‘Explosion of cultural possibility’: Tubman music festival returns bigger, adds Prison City tribute beer

For Sean McLeod, the Harriet Tubman Freedom Music Festival is as much about promoting its namesake as promoting her chosen hometown.

The second annual festival takes place Wednesday, July 12, as part of the New York Dance Festival hosted by McLeod’s New York Institute of Dance & Education and Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre. The international producer and choreographer will also take the stage to perform “A Soundtrack for Harriet Tubman,” the score of a musical he wrote about the abolitionist in the early ’90s.

McLeod said Wednesday that the festival, in part, started with a personal observation. It concerned the recent surge of interest in Tubman — who lived the second half of her life in Auburn after working as a Union spy in the Civil War — and the way Auburn has leveraged that interest during its cultural and commercial development over the last decade.

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