ABOUT US MISSION The Immediate Life is a New York based arts organization using theater, humor, and grassroots organizing to advance individuals and communities towards a more equitable future - starting today. We partner with citizens, grassroots organizations and progressive visionaries to produce dynamic, informed public campaigns that enact our core values - participatory democracy, ecological sustainability, and the preservation of vibrant communities and local economies. Whether performing on the street, in the theater, or for film, television or the web, The Immediate Life’s principal cast Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Gospel Choir create a joyous atmosphere that converts the everyday person into a believer inspired towards change. HISTORY Since 1996 our project has expanded from a one-man performance artist ‘preaching’ against consumerism on the sidewalks of Times Square to a 35-person choir and 7- person band with dozens of original songs, a critically acclaimed stage show, a major motion picture and multiple media platforms. We have demonstrated commitment to educating the public about the consequences of unsustainable consumption. We maintain that consuming less is the single most effective and immediate step an individual can take toward halt the climate crisis. This same message has reached millions of people and has contributed to the public’s increasing awareness of the relationship between shopping and climate change. Besides our long-term commitment to promoting sustainable consumption, our organization’s efforts to defend neighborhoods and revitalize public space and protect the first amendment have been documented all over the world. INITIATIVES Consumerism and Climate Change Climate change is the impetus for the most basic aspect of our work: that shopping can no longer be a way of life. The physical systems of the earth cannot support a consumer Rev. Billy & the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir with labor leaders, elected officials, park-lovers, and hundreds of citizens rallying to oppose the privatization of New York’s Union Square Park pavillion (2008). based, distribution economy for all its inhabitants; we as individuals cannot wait for big government solutions or technological advances. We must practice sustainable consump- tion in our everyday lives and dedicate ourselves to spreading the skills and resources to others for as long as it takes. Diverse, Local Economies and Small Business Retention Our ability to consume wisely and participate in civic life is severely impacted by mono- cultural, non-local economies. We call for the preservation and retention of independent businesses and work with other groups and agencies to regulate and resist chain stores and big boxes while we defend, encourage and incentivize local independent businesses. The First Amendment and Public Space Public space is the cornerstone of democracy, and its health is the key to enlivened politi- cal discourse. It is our belief that all issues are encircled by the rights set forth in the First Amendment, and that unless the freedoms it guarantees are defended we will not be able to achieve other goals. Our parks, sidewalks, streets and the networks of the internet are threatened today by any individual or groups of individuals that misconstrues political ex- pression in those places as a hindrance to their private interests. Those encroaching may be agents of nearby establishments or government bodies who preemptively curtail such discourse. An overly restrictive permitting process may threaten the space temporarily, or by a full-scale privatization scheme that turns a public space into a private one. As well it is important to note the regularity with which we, as citizens, censor ourselves and cede the rights of the first amendment to a more passive relationship with those controlling bodies. Below - Saving NYC’s Coney Island from Condo-ification and Retail Development. Left: Reverend Billy and the Coney Island regulars singing Chang-ah-leu-ah! Middle: Savitri D., Director of The Church of Stopping/The Immediate Life, speaking out at a Coney Island city council meeting. Right: Reverend Billy with others who oppose the development of Coney Island. Current Union Square Not for Sale An emblematic struggle against privatization in one of our most precious public spaces. Campaigns Saving Coney Island Defending the last best democratized place in all of New York that is threatened by predatory development and a devastating rezone. Supporting Strong Local Economies Emboldening healthy neighborhoods to fight their own extinction Beatifying Buylessness - every chance we get! Groups Following is a partial list of groups for and with whom we’ve fundraised with per- formances, MC’d their rallies, gone to jail, energized their marches/picket lines, WIth Whom gotten press coverage, helped with research, and sung in harmony the phrase: We’ve “Fair Trade-a-lujah!” Worked Equal Exchange Charas/El Bohio Community Center, NYC Burners Without Borders, Global Hudson River Waterfront and Seaport Fed- The Working People’s Law Center, LA eration, NYC The Nuclear Free Jubilee , VT Save Poe House, NYC Catholic Workers Union, Global Friends of Washington Square Park, NYC Union Square Community Coalition, NYC Children’s Magical Garden, NYC Citizens to Save Carnegie Hall Studios, NYC The Dissent Conference, IL Ithaca Friends, NY The National Coordinating Committee of War Coney Island, USA Tax Resistors, USA Earth Life, South Africa The League of War Resisters, NY, MA, VT Code Pink, USA People for Inter-American Communities, USA ID Project, USA East Village Community Coalition, NY Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, NYC NYC Historic Districts Council, NY Black Rock Arts Foundation, CA Guerilla Drive-In, Santa Cruz, CA Sylvia Rivera Law Project, NYC California Federation of Labor, CA National Lawyers Guild, USA Restaurant Opportunity Center, NYC Global Exchange, USA Blacksburg Green Festival, VA Ithaca EARTH DAY Movement of Dam Affected People, Brazil Sojourners Citizens for a Free Cotati, CA Step It Up, USA Peace Coalition of Sebastopol, CA The Greenhorns, USA Citizens to Save Downtown Woodstock, NY Coalition of Immokalee workers, FL, GA Iraq Veterans Against The War, USA UFCW, CA, NY Light Years, IPO, Washington DC Whole Earth Bakery, East Village, NYC Earth First, UK Angelo Fontana, East Village, NYC Poor Farmers Project, Ethiopia Presbyterian Hunger Project, GLOBAL Street Vendors Project, NYC Bay Area Sweat-free Coalition, CA Global Grassroots Justice, USA Unite 169, Green Grocers, NYC Right Action Group, Trinidad & Tobago More Gardens, NYC Green Party, NY, USA We Save Trees, Freshwater, CA Saving Iceland, Iceland Forest Ethics, International Victoria’s Secret Groenfront, Holland Catalogue Campaign, CA Shop Drop, Belgium PICA, ME Transportation Alternatives, NYC Restaurant Employees and Bartenders Union, International Workers of The World Local 217, RI Retail Action Project, NYC Yale Workers, SEIU, Local 1199NE, CN Hemispheric Institute Esperanza Garden, NYC Radical Homosexual Agenda 6th Street Community Center, NYC Time’s Up!