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Sunday, September 30, 2-4 pm

Nancy Schimmel, Hali Hammer, a book about singing and songwriting in the Occupy movement, and a sing-along!


Meet local author Nancy Schimmel, who will discuss her work and read from her book, Occupella: Singing in the Lifeboats. The book is an account of the first year of Occupella, an activist song-leading group that grew out of song circles at Occupy Oakland and Occupy Berkeley formed by five professional singer-songwriters in 2011. 

Occupella now sings at Berkeley’s weekly Tax the Rich demonstrations, monthly at BART transit stations, and at labor picket lines, climate change rallies and workshops of the San Francisco Folk Festival. They conduct song swaps and maintain an online songbook of original, topical and traditional parodies and rewrites. 

Nancy Schimmel is a veteran of the 1960s peace movement and the women's movement. Her songs have been sung by Pete Seeger, Sally Rogers, and Grupo Raiz. She is working on a biography of her mother, Malvina Reynolds, who wrote "Little Boxes" and other songs.

Also speaking and singing with Nancy will be fellow Occupella singer-songwriter Hali Hammer. Moving to the Bay Area from her native New York in the 1980s, she joined Freedom Song Network and was a member of the chorus that sang onstage behind Nelson Mandela at the Oakland Coliseum. She became active in the San Francisco Folk Music Club and was the coordinator of the 2003 Berkeley Free Folk Festival. She has worked with Country Joe McDonald, organizing a Protest Music Festival held at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists for several years and performing in various concerts with him including one at Ashkenaz that benefited the Berkeley Historical Society. She also served on the committee that fought to save the Berkeley Post Office. 

Light refreshments will be served. Admission to this event is free; donations to the Berkeley Historical Society are always welcome.


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