Participatory Citizenship & Participatory Arts

Last Tuesday, September 20, was National Voter Registration Day, which is “a day of civic unity. It’s an opportunity to set aside differences, enjoy the rights and opportunities we all share as Americans, and celebrate our democracy.”

With all the unity, celebration, and setting aside differences to enjoy shared opportunities, it sure seems a lot like a contra dance or the All Comers Band!  … But, what do democracy, citizenship, and voting really have in common with a local arts nonprofit?!?

Hypothetical label for a bottle of BFS elixir

Well… our social dance and music traditions are, as a past BFS board member put it, a bit like a magic elixir. The label could make all sorts of legitimately lofty claims, but the elixir’s effectiveness entails participation.

Which circles back to democracy, citizenship, and voting. Active engagement is the key!

Maine has one of the highest voter turnout rates in the nation, and that’s partly because of things like same day voter registration for in person voting, no excuses absentee ballots, and more. Let’s keep rocking the vote, with high participation by eligible voters of all ages & demographics! (Yup, just like the All Comers Band and the BFS contra dances.)

Here are some nonpartisan resources. Use them, share them, and get out there and vote! (If you’re from away, and can’t register to vote in Maine, get the scoop on voting in your state!)

Democracy Maine is a collaboration of three nonpartisan organizations, partnering on advocacy and education efforts:

The Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions has a bunch of info, including these useful pages:

One more thing — Just like dancing and playing music with other people, voting can be really FUN. Absentee or at the polls, it’s a great chance to smile and see your neighbors.

So, go out there and have yourself some participatory fun!

  • Get ready.
  • Register.
  • Find out what’s on the ballot and what issues are important to you.
  • Remind your peeps to join you.
  • And VOTE, whether you do it early or on election day, Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

Remember… Democracy, Citizenship, Voting + Flying Shoes are all about participation!