Just over a year ago, women317 was a conversation between friends over dinner, a one-time opportunity to host an event in honor of Women’s History Month. Since then we launched shehive, a grassroots project creating safe spaces to deconstruct gender inequity; and we hosted two more women317 shows. We continue to diligently practice the principles of feminine energy: emotional intelligence, critical thought, and the life force of creativity. women317 is a showcase for local women artists to grow in their creative gifts of expression and performance, and to speak truth to their power as unique and unified women. Thirty incredible women graced our stage over three shows, telling narratives of womanhood and femininity through song, visual art, dance, and spoken word.
“It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live.” - Nina Simone
Tonight is the anniversary of shehive on Mayday, and we reconcile the day’s multiple meanings for our theme.
We know womanhood as identity and femininity as characteristic carry considerable risk. In a 2012 CDC study, 17.3% of Indiana high school girls reported experiencing rape or sexual assault. Our governor legalized possible discrimination against the queer community last month. Our state legislators and city-county councilors continue to usurp women’s rights and gut public education, domestic violence, and healthcare funding. A million Hoosiers are living in poverty, 22% are children, 17% are women, and almost 200,000 reside in Marion County. These are realities woven into the fabric of women’s and girls’ lives. “Mayday, mayday” is a distress signal we evoke tonight as a call for humanity on behalf of Indianapolis women and girls.
We also know we are in a season bursting with feminine energy, a force all living beings need for survival, balance, and wellness. Women are at the forefront of social justice movements for better wages and economic opportunity, to end educational disparity and the school to prison pipeline, to abolish the prison state and dismantle state violence, for food sovereignty, for reproductive justice, for comprehensive and affordable healthcare, and to create a world without white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy. Mayday is traditionally a spring festival, a time to give thanks for what blooms and blossoms. Tonight, we celebrate a reawakening of feminine energy and a renewed appreciation for womanhood through artistic expression.
Join us for women317: the anniversary, a free and public show at Tin Comet Coffee at 7pm. Be prepared for an experience brought forth by some of the city’s most talented and beautiful and powerful women. There’s no better way to spend Mayday.