Friday's Opening Ceremony
Sister J SpiritVoice is a SoundWeaver. "I open hearts through sound. I am the vessel of Spirit. I give my voice to Spirit. My body is the resonator." She facilitates sacred space, balances vibrations by weaving: sound, rhythm and ritual. She lives outside of Asheville.
Barrie is joined in the opening by fellow performers Breah Parker and Linda McCane.
Barrie Barton is a dance educator, choreographer, performer and artistic director with 25 years of experience in dance education and community dance projects. Barrie teaches dance at two high schools in Asheville. Presently, she is working as a community artist, offering workshops and creating dance in collaboration with non- dancers. These community dances synthesize expressive powers of movement and voice. A dance titled, Talking To God, is her next choreographic project.
Sue Ford is a North Carolina native and a singer-songwriter-multi instrumentalist. She has performed with Singing River, Womansong and Sue Ford & the Extremes. Sue was assistant director of Womansong and released a CD of original music, The Water is Fine, and other recordings with Womansong and the EMBE Marimba Band. She is now director of the EMBE Marimba Band at Evergreen Community Charter School in Asheville.
Serpentine Arborvitae is a musical visionary of the Divine feminine. Her CD "ROCK THE GODDESS" was chosen as the featured soundtrack for LIFETIME TELEVISION'S "Witches" narrated by Anjelica Huston. Mentored by jazz master Ornette Coleman, Serpentine's sound defies simple categorization.
Althea Gonzalez is Goddess of her own Universe. This title currently covers her role as Manager of Health Parity at the Buncombe County Medical Society, vocal-cord-carrying member and Assistant Director of Womansong, public speaker and workshop facilitator, passionate community advocate, privileged mother of a wonderful son, and grateful human being.
Alisa Kuumba is a Spirit Worker and Performing Artist. She has traveled to Africa, the Caribbean and Grassroots America. Alisa Kuumba's spirit work has mostly been focused on personal consultations, empowerment healing circles, and ceremonies with women.
Lotus and Friends
Lotus and Friends are comprised of frame drummers from Asheville and the Southeast who have studied extensively with Layne Redmond, author of When The Drummers Were Women. Lotus is dedicated to continuing her work in carrying on the centuries-old tradition of incorporating the ancient power of the frame drum as played by women in ceremonies and ritual.
Drummers include: Shelli SuZanne Stanback, Trish DeGroot, Dorothy Rogers, Suzanne Tannehill, Jane Snyder, Susun Shoshana Slatky, Gina Roberts, Kathryn, Macomber Aalfs, Lynda Letourneau, Ruby Jewel and Linda Metzner.
Mizilca is a multi-dimensional artist, performer and dancing priestess. She specializes in her own fusion form of dance --"Transformational Bellydance"-- integrating Middle Eastern bellydance with Indian temple dance, yoga, and tai chi. She teaches dance classes in Asheville and travels to teach workshops and facilitate rituals and retreats.
Saturday's Evening Entertainment
LYLAS (an acronym which stands for "Love Ya Like A Sis" and is commonly found scrawled in yearbooks or texted between phones) is Asheville's first all-female sketch comedy troupe. Collaborators include Karri Brantley, Jenny Bunn, Sarah Carpenter, Emily Miller, Betsy Puckett, Robin Raines and Marissa Williams. LYLAS has consistently sold out performances for all of their past shows, recently opened for Henry Cho at The Orange Peel, and frequently has standing room only crowds.
Meet the sassy cowgirls of The Buckerettes: Robin Cape, bass and vocals; Deb Criss, guitar and vocals; and Roberta Greenspan, Fiddle and vocals. This Asheville trio has been inspiring listeners and dancers throughout the region. But don't let their name and honky-tonking, foot-stomping vibe fool you; sultry harmonies and lilting instrumentation characterize The Buckerettes' sound, infused with the strong traditionalism of the Blue Ridge Mountains they call home.
A North Carolina native, Sue Ford is a singer-songwriter-multi instrumentalist. Her musical childhood was rich with choir, band and classical piano study. At ASU, Sue received a degree in biology and became a folkie. She has performed with Singing River, Womansong and Sue Ford & the Extremes. Sue was assistant director of Womansong and released a CD of original music, The Water is Fine, and other recordings with Womansong and the EMBE Marimba Band. She is now director of the EMBE Marimba Band at Evergreen Community Charter School in Asheville.
Wild Bodema and Chix with Stix
Wild Bodema means women who drum and these women can really drum! They play traditional West African rhythms on a variety of drums & percussion instruments.
Drummers include: Ann Lovell, Sue Ellen Myers, Jeanette Fisher, Linda McCrea, Lisa Wolfe, Sadhvi Velasquez, Patty Levesque, Linda Hunt, Betsy Anderson, Diana Cierce, Dana Claire, Suzanne Tannehill, Julie Profita and Chris Rich
Chix with Stix are a group of women who dance & drum - at the same time!
Dancers/Drummers include: Jessie Lehmann, Sarah Yancey, Jessica Telfair, Emily Muscarella, Lisa Wolfe, Ash Devine, Breana Ledford, Lara Narayoni
This Asheville group of percussionists produces a high-energy sound that will make you want to get up and dance.
Mary Davis is a familiar face and voice in the Asheville singer/songwriter circle, having performed locally at numerous venues and events over the last 25 years, but her travels as a performer have taken her as far as Eastern Europe and Greece. Nationally and internationally she is well loved for her spiritually oriented and emotionally authentic lyrics, and the pure, bell-like quality of her voice. She has been described as a "gifted songwriter with a rare talent" and "a voice that speaks the language of the soul", by such renowned musicians as country recording artist, Dan Seals; Jazz musician, Marvin "Doc" Holladay; and Disney recording "Parents Choice" favorite, Red Grammer. Mary has produced four albums of her own locally in the last 25 years and is now working on her fifth scheduled to be released this fall. She will be joined by her daughters Emma and Bonnie, both of whom appear on the upcoming album.
Annelinde Metzner is a poet and composer whose artistic mission is women's empowerment. She has set to music the works of many women poets, including her own. Locally she has produced and directed concerts of her own and other women's work, including "The Mountain Moving Day" in 2002 and "The Abundance of Mary" in 2006. Annelinde founded the community choral group Womansong in 1987, as well as its charitable fund for local women who are starting anew, the New Start Fund. She currently is an improvising musician for Asheville Playback Theatre and teaches music at Artspace Charter School.
Sunday's Closing Ceremony
Womansong of Asheville is this region's oldest and largest women's chorus. It is led by Director, Debbie Nordeen and Assistant Director, Althea Gonzalez. Womansong is open to all women who love to sing! Our music spans an array of themes as we celebrate woman's lives - empowerment, spirituality, our relationship with the Earth, healing, and humor. Many songs are original pieces composed by members of our group.
Womansong is committed to celebrating and encouraging unity, diversity, empowerment and social change through music as well as through our New Start Program. Program funds provide assistance for women who are in transition and beginning a new path in their lives. For 20 years, Womansong has lifted her collective voice to benefit charitable causes and to celebrate the spirit of humankind. Womansong's efforts are founded in the common spirit of women working and singing together.
Exhibit Hall Performers
More information coming soon!