Monday, August 1, 2011

Beyond Barbie - You can finally buy tickets for the evenings! Here!

The last few weeks have been extremely busy as I and a handful of women have worked to prepare for Beyond Barbie.  Beginning Sept 22 and continuing every Thursday night until November 3, at Crossroads Art Center, we will be presenting a series of performances intended to showcase some fabulous women!  The series is intended for men and women and youth and most evenings will be family friendly (I would urge some discretion when deciding whether to bring your children to the evening about abuse and perhaps those on Eating Disorders and birth?).

When I realized that many of my models are performers/artists/talented women, I decided it would be a fabulous idea to give them an opportunity to strut their stuff in conjunction with my show Not Barbie: A Celebration of Real Women which opens Friday, Sept 16th at 6 PM also at Crossroads Art Center.  The topics for the evenings arose organically based on issues my models are dealing with and/or the type of performers they are.

The first became clear when I realized I've photographed and painted many dancers - that makes sense!  They're so at ease in their bodies that they are comfortable in front of the camera.  On Sept 22, we'll have belly dancers (Khalima, Heather Addley, Lelya Nissa, and Tina Batya), Hoopers (yes, hula hoopers!  Hula hoops have made a dramatic come back and have become performance art!) (Rachel Braford and Natalie Gianninoto).   Peggy O'Neill will lead all willing participants in Sacred Circle Dance, and Frances Wessells (see video) will lead us in improvisational exercises based on her 70+ years of teaching!  Dawn Flores will round out the evening with Goddess Dance.  The evening promises to be intriguing, beautiful, sensual, fascinating, and full of surprises!

Sept 29 will be a most unusual evening - did you know that Richmond is the third most tattooed city in the USA?  Well, on the 29th you'll get to learn a lot more about that.  Rachel Easter of OneTribe (a company which specializes in making jewelry for piercings) and Kim Sikorsky, a certified piercer, will screen a documentary they're working on about body modification.  Afterwards they will field questions about tattoos, piercings, and other body modification.

Oct 6 we'll have the extraordinary pleasure of hearing two fine singers.  Ana Poland-Rivera will open the evening with a couple of songs, then Gaye Adegbalola (formerly of Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women) will sing and speak about The Blues and the empowerment to be found in music.  Her music is raucous, funny, energetic, and, most of all, true.  You can watch her sing "Big Ovaries, Baby" in the accompanying video to get a sense of what you have to look forward to!

Not everything women experience is empowering at first glance.  This is certainly true of abuse.  Oct 13, several women will tell tales of their own or their relative's abuse and how they have come to terms with it and overcome it.  (Lisette Johnson, Megan Hicks, and Linda Goodman.) We will have a panel of experts to answer questions after the sharing.  The evening's stories will be moving, tragic, and ultimately leave you feeling empowered and amazed at the strength of the human spirit.

Oct 20 there will be two national experts and several local women (Christine Ennulat, Karen Morris, and Kathleen MacDonald, among others) who will speak about their experiences with Eating Disorders and disordered eating.  Well aware of the latest research about eating disorders, these women will inform, inspire, and engage you as they share from the heart.

We all begin our lives by being born, but how we are born varies greatly - vaginal births, caesarean births, home births, hospital births, taxicab deliveries, etc., etc.  Oct 27th we'll have the opportunity to hear five stories of different kinds of births then we'll each have the opportunity to tell a story of our own in a small group about a birth we've experienced.  Deep sharing accompanied by respectful listening promises to make this evening warm and wonderful.

Our final offering on Nov 3 will be a series of written word offerings, read by their authors - a story, a dramatic reading,  a poem or two, a blog entry, an essay, perhaps more - by some of Richmond's well-known and emerging talents (Gigi Amateau, novelist; Denise Bennett, storyteller; Tarfia Faizullah, poet; Julie Geen, freelance writer; Shelia Gray, performance artist; Valley Haggard, creative nonfiction writer and Alexandra Iwashyna, blogger.).  All of the offerings will be true tales of personal experiences, keeping with Beyond Barbie's theme of empowerment through personal sharing.

Interest is already high, and seating will be limited to 250, so if you're interested in coming, it would be wise to purchase your ticket ahead of time.  You may purchase them below.  We're very excited to have you with us!

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