Flag Day commemorates the adoption of our national symbol on June 14, 1776. Because it is not a federal holiday, the day typically passes with little fanfare. Not this year, however. Flag Day just so happens to be Donald Trump’s Birthday. He turns 71 this year, and the Bad and Nasty collective is throwing him the bash he so bigly deserves!
Bad and Nasty (aka Bad Hombres and Nasty Women) is a loose knit coalition of academics, artists, activists, and concerned citizens who, shocked and appalled by the results of the election, began to plot a grassroots guerrilla theater action for February 20, 2017 called Not My Presidents’ Day. What began as a small collective of friends soon swelled to more than 1900 members who staged upwards of sixty protest events around the country and across the globe. These "patriot acts" served as vital and highly visible elements of the mass demonstrations taking place throughout the United States that day. In performances of democracy that reverberated with the Women’s Marches, airport protests against the Muslim travel ban, spirited town halls on the Affordable Care Act, and rallies to denounce immigration raids on undocumented individuals, members of the Bad and Nasty collective engaged in ingeniously inventive civic performances to oppose the discriminatory policies of the Trump administration.
Our Flag Day patriot acts celebrate the striped fabric to which we pledge allegiance (and which Trump may soon be wearing behind bars). The Manhattan-based group ArtRising promises a carnival of dissent, including music, dance, poetry, theater, and visual performance. Taking the people’s message to the place #45 can’t ignore (his home), ArtRising stages protests under the banner TakeTrumpTower.com that use the skyscraper as a living lab to educate voters and elected leaders about the risks he poses. Headlining ArtRising’s Flag Day festivities are Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping, performance artist and Franklin Furnace founder Martha Wilson, poet Kyle Dacuyan, choreographer Jody Sperling, awarding winning multi-disciplinary artist Pat Oleszko, Lucy Sexton of Dancenoise, hailed in the 1980s as "the premier practitioners of synchronized aggression," and Brick x Brick, a public art project that builds human “walls” against misogyny.
Down town in the East Village, two theaters with roots in the counterculture of the 1960s are sponsoring Bad and Nasty productions. Catch Jessica Litwak in "My Heart Is In the East: An Interfaith Poetic Exploration" at LaMama ETC and Paul David Young’s "Faust 3: The Turd Coming, or The Fart of the Deal,” a political satire of the Trump fiasco performed by an ensemble of four clowns at Judson Memorial Church. “Faust 3” stars Ayun Halliday, Aiden O'Shea, Regina Strayhorn and Ben Watts and is directed by Augustus Heagerty.
Those nearer to Wall Street can strike a pose at the “Fearless Girl” Flash Mob” at 5:30 p.m., sponsored by the Back to Work Collective. Further afield in Upstate New York, Ithacans are hosting a bawdy bake sale featuring (h)im-peach-mint treats, covfefe cake, ethical waivers wafers, fudge the truth brownies, and constitutional crisis cookies alongside “he’s bananas” muffins, let them eat Ivanka-cakes, Kellyanne Conway nut clusters, Sean Spicy cookies, “may his term be shortbread” cookies, and other cleverly titled delicacies. On hand will be musicians Andrés Pérez Hernández and Mijail Martínez. All proceeds will support The Food Bank of the Southern Tier.
Betsy Ross herself is throwing a party in St. Louis at Vintage Vinyl, an open mic complete with cupcakes, a public reading of the Constitution, voter registration, and donation stations for immigrants, veterans, and the homeless. Sponsors include That Uppity Theatre Company, Indivisible STL Resist, the St. Louis Voter Registration Group, and St. Louis Indivisible.
The brainchild behind Bad and Nasty, performance artist Holly Hughes, is co-hosting "71 Wishes For 45." Revelers seeking performance art, improv comedy, finger puppetry, blanket forts, and subversive books should head to Bona Sera’s Underground in Ypsyilanti, Michigan to party with Lola Von Miramar (aka Larry LaFontaine Stokes), Annie Zirkel, Margaret Parker, and emcee Patti Smith (the vamp tramp). Donations will go to Count MI Vote, an organization fighting gerrymandering.