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 Artist, Producer Jerri Allyn and –

Participating Artists who are developing movement, sound and visual tableaus, along with text debates, include: Stephanie Allespach, Juna Amano, Christine Palma, Meg Madison, Juliana Ostrovsky, Jean Karl Petion, Sarafina Rodriquez, Leah Solo, Erich Wise, and others.

Artists Team Model UN-Performance Event 5

Southern California University, Spring 2014

Allyn has been co-creating Debating Through the Arts: Performance Art Events with Inez Bush and collaborating artists (2009-2014). From Debate to Create: Through a structure of debate, caucus, collaboration, performance and voting that echoes the theatricality of United Nations* proceedings, artists and audience come together to explore timely issues. By developing creative arguments and referendums (visual tableaus, music, dance), the goal is to provide a performative context for artists to demonstrate the importance of the arts in solving conflicts we face as a global community in the 21st century.

Allyn and an Artists Team are now associated with a university and faculty sponsor. In Spring 2014, the Artists Team is registering for a Model UN (MUN) – an entry-level Conference hosted by a Southern California university. Excited to pilot this interdisciplinary experiment, the event represents a hybrid between performance art and debate training within an educational environment.

The Artist Debaters are studying the specific rules and procedures to master this “game” to play effectively. This includes weekly workshops where participants improvise 2 minute, 1 minute and 30 second visual, movement and sound “debates, rebuttals and comments” (based on MUN’s Parliamentary Procedure Rules.) Participants focus on “Committee Topics” of interest: International Food Security, Privatization/Access to Water and Outer Space. (In MUN, there are more than 20 committees, with over 35 topics.) The Artists Team will join undergrad and graduate student crews studying diplomacy, international affairs and global economics.

*The Model United Nations Program was founded in 1929 as an educational arm of the League of Nations in Geneva (f. 1919), which preceded the founding of the United Nations in New York (f. 1945). The inter/national MUN simulates activities in the General Assembly at the UN through conferences at universities worldwide. Any college can establish a MUN Club and register to participate. Small Conferences have 50-100 participants from a few colleges. Large conferences can have 1000-5000 international participants from 200 or more universities.

Allyn and Bush are experimenting with “debate performances” with the following aspirations:

-activate the Cultural Committee of the National Model UN Program in the USA;

-register an Artists Team in the Model UN Program, thereby creating an interdisciplinary pilot that demonstrates the contributions artists’ can bring to the “game of productively solving global challenges;”

-develop curricular programs for art students in high school;

-incorporate artists’ creative referendums within the UN General Assembly, perhaps through a partnership with the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Photo Documentation     Inez Bush, Devin Calloway, Slobodan Dimitrov