folkLAB presents: Sadapalooza is a night of stand-up comedy and spoken word poetry celebrating sadness and seasonal depression, and de-stigmatizing mental health issues

TL;DR: check out Sadapalooza Saturday March 6 at 7PM

virtual; livestream — pay-what-you-wish tickets on www.folklab.net/sadapalooza2021

Our friends at folkLAB, the innovative performance project founded in 2017 and dedicated to prioritizing underrepresented artists, are beginning their 2021 programming with a one-night only virtual event about destigmatizing mental health issues. folkLAB presents: Sadapalooza, will be an evening of performances by some of Pittsburgh’s treasured and emerging stand-up comedians and spoken word poets. The event is also a fundraiser for the Pittsburgh-based radical mental health support and advocacy group Inside Our Mind; 100% of the funds raised will be donated to support their vital, free-to-all, mental health support and education programs.

Sadapalooza is produced by folkLAB under their new series “folkLAB presents”. The event was created by Pittsburgh-native and spoken-word poet Rachel Greene in collaboration with folkLAB’s Producing Artistic Director Abigail Lis-Perlis. It was inspired by an annual event that Greene helped create and run during her time in the poetry community of Olympia, WA.

Greene, who will also serve as the host of Sadapalooza’s festivities, says that “the event itself will be a celebration of sadness that aims to push back on mental health stigma and isolation at a time of year when it can be easy to fall into seasonal depression and hard to hang onto one’s support networks.” and that she wants to “create a space to welcome real sadness and mental health struggles, while holding onto a sense of humor, absurdity, and togetherness.”

Lis-Perlis, who is also folkLAB’s founder, shares also that they feel this event “couldn’t come at a more appropriate time” because in addition to seasonal depression “the traumatic strain of the pandemic, the struggle for racial justice, and the political unrest are all exacerbating mental health struggles for everyone, even those who haven’t experienced them in the past. We hope to shine a light on such struggles and encourage candid conversation about mental health while also bringing some joy and lightness to a dark subject in a dark time.”

The comedians participating in the event have been invited to explore darker and more vulnerable themes than they might normally, and the poets to play with the absurd and humorous, if they so wish. Every performer is different and has been encouraged to lean into their own unique voice. As such, some sets may be lighter and humorous and some may be unapologetically dark.

Audience members will virtually join Ms. Greene and a line-up of 9 featured performers via livestream. The event will run approximately 2 hours with one 10 minute intermission. Due to the freedom that performers have been given to explore sensitive topics, this event is recommended for those 16 years-old and up.

Sadapalooza will feature: comedians Brittany Alexis, Tyler Kendrick, Lena Kinney, Arla White, and Vanessa St. Clair; poetry by Michael Hodges, Torrey Shineman, Shoooz, and Maya White; with special guest appearances by Lori Beth and Jalina McClarin.

The event will be livestreamed via folkLAB’s website, as well as on Facebook Live and YouTube. Pay-what-you-wish tickets can be found at www.folklab.net/sadapalooza2021 with all proceeds benefiting Inside Our Minds.

Sadapalooza will kick off an entire season of folkLAB programming centered on processing trauma and mental health advocacy, which has been made possible by funding from The Opportunity Fund and The Pittsburgh Foundation. folkLAB is always happy to hear from potential artistic collaborators, especially those who are BIPOC, queer, trans, gender-nonconforming, femme, disabled, and/or low-income. Artististic and all other inquiries can be made to folklab.series@gmail.com

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