Sing Out for Freedom: The Sound of Progress

November 22, 2021 @ 7:30 pm

Join Broadway stars and other entertainment luminaries for the 19th annual Sing Out for Freedom: The Sound of Progress benefit concert on Monday, November 22nd at 7:30 PM ET, streaming live from The Town Hall in New York City.

Directed by NYCLU Artist Ambassador Jess McLeod (Hamilton in Chicago) and hosted by ACLU Ambassador Peppermint (“RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Head Over Heels), this event will spotlight the ACLU and NYCLU’s landmark victories over the last year and share urgent calls to action as we come together to build on our progress in New York and ensure rights and freedoms are upheld for all New Yorkers. We will honor the BIPOC-led nonprofit organization Broadway for Racial Justice (BRFJ) with the Michael Friedman Freedom Award for their meaningful grassroots work organizing for racial justice and equity by providing immediate resources, assistance, and amplification for BIPOC in the Broadway and Theatrical community at-large. Audiences can tune in at home by registering for the event and making a donation online.

The full line-up of performers and speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

For a donation of $60 or more, you will receive an invitation to join us at the Town Hall to watch the taping of the livestream. 

All participants will have to show proof of vaccination and wear masks throughout the event. See more about our COVID-19 safety protocols for this event. You will receive more information closer to the event about how to attend.


Watch Livestream from home for free. (Suggested donation of $20).


Peppermint (Host)

Peppermint’s star has continued to rise since her smashing success as first runner up on Season 9 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” She recently became the first trans woman to originate a principal role on Broadway when she was cast as “Pythio” in the groundbreaking Broadway musical Head Over Heels. An established entertainer and recording artist, she regularly performs to sold out crowds around the world. Albums include Hardcore Glamour, Servin’ It Up, Sugar & Spiked and Black Pepper and are available on iTunes and Google Play.

Jess McLeod  (Director)

Jess McLeod is a director & social justice advocate specializing in risky new work about America. She recently served as Resident Director for the three-year run of Hamilton Chicago and co-directed Hi, Are You Single? with Laura Savia (Woolly Mammoth). Regional credits include the world premieres of There’s Always the Hudson (Woolly Mammoth); Pride and Prejudice (Long Wharf); and Hype Man (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Chicago credits include Wolf Play, Hang Man (world premiere, The Gift); Venus (Steppenwolf); Earth to Kenzie (world premiere, Lyric Opera); Do You Feel Anger, Fulfillment Center (A Red Orchid); Landladies (world premiere, Northlight); How We Got On (Haven), in a word (Strawdog); Short Shakes! Midsummer (CST) and Marry Me A Little (Porchlight).  NY credits include work by Joyce Carol Oates and Rachel Axler and The Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds (NYMF).  McLeod was the Goodman’s 2017 Michael Maggio Directing Fellow and a 2018 Artistic Fellow (now Resident Director) at Victory Gardens. She has developed operas with community groups (Lyric Opera), musicals with incarcerated teen Chicagoans through Storycatchers Theatre, musical walking tours for the National Public Housing Museum and now works closely with the Broadway Advocacy Coalition. M.F.A. Northwestern. Proud NYCLU Artist Ambassador.

Broadway for Racial Justice (Honoree) 

Broadway for Racial Justice is a BIPOC-led non-profit founded in June of 2020 with a mission to bring transformative change to the theatrical community at large. BFRJ fights for racial justice and equity by providing immediate resources, assistance, and amplification for BIPOC theatre artists. In doing so, BFRJ helps create safer spaces throughout the theatrical community for creativity and artistry to thrive. For more info on BFRJ and our initiatives, visit

About The Michael Friedman Freedom Award
The NYCLU inaugurated the Freedom Award in 2017 to recognize an individual(s) and/or organizations for exceptional contributions as a humanitarians, artists and activists. In 2019, the award was renamed the Michael Friedman Freedom Award in memory of the brilliant theater composer who was deeply committed to civil liberties and civil rights. Past recipients are Harry Belafonte, Alan Cumming, and Celia Keenan-Bolger.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols

Covid-19 Vaccination Policy: Guests will need to be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine in order to attend the NYCLU/ACLU 2021 Sing Out for Freedom Concert at Town Hall and must show proof of vaccination at their time of entry into the theatre. The only exception to the above will be for guests under the age of 12, or those who need reasonable accommodations due to a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief that prevents vaccination. Guests under 12 and those who need reasonable accommodations due to a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief must provide proof of at least one of the following: negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time, or negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 6 hours of the performance start time.                                         

Mask Policy: Masks are required to be worn properly at all times except while actively eating or drinking when seated.