Artists are claiming their place in the Milwaukee music scene at Femmespace

Artists are claiming their place in the Milwaukee music scene at Femmespace

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Femmespace–the all-female and femme artist showcase put on annually by the same organizers as Freespace–is back for another year.

Katie Lafond (better known as Siren) and Janice Vogt of The New State see a disparity that exists between female/femme artists in the music scene and their male counterparts.

“Whenever there’s a lineup and there’s no women on the lineup something is wrong,” says Lafond.

Janice Vogt (left) and Katie Lafond (right)

Speaking from experience, Lafond points out some often overlooked truths that prevent female and femme artists from gaining exposure and opportunities. Men get booked for more shows. Women are often treated like the opener even if they’re headlining a bill. Being sexualized either on stage or in the studio has detrimental effects on one’s artistry, safety and credibility in the industry.

“I don’t worry about how the track’s going to come out [when I walk into the studio] if I’m worried about whether this guy is going to try to lock me alone in this room,” explains Lafond, while recalling a negative experience she had.

Femmespace is the response to these overlooked truths, and holds the intention to change them.

Milwaukee artist Kyndal J rehearses at The Jazz Gallery before Femmespace 2019.

Femmespace is an extension of Freespace–a monthly artist showcase where young artists are paired with more experienced artists on stage to perform and engage in meaningful dialogue in front of the audience.

Femmespace, which features an all female and femme lineup, is meant to showcase the extreme talent of Milwaukee’s female artists while prompting dialogue surrounding issues that they face in the industry.

This year the bill features Mudy, Kyndal J, Grey Genius, Jayne Joyce and Kia Rap Princess ,with the evening hosted by Lafond.

The showcase creating a 'free space' for femme artists in Milwaukee's music scene