What is the cost of bringing Freedom Sings to my campus or organization?
For single, “fly in, fly out” events, costs range from $12,000 to $14,000.
We try to schedule tours that include 3-4 shows on various campuses during a weeklong visit within a geographic region. Per-show costs are lower on multiple-event "tours."
In both cases, the host also is responsible for the staging costs (venue rental fee, audio-visual needs, local staffing and such) and local promotion of the program. The core costs of producing and promoting Freedom Sings are paid by the First Amendment Center. The charge helps meet travel costs (hotel and air/bus), daily expenses and musician honoraria.
Does anyone make a profit from Freedom Sings?
No, neither the First Amendment Center nor sponsors of Freedom Sings makes a profit. Admission is never charged, and typically the show is open to all areas of a campus community. Newspaper sponsors typically provide in-paper promotion and campus organizations solicit news coverage and/or promotion by student publications.
Does Freedom Sings or the First Amendment Center identify with a particular political viewpoint or political party?
No. The First Amendment Center is a nonpartisan organization that works to preserve and protect First Amendment freedoms through information and education. The center does not lobby or litigate, and it has no political affiliation.
Freedom Sings recognizes the full spectrum of political views, an approach praised by journalists including nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, who wrote that the program is “fun ... scrupulously well-balanced” and appealing to “all political perspectives.”
What is the audience for Freedom Sings?
Freedom Sings generally is performed before an audience of 300 to 800 persons, though it has been performed before groups as large as 1,200. At colleges and universities, typically there is a requirement for some students to attend as part of classroom activity or attendance policy. Often the performance is open to the local community.
Freedom Sings also has been performed for professional groups and associations, ranging from the National Conference of Editorial Writers to the 2003 convention of the American Society of Newspaper Editors to the International Folk Alliance annual conference.
There is a core program of information about the role of free expression and the First Amendment in American life that is unchanged from performance to performance. Freedom Sings typically is updated musically for specific audiences to increase its appeal and impact.
Does Freedom Sings need to be part of a larger celebration on campus of First Amendment Freedoms?
No, Freedom Sings is a unique, scripted show that can stand alone as an event celebrating and informing about free expression and the First Amendment.
At some universities, local sponsors have scheduled other events before the performance, ranging from campus-wide discussion sessions to scheduling debates and inviting speakers. As part of the First Amendment Center’s overall education initiatives, it may be possible for center representatives to meet with classes during a university visit. Some cast members may also be available during a visit — though the availability of the cast is very limited.
How did Freedom Sings originate?
Freedom Sings originated as a series of benefit concerts at Nashville’s legendary Bluebird Cafe. Over the years, these events have featured many of the top names in music. This annual event’s energy and passion are reflected in the college tour events.
How do I contact the First Amendment Center for more information or to inquire about a performance date for Freedom Sings?
Use the form provided at this link.