We have some very exciting news. Many of you, especially disabled organizers, have written in, called, posted, and talked with us about the fact that we are not wheelchair accessible.
The Democracy Center, founded in 2001 has been a focal point of non-profit social justice meeting space in Cambridge and the Greater Boston area. It has remained however, inaccessible to those with physical, intellectual, developmental, neurological and psychiatric disabilities for a variety of reasons. Our inaccessibility is and has been a pervasive and inexcusable example of ableism within progressive spaces.
Since January, a team of four (4) disabled consultants, representing a variety of disabilities has joined the DC to assist in bringing down those barriers. The first of these actions has been to ensure an access ramp is built.
We are overjoyed to announce that by the end of July, we will add a code-compliant wheelchair access ramp to the DeWolfe St side of the building, using the door into the Nelson Mandela room. We will also remove that rickety deck from the 3rd story.
The variable in timing right now is acquiring the necessary permits (which is being handled by our contractor); the application was submitted May 19. Cambridge has 30 days to approve the permit, though we expect it to be approved sooner. Deck demolition begins the week after the permit is approved, and after that ramp construction begins.
As always with construction projects, it is possible that delays we cannot foresee will arise - we will keep you updated. We also always welcome your encouragement and suggestions!
The ramp will provide access to the Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, and Cesar Chavez rooms which are all connected by wide sets of double doors. The Malala Yousafzai Library door is 30 inches wide. The internal hallways vary between 27-35 inches wide. We will purchase small, portable ramps to cover the half-steps between the older side of the building and the main meeting rooms.
Our bathroom will remain inaccessible, though we are working on options for creating accessible facilities on a separate timeline, and to provide alternatives for handwashing, toilets, and drinking water in the interim. The current bathroom door is 29 inches wide, the toilet is about 6 feet from the door. We will keep you all updated on those plans as they unfold.
Our next moves include bathroom accessibility, event organizer outreach and education when booking space, and other concerns as brought up by the consultants’ team. Event organizers will be required to maintain an accessible path through their events, and put details of our accessibility in all publicity. If you have questions or would like to suggest a need the team could look into further, please email email@example.com.
Further, we are using this journey of improving our physical accessibility to figure out ways we can further dismantle ableism within organizing communities, radical/DIY spaces, and more. If you have ideas about how that could take shape, please be in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Democracy Center is thrilled to introduce our first ever Artist in Residence, Pampi.
Over the next 6 months, Pampi will lead a meditative dance series called AbunDANCE. It is a modern form of temple dance, done in silence, that heals the body and can eventually be developed into a choreographed dance to be used at public actions and protests. The spring series will run through May, then resume in July.
Pampi is also leading workshops on accountable and for-real self care and community care. Learn more about the #XplicitCare series at bit.ly/xplicitcare.
See Pampi's xplicit bio here:
"A near-20 year settler-resident of Massachuset and Wompanoag territories - the so-called greater Boston area - Pampi is a darker skinned gender non-conforming second genx casteD Bengali (S. Asian) person who acknowledges their complicity in erasing people who may identify as Afro and Asian and continued participation in anti-black anti-Dalit and anti-indigenous infrastructures, benefiting from so-called US birth privileges and a middle class upbringing, which allowed them access to matriculation from a recognized magnet public HS and an elite engineering school, among much other support. They have protectionist living parents who adore them and therefore struggle to understand and support them. They have endured childhood and workplace bullying, domestic and sexual violence, and struggle with mental and physical illness. Pampi is committed to channeling whatever resources they have access to for visioning with communities in love and liberation, breaking the numbing isolation that too is genocide. As a culture worker who flourishes the intersection of culture, social justice, healing and education, they help develop community-centered art that aims to release creative potential and drive collective change-making."
The Musical Aperitif Series Presents *Music, Poetry an Prose from Ireland*
A delightful way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day or just enjoy the richness of Irish culture. Featuring readings from the works of some of Ireland's greatest writers: William Butler Yeats, James Joyce and Seamus Heaney. With theatrical performers Donal O'Sullivan and Cahal Stephens, and musicians Tony Keegan on bodhran, Lidia Chang on flute, and Sean Connor, fiddle.
Friday, March 18, 6-7PM
The Democracy Center
45 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge
$10 donation at the door
More information at www.hce-players.org
(TW: suicide) "My name is Joel Glenn Wixson. I'm a musician, a psychologist, a father, a husband, a friend, and a suicide survivor."
When Joel was 25, he experienced the lethal invitations of suicide. He survived because the distance between his plans to kill himself and his ability to act on those plans was wide enough for him to reconsider. This is the inspiration for the Mile Wide Project. The mission is to create space between impulse and action. The belief is that impulses are rooted in ideas that we hold dear. There are ways to stand up for those ideas. By creating space through music and conversation we find ways to stand up for what we hold dear, and live a life that is a testament to our pain, not a tragic headline.
The Mile Wide Project is a one man show.
It takes you from pain and isolation to hope and possibilities.
See where it takes you.
Learn more: http://themilewideproject.org/
Do you enjoy Downton Abbey? Then be sure to attend our Musical Apertif series Friday, January 15 6-7pm, which will feature music inspired by the era and tv show. Soprano Jean Danton, baritone Mark Morgan and pianist Linda Papatopoli will bring you back in time.
There will be an English tea reception to follow.
Suggested donation: $10
Join the Democracy Center and all of the amazing people who use the Democracy Center for a holiday party Friday, December 18 5-7pm at the Democracy Center. Just bring yourself and a friend! Snacks, music and other cool people provided. FB event.
Join the Democracy Center for the Musical Apertif Series. This month, the program features Voci Angelica Trio, a group that is enjoying a widening audience nationally and internationally. The performers are multi-national and have a huge repertoire of music from around the globe that they have ingeniously arranged for voice, cello and percussion. Listen to their music: http://vociangelicatrio.com/media/
The program will begin at 6pm with a reception afterwards.
Friday, November 20, 2015
Suggested donation: $10
More about Voci Angelica Trio:
Re-imagining the boundaries of traditional folk music, Voci Angelica Trio’s riveting arrangements of global songs from every continent leave audiences mesmerized. Shimmering vocal harmonies intertwine with lush cello lines and vibrant percussion to create a musical fusion that transcends cultural divisions.
What started as a side project building on its members’ diverse ethnic backgrounds has become a musical mission. More than just a performance group, Voci Angelica Trio promotes the humanitarian goals of social justice and cultural understanding. “We believe that one of the best ways to pursue peace is to sing one another’s songs,” says Jodi Hitzhusen. Meena Malik adds, “We see ourselves as musical ambassadors, using our performances to raise public awareness of diverse cultures and the issues they face.”
The name “Voci Angelica” is a mix of romance languages and Latin, just as the trio explores and blends the music of many cultures. It roughly translates to mean “voices of angels.” Aristides Rivas concludes, “Music goes beyond language, religion, and politics. It connects us to our humanity.”
The Amador Family will be performing a benefit concert at the Democracy Center, now on August 8th instead of July 25th! Mark your calendars, and be prepared to hear both Sol y Canto, a staple of the Cambridge music scene, perform original songs alongside Alisa Amador!
Hope to see you there!
Our performers are braving the snow to put on a hot tango performance for you tonight, so we hope you'll join us!
The parking ban in Cambridge is in effect on certain roads, so if you plan on driving, use one of the streets on this map:
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