Forward Union Fair is an annual social action info fair that celebrates diverse activist organizations, topical art installations, and public programming. The NGOs, nonprofits, and community organizations at Forward Union work to lift up and protect the people, places, and values under threat.
This free, public event will take place December 2 & 3 at 714 Broadway, a vacant storefront space in the heart of Manhattan.
In 2016, Forward Union Fair brought together 1,500 members of the public, 44 progressive organizations, 37 artists, and 8 hours of non-stop public programming. All fair attendees had the opportunity to meet, network, and take action. This December 2nd and 3rd, we will do it all over again while expanding our programming, art installations, and conversations, which is why we need you to join us today.
Why is this important?
Over the last 10 months, we have experienced a roller coaster of emotions: the largest single day of nationwide rallies for the Women’s March; a lack of government response to damage caused by multiple natural disasters; four unsuccessful attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act; the Muslim Ban and the subsequent airport sit-ins; the rejection of the Paris Climate Accords; and the rise of Indivisible Groups, just to name a few. What results is outrage fatigue, which makes it difficult to decide how to get involved and assess where your skills and resources should be employed.
Forward Union Fair provides practical, action-based resources to help concerned individuals get involved in their communities. Every participating organization will be given table space to convey information about their mission and how individuals can get involved. During the Fair, artists and curatorial collectives will present new projects and installations that express and reflect the topics being discussed at the tables and public programming.
The upcoming December Fair will feature two full days of public programming including talks, performances, round tables, and more. Past programming included performances by Christopher K. Ho, Chin Chih Yang, Tamar Ettun, a participatory round table on Protest hosted by Critical Practices Inc, discussing topics from immigration rights and sexual violence to respectability politics and Black Lives Matter.
About Forward Union
Forward Union was founded in the wake of the 2016 Presidential election by five art workers (Julia Clark, Lauren Jones, Jennie Lamensdorf, Rachel Nackman, and Holly Shen) who, while commiserating the outcome, realized there was a lack of any website or platform that allowed individuals to learn about various causes in one central place. Taking inspiration from the structure and process of an art fair, wherein each organization gets a space to promote their ideas and mission, the first Forward Union Fair invited organizations including The Climate Mobilization, Hudson Valley Riverkeeper, International Refugee Assistant Project, Lady Parts Justice, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, NYC Shut It Down, Peoples Power Assemblies, the Trevor Project, and many more, to come together under one roof to connect motivated individuals seeking an outlet with the hard-working groups that need their participation and support.
What will your contribution support?
Contributions to our Kickstarter will help us produce the second annual Forward Union Fair and expand it to two days. Our hard costs include furniture and equipment rentals; artist support for pop up installations; and printed materials for visitors and organizations.
The Forward Union Fair is all about creating a community of action-orientated, like-minded individuals. Forward Union Fair believes we can amplify our power by showing up for each other and the Fair serves as a platform to support cross-disciplinary and intersectional conversations and collaborations. That’s why a Kickstarter makes sense: it’s a place where we can put out a call to action for support.
Thank you so much for your support! Below is some additional information about our rewards that we are excited to share with you in thanks for your support. A special shout out is due to Andrea Arrubla, Merit Myers, and B. Thom Stevenson for supporting us with with artworks. Rupert Manderstam, Lauren M. Jones, Merit Myers, and Geoffrey Stevens all helped produce our video. It takes a village! Thank you!
B. Thom Stevenson
Forward Union Tote
Risks and challenges
There are always risks when using vacant retail space in NYC. We are committed to the pop-up approach as it gives us more flexibility and we fully understand the resulting complexities. For example, up to two weeks before the opening of the Fair there is a slim chance the landlord may rent out 712 Broadway and ask us to find another space. We also have to negotiate with the upstairs neighbors, who were very concerned about noise for the 2016 iteration of the Fair. We’re better prepared this year and will have the neighbors well prepped with contingencies planned.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)