Like, well, everything, Milwaukee’s annual Riverwest FemFest took a pandemic-forced break in 2020. And, like, well, pretty much everything again, Milwaukee’s annual FemFest will take a pandemic-forced break in 2021, too. Sigh.

BUT! FemFest isn’t really taking a break—it’s going virtual with a month-long series of events called “Portraits of Femme.” FemFest will showcase music, poetry, visual art, theater, workshops, and more throughout the month of March (a.k.a. Women’s History Month), and will continue to use its platform “for femmes, trans, GNC, women, non-binary and BIPOC, honoring the reclamation of power for those who have been historically excluded from, or not had, creative spaces.”

Want to help make it happen? Donations are being accepted HERE. Here’s a rundown of the events:

• March 2nd, 6 PM CST | FemFest collabs with Erin Wolf of 91.7 WMSE, to present a “Portraits of Femme” Local/Live program. The segment will feature music & an interview with up & coming artist-producer-musician, Trinity Grace.

• March 8th, 6 PM CST | In partnership with 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, a virtual presentation titled #PortraitsOfFemme: Women In Music (Cover Tributes) will take place on Facebook Live, via 88Nine. Lead by MKE artist-producer-musician B~Free, ten women & femme-identifying artists will celebrate International Women’s Day by presenting a diverse array of cover performances, stories of songs by women musicians who’ve inspired them. The event will serve as catalyst for the remaining FemFest events, as well as B~Free’s “31 Day Cover Challenge” for Women in Music to take place throughout the month, exclusively on her Instagram.

• March 11th, 7 PM CST | Heard Space, is kicking off their Virtual Write-In Sessions in celebration with Fem Fest. Join this event via Zoom link from the comfort of your home! Each Write in begins with introductions and a quick icebreaker, followed by 20 minutes of writing and use our remaining time to share writings. We’ll post our writing prompt the Wednesday before our write in at 6pm via IG @HeardSpaceMKE.

• March 25th, 6 PM CST | Ms. Lotus Fankh is hosting a panel discussion around the topic Impact & Importance of Women in Music. This event will stream live on Facebook from the Ms. Lotus Fankh and the FemFest pages. Join in to listen to members of Women in Music Chicago, Girls Rock MKE, founding members of FemFest, and other women centered organizations discuss the impact and importance of women in music.

• March 26th, 5 PM CST | Additionally, the FemFest audience will be encouraged to view the March 26th session of Grace Weber’s Music Lab on Facebook Live, featuring Tiffany Miranda; the founder of Girls Make Beats.

• Additional segments for the Portraits of Femme event will also include curated work by femme & non-binary visual artists to be featured in an exclusive issue of the monthly zine publication Moody. Starting February 18th, copies will be available for purchase HERE.

Community participation will also be a key aspect of the event. Throughout the month, artists will be able to formally submit YouTube & Vimeo links of their covers by femme artists or original work to be hosted on the CopyWrite Magazine website. Videos will simply need to be in a horizontal frame, along with a written description on why their chosen song &/or artist inspires them, & submitted to through this Google Form.

Additionally, participants will also be able to take part informally by sharing their related art with the inclusion of tagged content on Instagram. By mentioning @rwfemfest & @copywritemag, along with the hashtag groups #PortraitsOfFemme, #FemFestMKE & #CopyWriteMag, artists’ will have their creations re-shared across multiple platforms.

To generate proceeds in support of the various artists involved & future programming endeavors, donations will be accepted online or via PayPal @Riverwest Fem Fest or Venmo @Riverwest-FemFest.

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