SWAN Celebrations in Kenya, Ohio, New York, and California

Dear Friends,

One of the main goals of Support Women Artists Now/ SWAN Day is to help people imagine what the world would be like if women’s visions and perspectives were fully represented.

In this newsletter we give you another small sample with articles on SWAN Day Kenya, SWAN Day Dayton, a SWAN Day New York film screening, a new opera about a visionary woman scientist, and a new women’s theatre festival in San Francisco. We have also featured two music videos about environmental issues – one by SWAN Day Kenya artist, Iddi Achieng, and one from the other side of the planet by Los Angeles-based artist, Nobuko Miyamoto.

We will publish the full list of SWAN 2012 events this Saturday. It is another inspiring year!

Martha Richards
Executive Director, WomenArts

Deborah Santana’s Special Guest Blog About SWAN Day Kenya

SWAN Day Kenya Artists

Deborah Santana & SWAN Day Kenya Artists

As part of our ongoing efforts to build more connections among SWAN organizers worldwide, WomenArts arranged for U.S. author/activist Deborah Santana to meet with Sophie Dowllar and the other SWAN Day Kenya organizers in Nairobi.

She has written a special guest blog for us about her meeting with Kenyan poets, actors, visual artists, musicians, sculptors, and film and television producers.  Fourteen women and two men sat together around a table with her, sipping sweet chai while discussing the arts in Kenya and the lack of opportunities for women artists.

Santana writes: “These women are activists, mothers, sisters, and givers of themselves so that the blessings of their souls, through their art, can right the imbalance of the world. They send images and music into the universe of yearning.”
Read more>>

SWAN Day Dayton Is Multi-Generational

SWAN Day Dayton Poster

Dayton, Ohio will celebrate SWAN Day this Saturday at the Auditorium in the Dayton Metro Library Main Branch (215 E. Third St.) beginning at 3pm. It will feature short films, short plays, visual arts exhibits, readings by published authors, and live music.

One of the most exciting aspects of the Dayton showcase is its inclusion of very young participants. The youngest is Kristina Cardoza, who, at age 10, is the author of the children’s book Pinky Bunny’s First Day of Kindergarten.

The producers have made some great curatorial choices to integrate the themes of childhood, growth, and personal development in the films, performances and readings throughout the program.

WomenArts would like to congratulate these first-time Dayton producers and artists for putting together such an ambitious and intriguing SWAN celebration – may it be their first of many! Read more>>

NY SWAN Day Screening: Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s Miss Representation

Miss Representation

Join NY Women in Film & TV, Screen Actors Guild, School of Visual Arts Film department, and Women in the Arts & Media at the School of Visual Arts Theater for a screening of the documentary Miss Representation this Saturday at 2 p.m.

Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the film uniquely challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions, and for the average woman, to feel powerful.

Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academics show that the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. Read More>>

Team of NY Women Develops Opera about Ada Byron – Visionary 19th Century Scientist

Opera About Ada Byron

Congratulations to Kim Sherman (composer), Margaret Vandenburg (librettist) and Lisa Rothe (producer/director) who had a reading this week of Ada, their new opera based on the life of Ada Byron, who is one of the most spectacular figures in computer history.

Ada follows in the notorious footsteps of her father, Lord Byron, embarking on a Romantic quest to wed passion and intellect in the poetry of numbers.

In an effort to convince the Royal Commission for the Crystal Palace Exhibition to build Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, she translates stark theorems and numerical proofs into rich linguistic metaphors, thus paving the way for the invention of computer languages. Ahead of her time, Ada contends with the Victorian conviction that quests for knowledge are doubly transgressive in women, signs of hysteria rather than genius. Read More>>

3Girls Theatre Launches New Festival of Women Playwrights in San Francisco

3Girls Theatre

Lee Brady, AJ Baker, and Suze Allen

3Girls Theatre is a brand new company created by three playwrights – Suze Allen, AJ Baker, and Lee Brady dedicated to producing work by women playwrights and increasing the role of women and girls in American theater.

For their inaugural season which ends this weekend, they scheduled a month of programs that include two fully staged productions – the world premiere of AJ Baker’s The Right Thing about sexual harrassment in a law firm, and a production of Lee Brady’s one-woman show What About Ben? about a woman finding new love after the death of her husband. There have also been staged readings and workshops of new scripts by women in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read More>>