Photos: 20th annual ‘Freedom Sings’ music performance promotes First Amendment expression

Photos and story by Andrew Miles / MTSU Sidelines

MTSU’s Dean of the College of Media and Entertainment Ken Paulson organized the 20th annual “Freedom Sings” music show at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville Thursday night, connecting music with meaning to standing up for the freedoms of the First Amendment.

Freedom Sings is an organization led by Paulson that travels to college campuses across the country, putting on musical performances by talented musicians who believe in the importance of the freedoms of the First Amendment. The artists selected are chosen on their firm belief and love of the First Amendment rights.

The Bluebird Cafe was approached by Paulson in 1999 to host the Freedom Sings performance, and the cozy venue has hosted one of their events every year since. According to Paulson, The Bluebird Cafe was chosen as the venue for Freedom Sings because it “believes in the impact and importance that words and music have on the world around us that are protected by the First Amendment.”

The First Amendment Center weighs in on public policy and teaches at colleges. MTSU shares the same goals on educating its students on the importance of the First Amendment and protecting its freedoms.

Paulson was the former President of The First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University and currently serves as a dean and faculty member at Middle Tennessee State University.

“My intent is to make MTSU a preeminent center on research and thought for the First Amendment,” Paulson said.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The five freedoms expressed in the First Amendment are:

  •      The Freedom of Religion
  •      The Freedom of Speech
  •      The Freedom of the Press
  •      The Freedom of Assembly
  •      The Freedom to petition the Government

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