neinast and Boston artists to amplify their voices in order to raise funding for two Boston organizations: the LDB Peace Institute and Violence in Boston. It all started with a phone call. JD reached out to Amanda regarding doing something meaningful and necessary for the community. With the understanding of our social climate right now, they felt called to action.


What can you tell us about the organizations benefiting from this fundraiser??

AS & JN:
Violence in Boston founded by Monica Canon-Grant is an organization working against police brutality and racism. Over the summer they’ve provided meals every day to Boston residents. Violence in Boston also helps Boston residents in the following areas: Reduction in recidivism, reduction in homelessness, reduction of BPS students & families experiencing food insecurity, improvement in mental health among residents and reduction of health disparities in communities of color.

LDB Peace Institute is a center for healing for families impacted by murder, trauma, grief & loss.  They were the first organization in Boston to develop homicide response protocols to assist these grieving families.


The City and Marty Walsh are defunding the overall police budget by less than 3% and promising significant reforms. This coming after the recent teargassing of peaceful protestors protesting the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others. This response seems woeful to me and so many others. Where do you all stand on this response?

AS & JN:
It’s upsetting to say the very least. It was absolutely disgusting to teargas peaceful protesters. The violation of the police use of force is one of the many reasons why defunding needs to happen. What they need to do is allocate funding to public schools, parks, recreation centers and after school youth programs (specifically within black & brown communities). 


Please tell us what you can about your awesome event’s performers!

AS & JN:
Activating ARTivism had such an amazing lineup. We were honored to have so many artists willing to amplify their voices in order to raise funds for these nonprofits that are truly doing the work. We wanted to highlight different genres such as singer-songwriters, Hip Hop, RnB, and poetry. We also wanted to invite artists of all levels of expertise. We believe we were successful in doing so.


Any parting words, and ideas about how folks can best get involved to stop police violence in our city?

AS & JN:
We should all become more informed on what police violence is and how it disproportionally affects black and brown people. One of the ways they can get involved is by supporting organizations like Violence in Boston, LDB Peace Institute, BLM Boston and FTP (For the People). Sharing information on these organizations, getting involved in protests, being present & supporting folks who are interacting with police  are some ways people can get involved.


FB Event for the August 18th Activating ARTivism event:

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