Stomach dancing and hearth spinning

Raks Geek, a Chicago-based group began by musician Daybreak Xiana Moon that options stomach dancing and hearth spinners, has held a number of fundraising occasions for organizations that assist a variety of various teams and causes, together with the American Civil Liberties Union, the LGBTQ neighborhood, and immigrants. When deciding on which trigger to carry a fundraiser for subsequent, Moon says they attempt to uplift smaller, native organizations the place the cash can be extra helpful. Relying on the occasion, all or a part of the cash goes towards the trigger. The occasions all the time characteristic individuals from underrepresented teams.

“We’re normally looking for teams that aren’t tremendous massive, with some exceptions,” mentioned Moon in an interview with Prism. “Our assets will not be large so we wish to make the perfect affect that we probably can … A couple of thousand {dollars} to a really small group can really make a distinction.”

Final yr, Raks Geek held a fundraiser for RAICES, a company that serves migrants and households separated on the U.S.-Mexico border. The problem of immigration is private for Moon, who’s an immigrant from Singapore. Moon was initially apprehensive about utilizing her artwork for explicitly political functions, nevertheless it didn’t cease her from talking up about her beliefs.

“I am an Asian American lady and I am an immigrant, [so] my very existence is political,” she mentioned. “As a substitute of working away from the truth that it’s political, I’d as nicely embrace it and use what platform I’ve.”

Moon additionally uses her music to unfold hope and plans to proceed to make the most of her abilities to unfold positivity, whatever the consequence of the election.

“If we quit hope and we cease preventing, that isn’t a very good long-term technique and simply not an excellent strategy to dwell,” she mentioned. “I very a lot imagine in taking place preventing, even when you recognize you won’t essentially see the result of the factor that you simply’re working in the direction of.”


The drag neighborhood has additionally been lively on this space. Drag Out the Vote makes use of drag to teach and interact potential voters. They register voters at drag occasions and advocate for rising voter entry. With the pandemic limiting in-person outreach, drag kings and queens have additionally utilized telephone textual content banking, touchless voter registration, and on-line performances.

“I believe Drag Out the Vote is so thrilling as a result of with RuPaul’s Drag Race being so widespread and different drag so widespread, there’s an pleasure—particularly amongst younger voters—round drag,” mentioned Kylie Monono, an envoy for Drag Out the Vote, in an interview with Prism. “[We] make the most of that pleasure and encourage individuals to not solely register, however to truly get out and vote and make a plan on how they are going to vote.”

Drag has been used as a type of activism for many years, from the Stonewall riots to the newer protests in opposition to Fb’s “actual identify” coverage.

“Drag is a extremely highly effective device and artwork kind,” mentioned Monono. “Folks love seeing drag and other people get blissful once they see it and reply so favorably. I’ve observed that once I’m out in drag, it is a lot simpler to get individuals to have a dialog.”

Burlesque and stripping

The subject of girls’s well being has been on the forefront of the nationwide consciousness within the wake of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Courtroom. Nevertheless, lengthy earlier than Coney Barrett’s affirmation passed off and discussions about overturning Roe v. Wade took off, there have been ongoing efforts by individuals within the burlesque neighborhood to widen entry to ladies’s well being providers.

Earlier this yr, the Houston, Texas-based Dem Rattling Dames Burlesque held their sixth annual fundraiser for Deliberate Parenthood with a purpose of elevating $10,000. On the occasion, that they had burlesque performances, raffles, prizes, and on-site voter registration.

Different grownup entertainers seeking to make an affect have gotten inventive of their method. In September, a bunch of Atlanta-based unique dancers posted the viral PSA video titled “Get Your Booty to the Poll,” which featured a number of ladies dancing whereas wearing crimson, white, and blue lingerie. Within the video, the dancers encourage individuals to register to vote whereas speaking in regards to the points on the poll that may straight have an effect on peoples’ lives.

This video actually began with the demise of George Floyd in Might and us feeling like there was a greater strategy to voice a necessity for change than simply strolling round with indicators for a number of days,” one of many dancers within the PSA told Fox 5 Atlanta. “We wished to do one thing completely different and get individuals, particularly males, to vote.”

The dancers additionally directed individuals to their website, which gives voter registration data and extra assets.


Hip Hop for Change, a Bay Space-based hip-hop education organization, lately did a marketing campaign with Breathe for Justice to advertise a rap contest. The group collaborated with When We All Vote, Sierra Club, and to extend turnout for the competition, which was geared toward mobilizing and energizing younger voters round election-related points.

“The Hip Hop neighborhood has all the time been enthusiastic about political points and stays concerned within the combat for voter’s rights and entry to the polls,” mentioned Eric Sasz, the occasion director of Hip Hop for Change, in an emailed assertion to Prism. “Being the voice of our tradition, political organizations attain out to us to amplify our voices and mobilize the plenty.”

By way of the competition, organizers invited contributors to submit a brief rap, track, poem, or spoken phrase piece to debate how they have been impacted by COVID-19, social injustice, local weather change, or environmental racism.

“The socio-economic problems with environmental racism, police violence, local weather change, and COVID-19 are crucial points for the Hip Hop neighborhood in the present day,” mentioned Sasz. “These points are at first on the minds of our neighborhood members strolling into the voting cubicles, so it is vital as a cultural chief in our neighborhood that Hip Hop For Change furthers the dialogue.”

It’s not the primary time the group has been a part of a collaboration on this degree. The group has beforehand partnered with the East Bay Regional Park District, Kaiser Permanente, and different teams and establishments to lift consciousness round points starting from COVID-19 testing to rising range.

“We are tapped on a regular basis by organizations seeking to make the most of the ability of Hip Hop to prepare, mobilize, and educate,” Sasz mentioned.

Artwork and efficiency all the time has been a strategy to join with distinctive audiences and immediate discussions about world occasions. A number of artists instructed Prism they’re retaining an in depth eye on the election and are already brainstorming about which causes they’ll be selling subsequent. The choice, they mentioned, will closely rely upon which president takes workplace in January.

(Editor’s notice: Prism Senior Editor Michi Trota is a performer with Raks Geek.)

Carolyn Copeland is a replica editor and employees reporter for Prism. She covers racial justice and tradition. Comply with her on Twitter @Carolyn_Copes.

Prism is a BIPOC-led nonprofit information outlet that facilities the individuals, locations and points at the moment underreported by our nationwide media. By way of our authentic reporting, evaluation, and commentary, we problem dominant, poisonous narratives perpetuated by the mainstream press and work to construct a full and correct file of what’s occurring in our democracy. Comply with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here