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Loyola University New Orleans Hosts Third Annual Feminist Festival

Loyola press release - March 5, 2018

14-day festival to feature panel discussions, a two-day film festival, a HerStory dance performance and more.

For the next two weeks, Loyola University New Orleans will host the third annual Feminist Festival celebrating the gender equality movement with panel discussions, a two-day feminist film festival and a special performance by the Mėlange Dance Company. The festival runs March 3-16 with events and exhibitions happening daily.

The Feminist Festival works to advance gender equality and support the empowerment of all women through education, leadership and networking opportunities. The events span 14 days coinciding with Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, and are presented by the Women’s Resource Center and the Women’s Studies Program at Loyola. All events 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.”

Festival highlights are summarized below, and a full lineup of this year’s events is available here.

In honor of International Women’s Day, on Wednesday, March 8 the festival will host its opening night of HerStory, presented by The Mėlange Dance Company. 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 of monumental “herstory” unfold as passionate dancers portray the struggles and triumphs faced by women throughout the decades in dance matched with time period costuming, music and film. HerStory will take place at 8 p.m. March 8-10 Thursday through Saturday, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 11, at the Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall at Loyola University New Orleans, 6363 St. Charles Ave. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, click here.

On Monday, March 12, the “Open Kitchens” panel discussion hosts dynamic women chefs and restaurateurs as they discuss the challenges and triumphs of working in one of New Orleans’s most important industries – an industry historically dominated by men. Guests include moderator Mary Sonnier of Gabrielle, and panelists Kristen Essig of Coquette, Martha Wiggins of Sylvain, and Kelly Fields of Willa Jean. The event will be introduced by food writer, Kat Kinsman. More information and full panelist bios are available here. A reception will precede the event at 6:30 p.m. in Roussel Lobby, and the panel will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall at Loyola University New Orleans, 6363 St. Charles Ave. The event is free and open to the New Orleans community, no ticketing required.

A two-day feminist film festival showcases the talent of women filmmakers. The first day of the festival will screen several short films by women, including students from the Loyola Film department and women in the Women in Film and Television Organization Louisiana. The event will take place Tuesday, March 13 in Nunemaker Auditorium, Monroe Hall. The second day of the festival will feature Light of the Moon, a film directed and written by Jessica M. Thompson about surviving sexual assault. Title IX Deputy Diana Ward will open the event with a brief talk. The special screening will take place Wednesday, March 14 in Miller Hall, Room 114.

Finally, the festival will present an inspiring event called LeanIn Circle: Empowering Women. LeanIn groups were inspired by the conversation surrounding a book by Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of FaceBook. Her 2013 bestseller, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead started a community of over 1.5 million members who routinely meet in small groups to encourage and support one another. Loyola’s LeanIn Circle event will take place Thursday, March 14 at 12:30 p.m. in Marquette Hall, Room 315.

Events during the Feminist Festival are open to the public, and all events except the performance of HerStory by Melange Dance Company are free.

A full guide to the 2018 Feminist Festival can be viewed here.

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