Saturday, March 14, 2009

SWAN Day 2009

SWAN Day is being celebrated all over the world in two weeks on Saturday March 29, 2009.  It is an international holiday to fete and support women artists through a multitude of events including, readings, performances, panels, workshops, fundraisers, anything, really, that the host dreams up.  Last year, for the inaugural SWAN Day, there were 160 events/house parties in 11 countries.  The SWAN site helps you to plan, post, advertise and manage your event, and also check out events happening in your city, country and the rest of the world.

The swans you see above were made by Lucy Zhou Cuan Qing, an artist who makes such sculptures out of disposed materials, anything from plastic bleach containers to nylon stockings to styrofoamy apple protectors.  She will be one of 6 artists  SWAN Day Shanghai, that I'm hosting from 13:00-17:00 at the Downstream Performance Space in the Xuhui district.  After the artists talk about their work, I will facilitate a writing workshop for both Chinese and English writers.  And then us gaggle of gals will swan our way into the Shanghai night and continue celebrating.

Check out the International SWAN Day events, happening on 5 continents, from Argentina to Berlin, from Quebec to Kenya.  Also, for you Usians, you can see where the U.S. SWAN Day celebrations are happening in your city--participate or host an event of your own.  Think of all the women artists you love, whose work you support, and set aside March 28 to gather, toast, fete, and enjoy.  

I mean really, how often do you get a holiday where the only gift you have to give is good feeling and appreciation, and where a woman can be seen beyond being a mother, love object, or the cooker for the feast?  Good reason to celebrate.  Women artists are so neglected and pushed into the margins that one day of good international vibration will be an uplifting miracle and something to do besides mope about the economy.   

And now that more people have been pushed into the margins, what is there to lose in appreciating the strength and resilience of women who, despite all the pressures of the patriarchy, listen, follow and create their own voice?  Now that the good ole boys have run the machinery into the ground, one day to listen to the gals express may yield valuable content, at least nurse back a trust for truth and alternate ideas.

Happy Swan Day!

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Blogger JanLisaHuttner said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 30, 2009 at 6:49 AM  
Blogger JanLisaHuttner said...

Dear Alice,

I'm the founder of WITASWAN (Women in the Audience Supporting Women Artists Now), & I'm so moved by everything you've written about SWAN Day in Shanghai!!!

I can't tell you how inspired I was the day Martha Richards told me her idea for SWAN Day, taking Chicago's WITASWAN seed & making it flower with worldwide possibility.

Hope to meet you f2f someday!!!

Best wishes ALWAYS,

March 30, 2009 at 6:55 AM  

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