Human Rights and Off the Hook Arts

Off the Hook Arts shines a spotlight on human rights — through music, films, visual art, workshops, and lectures.

Human rights are an urgent issue around the world and here in the United States. Music uplifts, unites, heals, and celebrates. Throughout the festival we will present a wide range of music, including beloved classics, new music, world music, and jazz. Special guests include musicians from the Silk Road Ensemble, political cartoonist KAL of The Economist, the Miami String Quartet, Arnie Tanimoto and The Academy Players, violinist Harumi Rhodes, cellist Käthe Jarka, and pianists Marija Stroke and Justin Krawitz.

(Below this article, you will find a list of our fundamental human rights as spelled out by the Declaration of Human Rights.)

At a time when America is experiencing a time of division, we as a people need to come together — and the arts can help. We need the arts to focus our attention on our common humanity and to celebrate our diversity.

While all music can uplift and energize us, we have made a special effort to present some music that directly addresses human rights issues through narrative and have programmed films, lectures, and workshops to explore human rights in depth.

OTHA presents global musicians from the Silk Road Ensemble; two premieres by artistic director Bruce Adolphe — selections from Amandla Awethu (Power to the People) and Four Harmonious Friends; presentations and workshops by KAL, the political cartoonist of The Economist (back by popular demand); a lecture by Dr. Arieh Shalev, expert in traumatic stress disorder; and two films (Music of Strangers and Orchestra of Exiles); and a lecture-recital by South African pianist Justin Krawitz; plus music of the Baroque and much more.

I hope you will join us to listen, connect, participate, and affirm the best of who we are together.

Bruce Adolphe

The Declaration of Human Rights consists of a preamble and 30 articles, setting forth the human rights and fundamental freedoms to which all men and women, everywhere in the world, are entitled, without any discrimination. (Continue reading…)

  • Article 1, which lays down the philosophy on which the Declaration is based, reads: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
  • Article 2, which sets out the basic principle of equality and non discrimination as regards the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, forbids “distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.
  • Article 3, the first cornerstone of the Declaration, proclaims the right to life, liberty and security of person -a right essential to the enjoyment of all other rights. This article introduces articles 4 to 21, in which other civil and political rights are set out, including: freedom from slavery and servitude; freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law; the right to an effective judicial remedy; freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention or exile; the right to a fair trial and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal; the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty; freedom from arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence; freedom of movement and residence; the right of asylum; the right to a nationality; the right to marry and to found a family; the right to own property; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; freedom of opinion and expression; the right to peaceful assembly and association; and the right to take part in the government of one’s country and to equal access to public service in one’s country.
  • The economic, social and cultural rights recognized in articles 22 to 27 include the right to social security; the right to work; the right to equal pay for equal work; the right to rest and leisure; the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being; the right to education; and the right to participate in the cultural life of the community.
  • The concluding articles, articles 28 to 30, recognize that everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the human rights and fundamental freedoms set forth in the Declaration may be fully realized, and stress the duties and responsibilities which each individual owes to his community. Article 29 states that “in the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society”. It adds that in no case may human rights and fundamental freedoms be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Article 30 emphasizes that no State, group or person may claim any right, under the Declaration, “to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth” in the Declaration.