Austin Women's Film and Performing Arts Festival

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by Jan Seides
Saturday 6th June, 2009, 7:03pm

The weekend of June 29th – 31st, I participated for the second time in the Austin Women’s Film and Performing Arts Festival. The first time was an extremely rewarding experience, in that I met an abundance of admirable women singer/songwriters from various parts of the country, a poet who made the hair on my arms stand on end, and found myself on the six-o’clock news.

This year did not disappoint.

My first showcase was at the Green Muse in South Austin (“78704 – It’s not just a zip code, it’s a way of life”). There were a couple of standout acts:  Tiffany Christopher who sang with a Loop Station, and a lot of other little boxes, and made herself very, very present. Wonder what they’re putting in the water up there in Arkansas?  Also, Ebony Stewart, who gave a long and beautiful poem that alternately shocked and soothed. And Amber Darland, who came all the way from Bellingham, Washington to sing fine, rhythmic melodies and even finer lyrics.

I was supposed to play at the very prestigious Long Center, but it was scheduled in conflict with my students’ recital, so I had to decline.

My last showcase was at the Austin Youth Hostel. There were films on offer as well as performers. One film, “Run, Jane, Run” was a compilation of women’s stories about childhood abuse, culminating in “Jane’s” description of how she overcame her background and went on to achieve admirable goals. It was both depressing and uplifting. The act I found the most compelling was 87 Dance Productions out of North Carolina. awfpafest1 This act consists of twin sisters, Cara and Mackenzie Hagan, and was exciting to watch. I’ve included a picture, which doesn’t at all do them justice. For one thing, you can’t hear the accompaniment, which was members of the audience, humming improvisations to the rhythm set up by the first person to jump in. Gorgeous!

Category: Venues

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