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Missouri is only days away from midterm elections, and one St. Louis organization is making sure the people of St. Louis are educated and registered to vote, in a very unique way.
Founded by Joan Lipkin, Artistic Director of That Uppity Theatre Company, Dance the Vote (DTV) is a family friendly, non-partisan initiative that uses dance, poetry, song, and spoken word to promote voter registration and getting out the vote.
“I feel that one of the lessons of Dance the Vote, is not just the event itself, but it’s the idea that one does not have to wait to be empowered,” Lipkin said. “What we are saying is that this is an essential democratic right, and want people to exercise it in order to have a robust democracy, we must have people voting.”
DTV is held on Oct. 6, which is Voter Registration Day in St. Louis, at the Missouri History Museum.
Around 20 dance companies, poets, and writers performed at the event.
“People love the arts,” Ashley Tate, artistic director of Ashleyliane Dance Company, said. “We thought this would be a great way to get the word out about voting, voter suppression, voting rights, or just simply getting people registered to vote.”
“It attracts attention and it gets people excited,” Sabrina Tyuse from the St. Louis Voter Registration Group said. “They can ask you about voting because I’m in their arena and they feel comfortable asking me questions.”
On the ballot for the midterms are the Senate race between incumbent Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley, a competitive state auditor’s race and a host of ballot initiatives on medical marijuana, the minimum wage and ethics reform.
“This November election is very, very important,” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, said. “So, I’m hoping that more people will register. And I encourage people who are already registered to vote, to actually go and vote. These races are close. So if you want to have an impact, and get your candidates, the folks you support elected, you gotta vote.”
For more information on the races and what initiatives are on the ballot for Missouri, click here.