Highlighting & preserving women in Art
To borrow a quote from The Underground Diva “Hip Hop began as a solid place for minorities to express themselves while being shown they, too, can own a piece of the American pie, by simple building their own bakery.”
After a lifetime of loving the creations of our bakery, over time it seems the variety has greatly decreased. In the mainstream isle, I can barely find female voices that tell or reflect my experience. In the past, I have been made full from the delights of emcees like Queen Latifah, Rah Diggah, & MC Lyte. I grew up with the spice of Salt N’ Pepper flavoring my life with secrets of woman and sisterhood that have guided me to this day. Yet now, the selection in mainstream is a choice between hypersexualized, and catty-ratchet-hot mess. Over in the Underground section, there is a plethora of female voices to choose from, but you have to ask for them by special request. The Hip Hop bakery usually has 1 or 2 on display with a long list on the menu. We can have them if you ask for them by name, but for the most part we’re kept in the stock room, with special displays erected for Women’s History Month and Mother’s Day. As an emerging MC with a ferocious appetite, this just will not do.
So in the famous mantra of beloved baseball flick Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come”; We decided to create the annual #FemceeFestival. A yearly, multi-event festival celebrating the radical women voices of our past and present women in Hip Hop Culture that continue to carry our legacy. Adding their stories and experiences to the mix for our future generations to learn from and be inspired/encouraged/empowered by.
During the last two weeks of March 2014, Art LovHer collaborated with over 30 artists, small businesses, and non-profit organization Speaking in Rhythms, for community discussions, music, art, and poetry.
Starting with the opening event on Wednesday, March 19th – Art LovHer Presents:Rebel/Resist at The Living Gallery. Features Audible Chocolate, DaTrooth Curry, Isono Venus, and Create stirred up the spirit of our revolutionary predecessors with their poetry, music and visual art. Then March 22nd we programmed the Women’s in Hip shop segment of The 4th Annual Funky Soul Benefit Dance Party, a yearly fundraiser thrown by Speaking in Rhythms to raise money for their music projects with youth around New York City and the world! Last year’s dance party was dedicated to celebrating local and global influence of Hip Hop music & culture. A majority of proceeds from Funky Soul and our closing event [Digging Deeper] benefited their recent project in Ethopia. Our first festival was closed out with Digging Deeper: A Salute to Radical Women in Hip Hop Culture, March 29th at Art Horizons in Harlem. An art auction, marathon reading in honor of Nikki Giovanni and evening of community discussion.
I’m super excited to be building a new isle marked FeMC. Emptying out the fridges and giving our community some food for the soul.