Holly Bass : Moneymaker

Sat, Oct 24 @
In-person: 8am-8pm (EDT) &
Live Streamed: 2pm-5pm (EDT)



Sporting a pompadour, a bedazzled cummerbund spelling out $€X, and golden orbs amplifying her backside, Bass draws inspiration from James Brown, “the hardest working man in show business” and Sarah Baartman, the South African woman who became world-famous as the Venus Hottentot. Over the course of twelve hours, Bass will dance to a soundtrack of songs and speeches spanning the last century, including excerpts of speeches from Shirley ChisolmFannie Lou HamerMalcolm X as well as family members’ stories of politics, voting, and their own artistic ambitions.

Part political commentary and part celebration of social dance, Moneymaker interweaves a lineage of Black artistry with a satirical critique of the history of exploitation, commodification, and objectification of Black women. Taking place on October 24, the first day of early voting in New York, Bass’s performance also calls to mind the long and very relevant struggle of voter suppression in America.

As part of ForFreedoms’Awakening 2020 campaign and RuckUS’ day of action, this socially-distanced performance will also serve as an activation site of civic engagement. Attendees are encouraged to drop completed, New York absentee ballots off at Live Arts (219 W 19th St., NYC) during the duration of the performance (8am – 8pm), which will be promptly delivered to the County Board of Elections Office.

Following current Covid-19 safety measures, the performance itself will take place inside the Live Arts glass front entrance vestibule and be visible from the sidewalk outside. Between 3:30 and 4:30 pm EST on the day of the event, New York Live Arts will be included on the route of the RuckUS parade-style march, highlighting Bass’ performance. Additionally, a 3-hour portion of the 12-hour performance will be made available to livestream from 2pm – 5pm EST for free, RSVP required. Full event details and RSVP information can be found here.

RuckUS was born from conversations among “the Breakfast Club”: revered musicians LaurieAnderson, ArtoLindsay, and RyuichiSakamoto, along with noted branding consultant IainNewton. Inspired to find a way for artists to engage with voter advocacy, they invited legendary rock/jazz bassist MelvinGibbs and BillT. Jones, Live Arts Artistic Director, as well as cultural curators from Joe’s Pub, The Blacksmiths, Town Hall, and HONK NYC to help coordinate this extraordinary multi-borough, pro-voting extravaganza.

During the event we will be collecting New York mail in ballots to be hand delivered to the Board of Elections the following day.

How to Cast an Absentee Ballot (From the County Board of Elections)

  • Once your receive the ballot, mark the ballot according to your choices for each office following the instructions on the ballot
  • Once you have completed marking your ballot fold it up and place it in the Security Envelope. (This envelope will have a place for your signature.)
  • Sign and date the outside of the Security Envelope.
  • Seal the Security Envelope.
  • Place the Security Envelope in the Return Envelope. (This envelope will have the return address of your county Board of Elections on the outside and should have a logo that reads, “Official Election Mail”)
  • Seal the Return Envelope.
  • You may return the ballot in any of the following ways:
    • Drop off at New York Live Arts, 8am – 8pm, on Saturday, October 24th, 2020.
    • Put it in the mail ensuring it receives a postmark no later than November 3rd.
    • Bringing it to the County Board of Elections Office no later than November 3rd by 9pm.
    • Bringing it to an early voting poll site between October 24th and November 1st
    • Bringing it to a poll site on November 3rd by 9pm.

About the Artist:
Holly Bass