SWAN Day 2012 Is This Saturday

SWAN Day Is This Saturday – Remember to Post Your Events!

Dear Friends,

Support Women Artists Now Day/SWAN Day is this Saturday! Be sure to post your events in the WomenArts SWAN Calendar this week if you want us to include them in our annual mailing of the complete SWAN list on March 31.

Since there are so many excellent events this year, we have started writing longer SWAN articles on the WomenArts Blog and then posting links to the blogs on our Facebook page and Twitter account (@WomenArts). If you like the in-depth articles, you can subscribe directly to the WomenArts Blog or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

We have covered a few SWAN events below, but please visit the SWAN Calendar to see them all. It is truly an inspiring list!

                                                       Martha Richards
Executive Director, WomenArts

SWAN Day Pittsburgh Rocks!

SWAN Day Pittsburgh

Tressa Glover, Martha Richards, & Don DiGiulio At SWAN Day Pittsburgh, Photo: Katelyn Petraitis

On Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16, Tressa Glover and Don DiGiulio of the No Name Players presented SWAN Day Pittsburgh.

I attended the Thursday night performance and I was completely blown away by the talent and the overall concept and execution of the production.

SWAN Day Pittsburgh is unique because all of the participating artists are asked to create new works in response to videotaped interviews of women from Pennsylvania. This year Glover and DiGiulio interviewed women from all over the state and then distributed the videos to local musicians, dancers, and theater artists.

It was inspiring to see the thoughtfulness, courage and tenacity that these women demonstrate in their everyday lives. Some of the artists used direct quotes from the videos as the basis for a scene, song, or dance, and others responded to the spirit or message of the women on screen.

SWAN Day Pittsburgh is an official WomenArts SWAN Partner this year, and producers Tressa Glover and Don DiGiulio have really captured the essence of SWAN Day. There were 14 acts and 72 people listed in the program, including musicians, dancers, actors, a poet, and a fire dancer. SWAN Day Pittsburgh was artistically ambitious, women’s perspectives were at the core of all the art, and it was clearly building a sense of solidarity among the artists in their community.
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SWAN Day DC Expands!

Not My Sister

Not My Sister Opens SWAN Day DC

Celebrating SWAN Day for the fifth year, SWAN Day DC, organized by The Georgetown Theatre Company, is expanding its multi-disciplinary festival of women to more neighborhoods this year.

The opening reception will take place this Friday evening, March 30, at Baked and Wired, with a performance by the emerging indie rock band Not My Sister, a family of South Asian women whose music has been described as “the Shangri-Las meet Indie Pop.”

The main SWAN DC Day festival will be held on Saturday afternoon, March 31, with a staged reading marathon at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, poetry readings at Grace Church accompanied by a performance by Nancy Havlik Dance Performance Group, screenings of women-made films from across the globe at Stone Soup Films (from the Women in Film and Television International Shorts Showcase), a storytelling event at Mellow Mushroom pizzeria, and performance art at District of Columbia Arts Center. Read more>>

Lenelle Moïse Explores Haitian History at New York’s Women Center Stage

On Tuesday, March 13, I saw Lenelle Moïse’s latest work in progress, Ache What Make, at the month-long Women Center Stage Festival in New York.

Moïse is Haitian-American, and “Ache What Make” is a series of performance poems about her responses to the Haitian earthquake and its aftermath.

As a member of the Haitian diaspora, she has a unique perspective on the crisis in Haiti. She still has relatives there, and she is acutely aware of the fact that if her parents had made different choices, “it could have been my hand sticking out of the rubble.”

Ache What Make invites audience members to see the current Haitian crisis in its historical context. The play is a perfect example of the ways that artists can help us see the emotional and historical dimensions of current events and help us find the hope we need to move towards a better future. Read more>>

Body & Soul: Jean Karotkin’s Inspiring Photos of Breast Cancer Survivors

Jerri Nielsen

Jerri Nielsen, Physician & Survivor
Photo: Jean Karotkin

Body & Soul: The Courage and Beauty of Breast Cancer Survivors is a beautiful book of photo essays by Dallas-based photographer, Jean Karotkin.

Thanks to the non-profit group, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, the book is now available online in an interactive format at: http://bodyandsoul.lbbc.org

A survivor herself, Karotkin focuses on women who use their diagnosis as an opportunity to re-invent themselves or deepen their commitments. Karotkin has created stunning photo portraits of each woman – capturing each one’s spirit by finding the perfect setting and pose. It is wonderful just to look at the pictures of these strong women, and it is even more inspiring when you read the accompanying stories. These are women who have decided to live their lives to the fullest in spite of any obstacles, and that is a powerful message for all of us. Read More>>

Career Panel at the Apollo: Theatre Women Behind the Scenes

Apollo Theatre Panel

From left to right, Linda Twine, Wendy Seyb, Carin Ford, Amanda Pekoe, Stephanie Klapper & Mari Nakachi. Photo: Karli Cadel.

From left to right, Linda Twine, Wendy Seyb,
Carin Ford, Amanda Pekoe, Stephanie Klapper & Mari Nakachi. Photo: Karli Cadel.

I attended an amazing panel discussion on Monday, March 12 at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York.

Moderated by marketing and advertising executive Amanda Pekoe, the free panel featured five women who shared advice and insights about their successful behind-the-scenes careers in theater: Carin Ford (sound engineer – Carrie The Musical; La Cage Aux Folles), Stephanie Klapper (casting agent – Dividing the Estate; Bells Are Ringing), Mari Nakachi (producer – Time Stands Still; Dinner With Friends), Wendy Seyb (choreographer – The Pee Wee Herman Show on Broadway and HBO; The Toxic Avenger) and Linda Twine (music director – The Color Purple; Caroline, or Change).

Since the panel was intended to educate people about behind-the-scenes careers, each panelist described her specific job responsibilities and typical income level.
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