Rebecca Pomerantz

PMN Steering Committee

Gary Allard (Co-Chair, Membership Committee)

Ben Bath  (Treasurer)

Jason Baker: I believe in the power of music and the people who make it. Social justice music is both at greater risk, and has greater power, than ever before.  Mass media now can amplify voices speaking to power, but it can also drown out those voices, or keep them from experiencing authentic musical experiences in the first place, stunting the growth of artists by limiting their imaginations.  Music creators are encouraged to write songs about “love,” because the corporate system approves of “love” as long as it results in the production of more workers and consumers. We can fight that by making a culture of social justice music and popular education available and welcoming to all, but especially those from marginalized groups or those who suffer oppression. Together we can create the People’s Music for the next 100 years.    

Marcie Boyd (Secretary)

Joanie Calem is a musician, singer/songwriter, storyteller, disability awareness activist, community-builder, cross-cultural worker and teacher. She has been teaching music and performing since 1983. Joanie uses music to break down stereotypes, build community and foster connection.

Huayra Forster is interested in the holistic exploration of the musical landscape. As a member of the Steering Committee, in 2022, I helped organize international bicultural and ecological programing. I appreciate inventive ways of activating singers, instrumentalists, and producers. My dream is to network with people who have clarity and commitment to community building. Since 2009, I have been a street busker, and though I find more of my time has been spent in ensembles the past 7 years, I find that my gravitation towards spiritual life has allowed me the space to to value personal growth. Despite neo-colonial constructs, Iʻm feeling activated to make the next two years count towards difference making. To help along, an ecosystemic building, particularly within the worldly artivist landscape.

Eric Law:  Ever since I started writing songs about my Chinese American experience in the 1970s, I never stopped writing.  Over the years, I was involved in Anti-Nuclear Arms protests, GLBTQ+justice, and racial justice movements with my music.  In the 2000s, I founded a not-for-profit organization to create sustainable and diverse communities across the U.S. and Canada.  I retired last year and am now focusing my time on songwriting.  I am thankful to have found PMN which has provided a musical community I never imagined I could have during the pandemic.  I hope to give back to PMN by offering my perspectives and skills to further the mission of PMN relevant to our present context.

Nikki Nesbary: I am an activist, singer/songwriter, and government relations professional.  I am passionate about creating connections, building collective power, and inspiring people through music.  I've served for years in a leadership role with SongRise DC, a women’s social justice a cappella group.  I am also a member of the DC Labor Chorus.  For nearly twenty years, I’ve run professional development programs, organized performances at protests, and held fundraisers for community-based organizations.  In addition, I hold a Master of Public Administration and have experience managing and serving on governance bodies. 

Rebecca Pomerantz (Co-Chair, Membership Committee) has attended PMN Gatherings since 1991, and helped plan several of them.  Among her contributions to the Network are collaborating on developing content for PMN's youtube channel and raising funds for Accessibility at Gatherings.  She sings in PMN choruses and she leads round singing -- both at PMN workshops and in her own local community.  Her particular interest is teaching rounds to build community and move people into action.  Her own activism focuses on immigration issues.  She was a Steering Committee member of Adult Educators Interested in Organizing a Union (AEIOU), and currently works with Mothers Out Front, mobilizing for a livable climate.

Jane Sapp: I am a cultural worker - a performer, songwriter, recording artist and educator who engages with disenfranchised urban and rural communities in the United States and around the world.  My music is rooted in the spiritual, religious and historical experiences of the African American world.  As an educator, I help the silenced find their voices through the arts (See Someone Sang for Me  I  founded and developed the Black Belt Folk Roots Festival in 1975, in Greene County, Alabama, and the festival of Low Country Life in 1972, in South Carolina, both of which continue today.  It would be an honor for me to serve the community of the People’s Network as a member of the Steering Committee.

Angie Whitehurst  Active inclusion and strong productive relationships  … capacity and infrastructure building are my priorities.  Opportunity for all, mentoring and sharing are key to creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship and to growing and maintaining an already vibrant organization.  I have skills to offer, coming from my experience as a community advocate, a DC Peace team board member, a member of One DC, a 500 hour certified yoga instructor, a life coach, a writer, a poet and artist, and as a vendor and contributor to  I have previous experience as an employee, consultant, contractor with local, state and federal government domestically and internationally - with extensive training in dance, exhibit management and proposal writing.  I am eager to serve on the PMN Steering Committee. 

Lindsey Wilson (Chair, Matt Jones Technology Fund Committee): Being a member of the People's Music Network Steering Committee has been a beacon of hope during the Covid-19 pandemic for me.  I have cherished working alongside respected artists such as Charlie King, Luci Murphy and Elise Bryant while organizing the Friday Concert series of our convergences.  I am committed to bringing more diversity to PMN’s membership and was thrilled to serve as Chairperson for the Matt Jones Technology Fund which allowed me to stretch those parameters and bring artists of color into the fold.  As a Workforce Development Specialist and Career Coach by trade, I am also committed to bringing more young people into PMN such as the wonderful young Spokenword  Artist, Mariam Traore, a breath of youthful fresh air to our song swaps and concerts.  I am proud to have introduced Vince Tozzi and hot glue & the gun – Carrie Klein and Joel McGlynn with all of their talent and expertise to our organization.  PMN nourishes me in my calling as an artist and as an activist.  I look forward to continuing to serve this powerful community as a Steering Committee member.

Erland Zygmuntowicz (Chair)

PMN Staff

Ben Grosscup has been serving as Executive Director of the People's Music Network since 2013. He is involved in organizing PMN’s regional gatherings, program development, outreach, fundraising, and membership development. He works to build the Network by engaging an ever broader and more diverse membership. Ben first joined PMN in 2005 while still in college. Over the years, he has sought the mentorship and support of fellow members to develop his own craft as an activist folksinger. He uses the power of song to amplify and accentuate the ideas and values of the transformative social movements he’s part of.  In addition to his work on behalf of PMN, he also brings his music to rallies, picket lines, conferences, and house concerts.  

©2017-2021 People's Music Network for Songs of Freedom and Struggle is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

PMN Video Livestreams on Facebook and Youtube

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software