"18th Annual Concert for Peace" Preview- Fulcrum Point New Music Project presents an afternoon of politics, poetry and hot music




2016: A Year of Political Turmoil, Racial Tension and National Division


“Politics, Poetry & Prayer”: The 18th Annual Concert for Peace, December 18, 2016, The Alhambra Palace Restaurant, 1240 W. Randolph, 4Pm- 6PM



Presented by Fulcrum Point New Music Project

Fulcrum Point Ensemble; photo by Elliot Mandel


The Annual Concert for Peace celebrates humanity’s struggles and achievements in acceptance, inclusion, and love through spoken word and music. The poetry will be complemented by the pop-inspired minimalism of composers Terry Riley, David Lang and Ted Hearne performed by the ensemble of Fulcrum Point New Music Project.


Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Chicago’s leader in new art music has celebrated the holidays with a peace concert since its inception in 1998. The peace concert celebrates the holiday season as one of inclusivity and the humanitarian pursuit of peace.


The Meier Achievement Award

It has just been announced that Fulcrum Point’s Artistic Director Stephen Burns has been named a 2016 Honoree of the Meier Achievement Award, which provides a cash prize to Chicago-area artists who demonstrate both talent and persistence in pursuing their craft. Special emphasis is placed on talented individuals who are “pushing the envelope”. Said Tim Meier, “For 20 years, we enjoyed Fulcrum Point’s shifts in vision, reflecting social change and response to new audiences”.

Fulcrum Point Musicians; photo by Elliot Mandel


Highlighting this year’s 18th Annual Concert for Peace, activists Malcolm London and Stella Binion will perform their social political poetry in the context of the tumultuous and discordant national and international events of the past year.



 Malcolm London, a “Louder Than A Bomb” award-winning poet, is a prominent activist in Chicago’s “Black Lives Matter" movement. He achieved national prominence after his highly publicized wrongful arrest during a protest over the cover-up of the Laquan McDonald shooting. His arrest sparked an outcry on social media leading to his release and subsequent dismissal of assault charges. Also an educator and internationally recognized musician, London brings vim & vigor to his energetic performances tackling tough contemporary issues head-on. He has appeared on PBS for the first ever televised TED Talk with John Legend & Bill Gates & has shared stages with actor Matt Damon & rapper Lupe Fiasco as a part of the "The People Speak, Live!" cast. In 2011, Malcolm London won the "Louder Than A Bomb" youth poetry slam in his native Chicago, scooping the top award as both individual performer & with a team. As an organizer London was apart of a historic youth delegation to the United Nations in Geneva to address police violence in Chicago. London sees art as the intersection between justice and poetic imagination.

Malcolm London; photo by Snow Rowe



 Stella Binion, born and raised on the Westside of Chicago, began her high school writing career by attending "Young Chicago Authors" workshops and eventually became co-captain for the "Rebirth Poetry Ensemble" performance poetry team. She was recently appointed as one of the five literary student ambassadors of the "National Student Poets Program", sponsored by the President’s Committee of the Arts and Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Stella is a senior at Walter Payton College Prep and leads Payton's Advisory Leader Organization (PALs) and is a member of Payton’s Organization of Women (POW). Last year, she was invited to perform for Michelle Obama at the White House.

Stella Binion; photo by Michael Brant


In The Words of Stephen Burns:

Burns grew up sharing the values espoused by the music and politics of the activist 1960’s- peace, love, non-violence, tolerance for all people, oneness. “They are common values”, he says, “Everyone can agree on peace”.

Fulcrum Point began to do concerts celebrating peace around the winter holidays in 1998, and as they developed, he kept adding “Elements of cross-cultural and inter-cultural diversity”. Eventually he decided, said Burns, “To have a dialogue about peace, compassion, and kindness” included in the program.

The thrust of the concerts changed after 9/11, and for 10 years they continued, adding representatives of cultures impacted by and targeted by those events and their aftermath. Ultimately, the direction of the concept changed yet again. “Now, we are bringing together a political aspect to the Concert for Peace”, he commented. The upcoming concert will consist of “An alternating series of poetry, music and narration. All of the pieces are very different. One of the poets is an important activist. In one piece of work the audience will be hit on the head, blindsided, overwhelmed. One piece will consist of railing against the system. There will be an invocation of peace, a calling forth of a better world”.

“What’s really important about the concert”, Burns remarked earnestly, “Is the bringing together of hip-hop culture and New Art Music. The languages are different but the aspirations are connected”. The concert has been planned so that “It all has a groove, an ecstatic and rhythmic feel”.

Stephen Burns; photo by Saverio Truglia



 Concert Information:


Sunday, December 18th, 2016

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Alhambra Palace Restaurant

1240 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

General Admission $20, Students/Seniors $10

Purchase tickets: http://18thannualpeaceconcert.brownpapertickets.com

Stephen Burns and Andy Baker perform "Close Fight" by Jacob TV; photo by Elliot Mandel



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