Our Support Women Artists Now/SWAN movement is growing because of the hard work of so many smart, talented artists full of spunk and determination like the seven women below. We are already having an impact in our local communities, and if we support each other, I am convinced that we will be an unstoppable force in the society as a whole.In honor of the birthdays this week of SWAN co-founders Martha Richards and Jan Lisa Huttner, please join us in celebrating by taking a few minutes to make a gift or send some words of support to your favorite women artists. I especially recommend the women below, because they really are Super SWANS! To make a gift to WomenArts, please click here. To send us a note, please visit our Contact Us page>>
Martha Richards, Executive Director
NAIROBI, KENYA – Sophie Dowllar has organized four SWAN festivals in Nairobi. She writes: “Support Women Artists Now Day is very important to artists in East Africa where female artists are rarely recognized. SWAN day has inspired so many women artists in Kenya, where a strong movement of women artists is on the rise.”
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT – Jennifer Hill organizes an annual SWAN celebration that features women-led rock bands, as well as other women performing and visual artists. She writes: “What began as an effort to bring female artists of all genres together for one night has turned into a crusade for women in the arts, music, and film communities of Connecticut and the surrounding states.”
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – In 2011 Culture Project’s “Women Center Stage Festival” presented more than 40 performances in 30 days, engaging over 200 playwrights, designers, choreographers, and actors. For 2012, WomenArts is collaborating with the Festival’s curator, Manda Martin, on their opening weekend festivities.
PITTSBURGH, PA – For the past three years, No Name Players have created SWAN events celebrating Pennsylvania women. They interview women of all ages and backgrounds about their concerns, and then invite artists to create works using the interviews as inspiration. SWAN 2011 involved more than 60 Pittsburgh-based performers, poets, visual artists and designers. For SWAN 2012 they have done interviews at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women.
MIAMI, FLORIDA – Created by seven Latina artists, the Spoken Soul Festival has expanded into a three day SWAN festival of spoken word and other arts. SWAN organizer and performance artist Deborah Magdalena writes: “SWAN Day Miami provides networking opportunities and other resources to women artists that are not available anywhere else in South Florida.”
NORTHAMPTON, MAOld Deerfield Productions will present the world premiere of TRUTH, Paula Kimper’s new folk opera about Sojourner Truth, the ex-slave, fiery abolitionist, and feminist, at Northampton’s Academy of Music. Conceived by Linda McInerney with a libretto by Talaya Delaney, the opera will feature Evelyn Harris, formerly of Sweet Honey in the Rock, as Sojourner.
SOFIA, BULGARIA – SWAN Festival Bulgaria 2011 featured over 30 women artists doing theatre, dance, concerts, painting exhibitions, fashion shows, flower decorations, photography, workshops and much more. They gathered over 3000 people during the festival and more than 200 participants in the workshops. This year they are expanding into year-round activities.