Celebrating Women Artists 2023

Artists in Golden Thread's "What Do The Women Say?"

Women artists around the world have been celebrating during Women’s History Month. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, Brava for Women in the Arts in San Francisco and Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, have been featuring amazing women artists all month.

Women’s Stories from the Middle East

On International Women’s Day at Brava, Golden Thread Productions presented their annual showcase of Middle Eastern women writers, performers, and filmmakers, What Do the Women Say? This year’s presentation focused on women who are fighting for freedom in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Syria. Some of the stories about the cruelties of war and economic devastation were hard to listen to, but they were a powerful testament to the courage and tenacity of the women who keep fighting for justice in those countries in spite of all the challenges. A video-on-demand version is available until March 31 for $20 through the Golden Thread website.

Holly Near Creates Online Archive of Women’s Music

Holly Near

Meanwhile on the same night, Freight and Salvage hosted a tribute to the legendary feminist singer-songwriter, Holly Near, for her fifty years of music and activism. Near has recently established a website called Because of a Song, which is a fabulous archive of the “Women’s Music” movement that started in Oakland, California in the 1970s.

Because of a Song features over 30 hours of filmed conversations, 4 short films featuring Linda Tillery, Carolyn Brandy, Mary Watkins and Melanie DeMore, a curated resource room, a listening room of over 600 songs in 6 playlists, a captioned photo gallery of nearly 200 images, and more.


A number of groups are continuing to celebrate Support Women Artists Now Day/SWAN Day in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Free Short Films in New York City

Estelle Parsons will be on the director’s panel on March 25. Photo: Bruce Glikas

On Saturday, March 25, 2023 at 2 p.m. the Women in the Arts and Media Coalition will present a free screening of 3 short films written and directed by women, followed by a panel discussion and reception with the directors. The event will be at the School of Visual Arts Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street, New York, NY. The Coalition is collaborating with NY Women in Film and TV, HerFlix, WomenArts, SAG-AFTRA, School of Visual Arts, and FF2 Media to present:

  • 6:18 to Omaha, written by Leah Curney and directed by Dana Offenbach (15 minutes);
  • Midas’ Son, written by Tina Lee and Ela Thier and directed by Annetta Marion (16 minutes); and
  • A Man Of His Time, written by Kate Taney Billingsley and directed by Estelle Parsons (30 minutes).

Following the screenings, Terry Lawler, the former Executive Director of NYWIFT and a dedicated SWAN event organizer since 2009, will lead a panel discussion with the directors Estelle Parsons and Annetta Marion in person and Dana Offenbach online.

For more information about the films and about making reservations for the in-person or live-stream versions of the event, please visit the Women in the Arts and Media -Coalition website.

Film About Abstract Painter Hilma af Klint in Chicago, Illinois

Tora Hallström as young Hilma

The Chicago European Union Film Festival will present Hilma, a film about the pioneering Swedish abstract painter Hilma af Klint, on March 25 at 3:45 p.m. at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street, Chicago, IL. Hilma is a vivid biography of a woman who chose to remain true to her vision as an artist, despite working in a hostile, misogynistic world. The younger and older Hilma are played by the real-life mother and daughter, Lena Olin and Tora Hallström.

Representatives from SWAN Day Chicago will be on hand to pass out treats to the audience members and to give a short presentation about the history of SWAN Day. Tickets are $13.

To watch the trailer and buy tickets, please visit this page.

Dirty Cello in Sebastopol & Crafts Fair in Martinez, California

Rebecca Roudman

Rebecca Roudman, one of the SWAN Day Song Contest winners in 2018 and a WomenArts staff favorite, will be performing her unique cello-led blend of blues, Americana, and rock with her band, Dirty Cello, on Saturday, March 25 at 8 p.m. at the Sebastopol HopMonk Tavern, 230 Petaluma Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472. Tickets: $25. Click here to get tickets.

You can see videos of Dirty Cello’s work on their website. If you have a patronizing boss, be sure to check out the YouTube video of Roudman’s classic original song, Don’t Call Me Honey.

Rounding out the weekend on Sunday, March 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Martinez Arts Association is once again offering its free SWAN Day Fine Arts and Crafts Fair on Sunday, March 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Veterans’ Memorial Building, 930 Ward Street, Martinez, CA.

There will be live entertainment in addition to a wide array of fine arts and crafts for sale. The Martinez Arts Association has been one of our most enthusiastic SWAN organizers from the beginning. Their events are always a lot of fun for the whole family.