Demand Progress launches music and culture site, Spark Mag

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Spark Mag

Demand Progress, the grassroots activist group that focuses civil liberties, civil rights, and progressive policy changes, have dipped their toes into the music and culture waters, launching Spark Mag today, and we’re proud to say that Impose is a partner.

Spark will focus on artists of all genres who are promoting a radical message, helping progressive and political musicians reach a larger fan base of like-minded people, while simultaneously celebrating the music and their voices.

Spearheaded by Demand Progress founder and former Rhode Island State Representative David Segal, Spark will be edited by Joey La Neve DeFrancesco and Victoria Ruiz of Downtown Boys and Malportado Kids, and feature writers from across the music and political spectrum, including many who contribute to Impose.

“Much of Demand Progress’ work,” Segal told us via e-mail, “focuses on issues essential to the survival of independent music and art, such as fighting for a free and open internet, so this was a project we were naturally interested in. Culture has always been an integral part of political organizing–it builds communities, inspires us, spreads information, and generally presents us with a better world. We built this site to help strengthen that important bond between art and struggle.”

A shift in cultural power will have to occur concomitantly with a shift in political and economic power. —Joey La Neve DeFrancesco

Spark Mag is attempting not only to draw attention to political artists, but also to support their work financially. The site has a “Store” feature where some artists will be selling their tracks directly through the website. The majority of the sale of each track goes directly to the artist, and a percentage will go to support Demand Progress’ work. “So much of the labor musicians do is totally unpaid, and that includes a lot of publicity work,” said DeFrancesco. “If we can get musicians some direct material support through our site it goes a long way to allowing them to continue making their art.”

“Malcolm X would often talk about the media being pervasive to the mind and therefore the collective consciousness,” Ruiz said. “We want Spark Mag to fight back and retake that collective consciousness. We need to mobilized culture if we want any change to the status quo. Many of us need political culture in order to survive.”

As Demand Progress is a non-profit organization, much of their funding comes from donations, and Spark Mag has launched an IndieGogo campaign so readers can help support their message and pay their writers. In addition to the funding page, Spark has created an introductory video you can watch below.

Along with Impose, Spark is also partnering with Future Music Coalition, and we will be posting features and links to stories on Spark to help promote their message of progression and radical influence. As DeFrancesco so eloquently put it

“A shift in cultural power will have to occur concomitantly with a shift in political and economic power, which is why we are excited to have a site that explicitly seeks to build both types of power side by side.”

We’re proud to be a part of this shift, and we encourage you to check out Spark today.