Your Tax Dollar at Work: Upcoming Political Talks in NYC

By Alison Durkee

April has arrived in NYC and Tax Day is on the horizon. Mark the annual day and learn more about the society your tax dollars are going towards with these upcoming tax and political themed events.


If you’ve yet to submit your 2016 taxes, get some help from the New York Public Library, who will be offering tax and financial workshops up to Tax Day and beyond. Already have your tax returns in hand—but wish you could just see the President’s as well? Spend April 15 protesting Donald Trump’s withholding of his tax returns at Tax March NYC, an anti-Trump protest that will kick off at Bryant Park.

For more about the Trump administration and our current political age, the Public Theater will mark the president’s first 100 days with a Public Forum event on April 24, which will bring together artists, politicians, journalists, and more to discuss culture in the age of Trump. An April 17 event at The Cooper Union will take on the effects of our digital culture, exploring how the political fragmentation and extremism that the internet breeds poses a threat to democracy. Also on April 17 you can go beyond the oversimplified explanations of our prison crisis with the author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America at Revolution Books.

The interior side of the dome of the Sheikh Lotf-Allah mosque in Isfahan, Iran (Phillip Maiwald/Wikimedia Commons)

A more global perspective on the Trump administration will be provided at an April 9 discussion with Professor Ralph Buultjens, who will consider the U.S.’s relations with North Korea and China. Another major source of political contention at the moment is the country’s relationship with Islam, both in the U.S. and abroad. Get a different perspective on this issue at Islam: Debating Democracy, Tolerance, and Terrorism (April 20).

Women’s experiences during the administration’s first 100 days will be explored at an April 19 event at NYU. The discussion will bring together professionals from the worlds of journalism, law, politics, and advocacy to consider the issues facing women and girls today. Women’s issues will also be the focus of an April 11 event with Carol Sanger centered on her book About Abortion, as well as an April 12 event on ecofeminism, the notion that capitalist patriarchy, the environment’s decline, and women’s oppression are all intertwined.

To celebrate the achievements of women from further back in the country’s political history, head to events centering on former First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt (April 18) and Dolley Madison (April 26). For a better understanding of how the country’s history impacts its present, make your way to The Making of Modern America on May 13, which will cover 150 years of American history in just 150 minutes.

Of course, one of the most important ways to examine our political culture—both past and present is through the arts. Consider art’s role in the age of “alternative facts” at an event on April 8, or delve into the intersection of photography and social justice at a discussion with professor Dr. C. Riley Snorton on April 12. That same day, literature fans can learn about how fiction depicts social history at Fiction That Matters: The Story of Social Engagement with authors Edie Meidav and Sunil Yapa. Fans of pop culture and the performing arts, meanwhile, can catch Star Trek actor and social justice advocate George Takei in conversation at BAM on May 1.

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