Hi there,

Expand the tools we use for social change and we can make actions that feel more like a party than a protest. Activists have made extraordinary things happen through celebration.

We’re so lucky to have recently talked with three people who made a significant impact - on reproductive rights, drug policy, and civil rights - by using the powers of PARTY. And now, we’ve created an extravaganza of resources for you: our Artistic Activism PARTIES Kit. It includes video interviews with experts, fantastic reading materials, and even activities to help you and your fellow party revolutionaries make incredible things happen.

Here are three ways to get started

1. Give Yourself Permission

Kate Kelly

Perhaps the best place to begin is by giving yourself permission to have fun. Here’s a simple question to start with: How can you make enjoyment, parties, and celebration part of the initiatives or projects you already have? We couldn’t have said it better than Kate Kelly who notes: celebration is a political act and one of many ways we can subvert power.

2. Harness the good energy that’s already there

Paata Sabelashvili

We think it’s safe to say that the best parties are about togetherness and community. Ask yourself: How does my community already come together to celebrate? And then: how can I create a movement based on what people want and need through celebration? During the discussion, Paata Sabelashvili talks about Rave-olution, a party that shut down Parliament in Tbilisi, Georgia for two days, and how organizers harnessed energy that already existed within the impacted community.

3. Get Specific

Jay Jordan

Once you know who is going to be at the party, think about what kind of party that community would actually enjoy. Make a list: What do people love to do? And how can I amplify that and connect it to my issue? Take the lead from Jay Jordan and consider: how can we do what we love together even more audaciously?

Parties That Go On

Each of our panelists spoke about movements that inspired others. Georgia’s Raveolution and Reclaim the Streets created a spark in different countries, inspiring others to organize both within and outside the organization’s coalitions. And Shout Your Abortion’s Lemonade + Abortion Pill Info Stand, which took place just this past Independence Day in front of the United States Supreme Court, has ignited similar events in other states across the United States. These movements underscore that parties encourage participation and combat civic apathy because people want to show up for activism that feels good to be a part of. Here’s how you can keep the party going:

More Reading: If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution

To learn more about the history of dance, protest, and clubbing, we highly recommend Peter van Ludwig’s “Last Dance” thesis, which considers this history through the lens of marginalized communities. It’s also integrated with insightful interviews from activists such as Bogomir Doringer, Giorgi Kikonishvili, Paata Sabelashvili, Mike Servito, and Luis-Manuel Garcia talking about their first-hand experience organizing these protests and what it felt like to be part of movements grounded in inclusiveness and celebration. We also have other suggested reading from Olia Sosnovskaya, George McKay, and Nadya Tolokonnikova you can explore on our website.

Don’t stop the music: The best song to play at a protest

According to Jay Jordan, “the key to transformative revolutionary practices is being situated…it would depend what protest, where, when, and why! But if I was intuitively answering right now I would say: Peaches “Flip This”:

Peaches - ‘Flip This’ (Official Music Video)

Dig Deeper

Lessons from pop culture

In our Artistic Activism trainings, we love to take participants on pop culture outings. For example, we’ve taken them to a big league baseball game, a musical on stage, and a casino. We’ve played paintball, watched soap operas, got manicures, and much more. What does this have to do with helping people practice creative activism, you might ask? We use these outings as research and afterwards, deconstruct why they’re popular. What is it about paintball that made us all feel bonded? Why do soap operas make us cry and laugh? How do the casinos get us to keep playing long after we want to quit?

We invite you to try this:

  1. Find something that you know is popular among the kinds of people you’d love to reach. But it should be something you haven’t done, or haven’t done much of, or thought you’d never do. It could be anything from spending an hour on TikTok to shopping at a mall. Do it with a friend!

  2. Ask yourselves: why do people spend time and money doing this? What needs does it fill? What are the feelings this evokes? How can our advocacy events serve those same needs?

Want to continue this exercise and discover other activities to help you be more creative in your advocacy? You can explore more party-related exercises here and a free PDF of The Art of Activism Workbook is available here.

So… if you were getting a party together for a cause, what theme would you give it?

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Upcoming Editions of Revolutionizing Activism

We’re so glad so many of you have signed up to watch new sessions of Revolutionizing Activism! Previously scheduled upcoming sessions will no longer be live, rather we will share the full recordings on our website. Sign up here to get an e-mail from us as new sessions become available to watch. We look forward to your thoughts, feedback, and more on the stimulating conversations!

Join the Parties in Philly and Austin

This Jawn Votes

If you’re in Philly tomorrow, head to 52nd and Chestnut Streets from 4-6pm for a poetic party protest created by our Unstoppable Voters Fellow Céshia Elmore! Hosted by our partner organization New Voices for Reproductive Justice and featuring poets ShirminaGeneva, Van Brooks, Steph Ox, Sabriaya Shipley, and emcee Queen Phierce, “These Jawns Vote” will post four poets, one on each corner of this busy West Philly intersection. Each poet will perform a spoken word piece on the impact of voting and how it strengthens Black women and gender-expansive people in their fight for their bodily autonomy, their health care, families, and their human rights — and then help get passersby registered and ready to vote.


And if you’re in Austin on Friday, check out Texorcism, a big witchy event casting out the demons from the Texas Capitol. From 6:30-9:30pm at Cheer Up Charlies, our Unstoppable Voters Fellow Andrew Dinwiddie and partner organization Democrasexy will be getting Texans ready to vote with mystical election rituals, a live astrology reading, a visual art exhibition, a drag performance, and a panel discussion on the state of abortion rights in Texas featuring leaders from Avow Texas, Deeds Not Words, The Afiya Center, Texas Freedom Network, and more. Witchy attire is encouraged 🧙

Get your tickets to Texorcism now

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