by Markus Sherman
Riverwest Femfest celebrates the impact of women within Milwaukee, as well as women everywhere. The event showcases the music, art, and poetry of more than 60 local artists.
We spoke with 11 performers about the importance of Riverwest Femfest and what it means to them as female artists in Milwaukee.
“This is my first time playing Femfest. I’m super stoked to be around such a positive energy. This space will be safe for us to talk about our struggles and triumphs within this industry, and share our uncensored stories alongside people who have experienced some of the same things.”
Siren will be performing Jan. 23 at Company Brewing.
Cat Ries of No/No
“Creative expression is one of the most important things we have as human beings. For me, to be a part of a festival that celebrates this not only as a medium for change and power, but in regards to the feminine spirit, is an exciting blessing. When woman come together to create, present, perform and exchange their energy, amazing things happen. Not to mention that this years funds will be going to the Date Rape Awareness organization which will, among many other great things, work to put drug test kits in Riverwest bars.”
Cat Ries will be performing Jan. 24 at Company Brewing.
“This is the first time I’ll be attending Riverwest Femfest and I’m extremely hyped and thankful to be able to be apart of it. There are so many beautiful women that will be performing and sharing there art, and I’m more than eager to see it all transpire.”
Fivy will be performing Jan. 2 at Company Brewing.
Johanna Rose of New Boyz Club and Ruth B8r Ginsburg
“I love Femfest! Femfest is a way to celebrate the women in our communities as well as rally behind our collective struggles. I walk away from Femfest feeling stronger and knowing that I used the power of expression to create real change in the world. Plus its the best party of the year!”
Johanna Rose will be performing Jan. 23 with New Boyz Club and Jan. 24 with Ruth B8r Ginsberg. Both performances will take place at Company Brewing.
Mary Joy of Fox Face and Pussy Collector
“FemFest is going to reverberate positive energy throughout the city of Milwaukee. Women in our community are going to be lifted up and creative voices will inspire all who attend. I am honored to be a part of this essential movement and burning conversation.”
Mary Joy will be performing Jan. 22 with Fox Face at the Jazz Gallery.
“I’m really excited for Femfest! Being a female of hip hop, I’m often over looked or underestimated. Femfest is an opportunity for me to shine without being looked down on because of my gender. Femfest is forever going to be empowering and I’m honored to be apart of it.”
Chakara Blu will be performing Jan. 21 at Riverwest Public House.
Molly Roberts of Tigernite
“FemFest is a potent example of women working together to elevate one another through our super powers. We often fall victim to the false narrative that female identifying performers can only coexist in a state of petty competition. Femfest smashes that notion to bits and celebrates all of the vibrant color, energy and noise our community has to offer. We’re excited and honored to participate in an event that positively impacts and supports this dynamic community of artists and our community at large. Tigernite is ready to party!”
Tigernite will be performing Jan. 21 at Riverwest Public House.
“Femfest is important to me because women are often undermined, ignored, ridiculed and insulted as both people and artists. We are way more under scrutiny and not given the opportunities that our male counterparts are given simply because we are female. Femfest gives us a platform to unite as artists, use our power combine our energy and take a stand that says, “yes, we can do the same thing as you, we are talented, we are independent and we are not playing around.” I’m simply grateful that it exists and feel honored to be a part of it.”
Zed Kenzo will be performing Jan. 23 at Company Brewing.
Katie Salscheider of New Boyz Club and Grasping at Straws
“I think Femfest is so important for the city of Milwaukee! This festival helps solidify the sisterhood of creative females in our city. It gives us women a chance to support each other and witness our power through music, art and poetry, all while raising money for organizations that protect women.”
“Femfest is important to me because it gives the vast, diverse and hard-working female performers I know and love a platform to show there is no excuse for the lack of female talent on these show bills. I’m so thankful to be apart of something so powerful and inspirational.”
Queen Tut will be performing Jan. 24 at Company Brewing.
Chauntee Ross of Sista Strings
“It’s my very first Femfest! This event excites me down to my very pink toe nails. Living in a city that celebrates and acknowledges women’s power and influence in the arts and within our comunity is a big deal and I’m so proud to be a part of that. My group, Sista Strings, is delighted to be assisted by the homegirl Joha Rose to kick off the festival at Riverwest Public House this Thursday. I’ll be the one with the violin and a huge fro.”
Sista Strings will be performing Jan. 21 at Riverwest Public House.
All proceeds from Riverwest Femfest are given to DRAM (Date Rape Awareness Milwaukee) to provide Riverwest bars with date rape and drug test strips. The remaining proceeds will go to the Milwaukee Women’s Center, a division of Community Advocates that houses and supports men, women and children suffering from domestic violence, mental health issues and substance abuse.
What: Riverwest Femfest
When: Jan. 21- 24
Where: Riverwest Public House, Company Brewing and The Jazz Gallery
For more information on the lineup and schedule visit http://rwfemfest.com.