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Feminist Festival Returns to Loyola University New Orleans

Loyola press release - March 7, 2017

Starting today, March 7, 2017, Loyola University New Orleans will host the second annual Feminist Festival celebrating the gender equality movement with panel discussions, workshops and special performances by Tank and the Bangas and the Mėlange Dance Company. The 11-day festival coincides with Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, which falls tomorrow, Wednesday, March 8.

The Feminist Festival works to advance gender equality and support the empowerment of all women through education, leadership and networking opportunities. The festival is presented by the Women’s Resource Center and the Women’s Studies Program at Loyola and will be held on Loyola’s main campus, at 6363 St. Charles Ave.

“The Feminist Festival is more than a celebration or reflection of how far women have come,” said Patricia Boyett, director of the Women’s Resource Center. “It is another step forward in the movement towards gender equality as we promote dialogues that both advance diversity and inclusiveness and empower women and our community to think critically.”

In honor of International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8, the festival will host “Sewing Community: Ahadi Quilts, NGO’s, and the Politics of Textiles in Africa,” featuring an exhibition of quilts known as Ahadi Quilts, produced by survivors of sexual violence in Africa. In addition to the exhibition, the event will feature three speakers— Loyola Assistant History Professor Dr. Nicole Eggers, women’s narrative expert Dr. Anne Helke of the University of Wisconsin and Ms. Emilie Songolo, senior academic librarian of the University of Wisconsin. Together, the speakers hope to evoke a critical conversation about both the challenges and possibilities that women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Africa face in their endeavors to “sew community.” The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Audubon Room on the second floor of the Danna Center.

Headlining the Feminist Concert at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, March 10, in the Loyola Peace Quad is Tank and the Bangas, the 2017 winner of the NPR Tiny Desk Contest. The local New Orleans group beat 6,000 other music groups in the nationwide competition and as a prize will travel to Washington, D.C., to perform and record their own Tiny Desk concert. The group will also soon hit the road for a national tour sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing.

In celebration of the continuing evolution of feminist activism, the festival presents “Fourth Wave Feminism: Building an Intersectional, Intergenerational, and Inclusive Movement,” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14. The panel will explore the emerging fourth wave of feminism with the goal of putting forward a diverse group of women working in various mediums to advance social justice and women’s empowerment and to explore ways that people connect to build an intergenerational, intersectional and inclusive movement. The event will take place in Nunemaker Auditorium, Monroe Hall.

At 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, Grammy Award-Winning sound engineer Trina Shoemaker, music editor Missy Cohen from hit shows Sex in the City and Vinyl, and director of artistic programming for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Lisa Lafleur will join Loyola for “Successful Women in the Arts,” to discuss their successful careers and share their experiences as women in the arts. The panel will take place in the St. Charles Room, Danna Center, first floor.

Special performances during the festival also include The Mėlange Dance Company presenting HerStory, a journey of the waves of feminism to bring monumental moments in “herstory” to life. The timely and original production reflects on the progress the women’s advocacy movement has made and celebrates the women who dared to persist and not be silenced. Attendees will watch the layers unfold as passionate dancers portray the struggles and triumphs faced throughout the decades in a dynamic series of movement matched with time period costuming, music and film.

HerStory will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 16, at the Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall at Loyola University New Orleans, 6363 St. Charles Ave. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for students with a valid student ID (required at the door). To purchase tickets, click here.

Together with the Tulane University Newcomb College Institute, the Women’s Resource Center at Loyola presents “Running Start – Elect Her” on Saturday, March 18. The full-day workshop is open to Tulane and Loyola students and designed to teach women with political aspirations how to run for political office. Students can apply to this unique workshop by following this link: tinyurl.com/ElectHerTULU.

Events during the Feminist Festival, with the exception of the “Running Start – Elect Her” workshop are open to the public. All events, except, the performance of HerStory by Melange Dance Company are free.

A full guide to the 2017 Feminist Festival can be seen by clicking here.