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04/08/2011

Musicians Tell the Story of Free Speech in America on April 13

Quick Facts

 The show serves as the finale in a series of events designed to showcase the role freedom of expression plays in fostering the arts, creative works and social media.
 This innovative multimedia performance showcases Grammy Award-winning and hit-making musicians telling the story of free speech and music in America.

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Ken Paulson

ROCK HILL, S.C. - "Freedom Sings: Express Yourself,” an entertaining and thought-provoking show that celebrates free expression and music, will be presented at 7 p.m. on April 13 in the DiGiorgio Campus Center's Richardson Ballroom.

The multi-media program is part of Winthrop’s West Forum on Politics and Policyand the Mass Communication Department’s joint effort to educate students and the general public about their First Amendment rights and is funded by a grant from the “1 for All” campaign’s “Liberty Tree Initiative.” The show serves as the finale in a series of events designed to showcase the role freedom of expression plays in fostering the arts, creative works and social media.

This innovative multimedia performance showcases Grammy Award-winning and hit-making musicians telling the story of free speech and music in America. It features a soundtrack of classic rock, country, folk, soul and hip-hop songs. The show, produced by the First Amendment Center, is part of the “Freedom Sings”® concert series, which has toured America to rave reviews since 2000.

"Freedom Sings: Express Yourself” offers an engaging look at some of the most controversial songs in American history," said show narrator and writer Ken Paulson, president and CEO of the First Amendment Center, and former editor of USA TODAY. “It's part concert and part conversation, and the band is just outstanding."

“I didn’t realize that the songs we listen to are subject to potential censorship. I’m excited about attending the event and finding out more about the struggles artists face,” says Sarah Chandler, an integrated marketing communications student at Winthrop. 

Performers at the Winthrop show include:

- Bill Lloyd, songwriter, musician, recording artist and producer, and member of the top 1980s country-rock duo, Foster and Lloyd, who recently reunited for the album “It’s Already Tomorrow,” debuting May 17.

- Jonell Mosser, one of Nashville’s most popular and versatile musical performers. Her latest album is “Trust Yourself.”

- Jason White, an extraordinary songwriter and performer whose work – including the controversial song “Red Rag Top” – has been recorded by Tim McGraw, among others. His newest CD, “The Longing” was just released.

- Joseph Wooten, keyboard performer for the legendary Steve Miller Band for more than 15 years and a talented singer/songwriter in his own right. His latest album is "Hands of Soul."

What others have said about "Freedom Sings:"

- "A triumph ... entertaining, informative, patriotic and emotionally thrilling." - Sandra Roberts, The Tennessean, Nashville;

- "The core message ... delivered within an amazing celebration of music, is vivid and undeniable ... make the show a tour de force - Kira Florita, Leadership Music

- "'Freedom Sings' is exactly the kind of upbeat, positive presentation of our First Amendment freedoms that students and all Americans need to experience. Truly awesome!" - Dianne Smith, journalism adviser, Alief Hastings High School, Houston;

- Fun ... scrupulously well-balanced" and appeals to "all political perspectives." - Cal Thomas, syndicated newspaper columnist and author

“I for All” is an informal coalition of educators, journalists, librarians, artists and authors with a shared interest in building awareness of the First Amendment through education and information. The “Liberty Tree Initiative” campus program is made possible by the support of the McCormick Foundation, American Society of News Editors, the First Amendment Center and the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida. For more information: www.1forall.us.

The First Amendment Center works to preserve and protect First Amendment freedoms through information, education and entertainment. The center serves as a forum for the study and exploration of free-expression issues, including freedom of speech, of the press and of religion, and the rights to assemble and to petition the government. The Center has offices on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., in the John Seigenthaler Center; and in Washington, D.C., at the Newseum. It is an operating program of the Freedom Forum, and is associated with the Newseum and the Diversity Institute.

For more information: www.firstamendmentcenter.org


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