Voters' Views Will Shape "Grassroots" Interactive Musical Event
Jan. 16, 2012
Bloomington, IL — Grassroots 2012, an interactive political poll that engages respondents
as part of a live musical event, will provide a preview of how Illinois voters view
the issues, primary races and potential presidential election matchups. A town hall
discussion of the issues follows the Grassroots 2012 electronic polling. The event
takes place at Illinois Wesleyan’s Westbrook Auditorium on Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. and
is free and open to the public.
Watch the event in streaming video.
“Music has often been associated with political expression, but this is a totally
new concept and one that brings people together to express and discuss their views
in a very unique and entertaining way,” said co-composer David Brian Williams, a retired
music and arts technology faculty member at Illinois State University. Williams and
University of South Carolina collaborator Tayloe Harding created the Grassroots event
during the 2008 presidential campaign, polling audiences in George and Alabama.
This innovative approach to political polling engages the audience with an original
music score, digital imagery, electronic polling and a town hall discussion. During
the live musical performance, audience members use digital clickers to respond anonymously
to polling questions that probe primary and general election issues, with responses
instantaneously totaled and displayed on screen. After each set of questions the music
changes to reflect the intensity of opinions expressed by the audience. Following
the performance and polling there will be a bipartisan town hall discussion and a
second round of electronic polling intended to see if the discussion influenced any
“The importance of bipartisan political dialogue has never been more important than
it is today, which is why we are so excited about the opportunities to gather opinions
and engage citizens in discussion via Grassroots 2012,” says Illinois Wesleyan’s Professor
of Political Science Tari Renner, an expert in political polling, who will lead the
town hall discussion.
First performed in Georgia and Alabama during the 2008 presidential race, this will
be the new Grassroots 2012’s first performance to engage the audience with a town
hall discussion of the issues facing voters in the primaries and fall general election.
Following the Illinois Wesleyan event, Grassroots 2012 will travel to Georgia State
University and the University of Delaware. To learn more about Grassroots 2012 go
CONTACT: Matt Kurz (309) 556-3203