Mt. Airy Art Garage (MAAG) co-founder Linda Slodki wants to clear one thing up, given the questions she’s been getting about this weekend’s International Women’s Day events at MAAG.
“It’s open to everyone,” she says of the three-day slate of events.
The lineup includes a music and poetry event, a cocktail reception and a discussion panel on women in media and the arts.
“I keep having men ask me if they’re welcome, and I want them to know they are welcome, and families are welcome,” Slodki said.
Slodki’s partner and MAAG co-founder Arleen Olshan adds that it’s still important to mark International Women’s Day, a day of commemoration lauched in 1911.
“Being in Mt. Airy we’re certainly blessed – this is quite a supportive community,” Olshan said. “At the same time, we don’t want to forget our roots and where we came from, and [that] the need for women to congregate and support one another and empower each other is still here.”
Slodki noted that the day hasn’t always been honored in Philadelphia the way it should be. “We used to walk around a few years ago, and say, you know, there’s just no events around here for International Women’s Day in the city…and we thought, have it at the Mt. Airy Art Garage.”
The weekend will kick off with “Outloud! A Celebration of Female Voices,” from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, March 8.
Performers will include Anna Crusis Women’s Choir, America’s longest-running feminist choir, and Sister Cities Girlchoir, a choral training academy now in its first year, whose singers include at risk youth from Philadelphia and Camden.
Joining the singers will be a range of poets and spoken word artists, including APIARY Magazine co-founder and executive editor, Tamara Oakman, and Mural Arts Program Director of Art Education, Yolanda Wisher, an award-winning poet and organizer of the Germantown Poetry Festival, who at 23 became Montgomery County’s first Poet Laureate.
On Saturday night, there will be a cocktail reception from 7-9pm. “Stop by, have a drink, chat, and see what we’re all about,” the MAAG invite says.
The weekend concludes with “Women in Media and the Arts – A Conversation,” from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, March 10. NewsWorks’ Jeannette Woods will join a panel with Campus Philly founder and Flying Kite Magazine publisher, Michelle Freeman.
Also in the mix will be Mt. Airy’s Sharon Katz, a South Africa native whose musical Peace Train tour gives performances and workshops all over the world. The Peace Train launched in South Africa in 1992 to promote post-Apartheid reconciliation, and the group donates its proceeds to international humanitarian efforts.
Other panelists include Nathea Lee, Janet Mason, Nadine Patterson and Olshan, who will offer perspectives from the fields of fine art, photography, literature and filmmaking.
Olshan and Slodki promise an “interactive” conversation that takes in the past, present and future of women in arts and media, and encourage attendees to bring their questions.
“We’re so excited we can’t stand it,” Slodki says. “This thing has blossomed into a celebration of women in the Northwest. It’s an amazing turnout of artists.”
Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance through the MAAG website for $10 per event, or $25 for all three events.