As someone with a background in performing arts and (obviously) a current passion for animal rights, I have a special fondness for those who find a way to bridge the two. Like Liz Peterson of Dancing for Animals (“DFA”), a New York based non-profit organization “dedicated to bringing people together to dance and help the animals of the world at the same time.” Through dance classes and dance parties, DFA raises funds and awareness for various animal issues — all while boogying down. (Next week’s lesson is The Hustle.)
Combining any arts modality with social justice (like the previously-reported visual-arts-meets-animal-rights website, Veganica) can be inspiring and innovative. Plus, as DFA demonstrates, it has the potential to shed light on animal issues to brand new circles, effectively creating new advocates and furthering the reach of our message.
If you are artistically-inclined, it’s easy to take that talent and plug it into animal rights. Besides the usual (donating your painting to an animal auction; offering to do your stand-up routine at a fund-raiser for your favorite animal organization), you might consider taking it one step further and starting your own club or organization (or even organizing a one-time event), where you take your particular talent and either showcase it or teach it. You might want to be armed with any or all of the following: literature; a presentation or guest speaker; a donation can; a sign-up sheet so you can follow up with info about the animal issue that you choose to focus on.
Aside from providing education, fun, and maybe even culture, you will finally be making use of your seldom-talked-about B.F.A. in Acting — which will at least make your mother rest easier. Or maybe that’s just me?
Stay tuned for some exciting arts-meets-animals type projects from Our Hen House.