News Release: The Rouge Forum Conference at Eastern Michigan University presents “Billy X: Live Art at the Forum" Friday, May 15 at 5:00 p.m. in Ypsilanti. Billy X. Curmano shares a history of activism in troubled times through a solo intermedia performance featuring storytelling, video and live music. On Saturday, he offers a workshop, “How to Change Culture through Art”. The Rouge Forum is a group of concerned educators, students, and parents intent on teaching against racism, national chauvinism and sexism in an increasingly authoritarian and undemocratic society. Curmano’s sometimes in your face brand of performance art has landed him on the world stage and occasionally behind bars. His often-humorous work is documented in numerous journals and collections including New York’s Museum of Modern Art Library. The conference takes its name from the industrially polluted Rouge River that runs behind the Detroit Ford plant. Billy X. is especially known for extreme environmental, anti-war and social justice non-violent guerilla actions filtered through fine art. Appropriately in his most obsessive piece, he swam the length of the Mississippi River as a performance and environmental statement. A decorated veteran, he’s also worked with Vietnam Veterans Against the War since the late 60’s and authors “Oxy the Smart Bomb” for their national newspaper. His workshop is sub-titled “Creativity of the people, for the people and the planet” and will focus on intentional art that has the power to touch people, affect their attitudes and ultimately their behavior for a better world. The conference theme is “Education, Empire, Economy & Ethics at a Crossroads” and includes the legendary activist, historian and lawyer Staughton Lynd, NCSS Defense of Academic Freedom Award recipient Greg Queen and eco-justice, educator and scholar Rebecca Martusewicz as keynote speakers.