Music, Arts, and Cultural Activism

In this impact-oriented community conversation, TED Senior Fellow lecturer Meklit discusses social issues and her philosophy of cultural activism.

Music and arts has a potential to address some of the most pressing social issues of our time, and there is an ever-growing interest in creative projects that do just that. Meklit believes that cultural activism should be a recognized path in music, and has spent the last few years both formally and informally coaching many artists in this path as well as developing projects that address social issues. She highlights how this approach allowed her career dexterity, collaboration with a multitude of institutional partners, community connectedness, and expanded audiences. This workshop presents a select set of case studies in cultural activism from several continents.

Who is Meklit?

Meklit is a TED Senior Fellow and her TED Talk, The Unexpected Beauty of Everyday Sounds, has been watched by more than 1.2 million people. She has received musical commissions from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the MAP Fund and has toured extensively across the US, UK, and East Africa. Meklit has been an artist-in-residence at NYU, and collaborated with NASA Astrophysicist Jon Jenkins, musical legend Pee Wee Ellis and the BBC Philharmonic. She is a Co-Founder of the Nile Project, served as musical director for the beloved Bay Area powerhouse UnderCover Presents, and sang alongside Angelique Kidjo and Anoushka Shankar as a featured singer in the UN Women Theme Song.

Meklit was a 2012 TED Senior Fellow and a 2009 TED Global Fellow. She has given three TED talks (with her 2015 talk going online at TED.com) and several performances at seven conferences.

This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. RSVP here to reserve your seat!