2017 Conference In Review

2017 Special Presentation - Ani DiFranco

Joining a growing list of activists, artists, and thought leaders, Ani DiFranco will attend FAI’s 2017 conference to deliver a special presentation on Friday, February 17 at noon. DiFranco, American singer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, songwriter and businesswoman will speak about her music, activism, and the role of the protest singer in modern times, followed by a brief interview-style Q&A.

A vocal activist, Ani DiFranco’s international career was made notable through acute songwriting and smart, in-your-face feminism. Embracing and embodying fist-raising social activism, Ani’s folk roots run deep. Pete Seeger (for whose passing she penned a tribute published by the Wall Street Journal) is among her most influential mentors, she appeared on Bruce Cockburn's album Charity of Night and produced fellow folksinger Dan Bern's album Fifty Eggs.

Ani launched Righteous Babe Records in 1990 releasing more than 20 albums to date including Not a Pretty Girl, Living In Clip, To The Teeth, and Which Side Are You On? In 2013, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Winnipeg. DiFranco’s latest album was the critically acclaimed Allergic To Water, released in 2014.

From the earliest days of her career, Ani has lent her voice and her name to a broad range of social movements. Her activism and deep, winding lyrics are a continuous thread that links her work through time to the roots of the present day. Through the Righteous Babe Foundation, Ani has backed various grassroots cultural and political organizations, supporting causes ranging from abortion rights to gay visibility, and fair labor laws with organizer and prolific storyteller Utah Phillips.

In the political and social upheaval of recent years, she has continued to use her platform and influence to connect with, promote, and contribute to the essential social movements of the day. In 2015, she recorded a version of Peter Mulvey's song "Take Down Your Flag" with New Orleans musicians and jazz players, Ivan Neville and Terence Higgins, in support of the victims of the Charleston church shooting. In 2016, Ani urged Election Day turnout on her “VOTE DAMMIT” tour. Ani also released "Play God," a new single from her forthcoming album, which champions reproductive freedom as a civil rights issue. Continuing her activism on and off stage, Ani regularly publishes guest articles in notable publications and her expansive website is a combination resource guide, political activist DIY guide, and personal manifesto.

"Grand Canyon," video recorded live November 8, 2016, in Burlington, VT at Higher Ground.