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All Together Now, a Boston-based inclusive and multidisciplinary event series has been awarded a 2019 Live Arts Boston (LAB) grant from the Boston Foundation and the Barr Foundation. The series, which makes space for women, people of color, and queer performers, was awarded a LAB grant in 2017, making the 2019 award it’s second from the Boston and Barr Foundations.
All Together Now (ATN) was created in 2016 by musician and photographer Anna Rae, with three goals in mind: create space for marginalized artists, combine a variety of performance arts on a single stage, and bring NYC artists to Boston to create stronger connections between artists and audiences in the two markets. “What I took from the 2016 shows,” says Rae, “is that audiences were hungry for these types of spaces. In a town like Boston that is racially, economically, and artistically segregated, you need to recruit artists from across genres if you want to get people of many identities into the same room.”
Having produced three proof-of-concept shows in 2016, Rae sought funding for the series in 2017. The project was awarded a LAB grant for the 2017 year, as part of the inaugural round of LAB funding. Rae produced five installments in 2017, featuring 40 artists in music (rap, rock, folk, beatbox, electronic), performance art, dance, drag, comedy, circus arts, spoken word, magic, photography, and fashion presentation. The series was featured more than 40 times in television, radio, print, and online media, including the ARTery, the Boston Globe, Improper Bostonian, Scout, and others.
“In 2017 I really used the LAB funding to push myself and the series; to take a lot of risks,” Rae recalls. “While I’m very proud of the opportunities and experiences that this created, I also felt like I needed to step back and assess in 2018. In particular I needed to think about how to make the experience of curating theses shows more sustainable for myself, and how to better allocate funding for emerging artists who need substantial promotional support alongside opportunities to perform.”
After taking 2018 to assess and regroup, Rae applied for another round of LAB funding in 2019. “One thing I thought a lot about going into this last round of funding was the idea of coexistence, and how ATN works alongside affinity series,” Rae says. “As series that seek to create space for subgroups of people continue to emerge in Boston, it is increasingly important to me to work alongside these shows by creating spaces where people of all identities share the stage. I’ve also made a few budgetary adjustments to focus more resource on promoting the artists who participate, and ensuring they come out of the show with materials, such as high-quality performance photographs, to use in promoting future shows.”
The 2019 All Together Now series will include installments at The Lilypad (Cambridge) on Saturday, September 7; The Burren (Somerville) on Saturday, Oct 5; and Midway Café (Jamaica Plain) on Saturday, Nov 9. Series and ticketing information can be found at http://www.alltogetherbos.com.