Thank you for joining us for the 8th Annual W.H.A.M. Festival!
See you next year! Stay tuned at www.goddard.org/wham
Every March, during Women’s History Month, Goddard Riverside’s Community Arts program hosts an exciting month-long intersectional, intergenerational, and interdisciplinary performance arts festival where mixed audiences gather to celebrate local women’s creative leadership. Join us this year for W.H.A.M. 2023!
Now in its eighth year, the Women’s History Artist Month festival — W.H.A.M. — theme is the “9 Muses” where we recognize 9 women-led projects that propel us into a new dawn through the power of their unique vision. Re-framing the narratives that drive our society, our 9 selected contemporary artists will use their dynamic voices to inspire, heal, and encourage our community according to the particular logic of their authentic perspective.
The month of March will be a magical journey for all to witness, participate in, and be transported to the worlds built by the Muses, including a portal to the world of light and color: “POLYMNIA: Many Expressions of Joy,” the inclusive, affordable art sale open to all local women artists whose canvases, sketches, photos, etc. will be on view and for sale for the festival’s duration.
As the ancient Greeks were fond of honor, glory, and prizes, we invite you to track your journey in our Festival Passport Book and receive a stamp for each event you attend. Attendees with the most stamps will win VIP Tickets to Community Arts Program’s Season Events and be publicly crowned at our Closing Reception.
W.H.A.M. serves as Goddard Riverside Community Arts Program’s annual charitable fundraising drive that jointly supports our presented artists and the future of our programs, including PAC, the Performing Arts Conservatory summer program offering 100% tuition-free professional training in music, dance, and drama for young performers, noted by City Council Member Gale Brewer for its excellence and expanding of access to the arts for all families, regardless of financial status.
This year’s W.H.A.M. festival will be taking place at Goddard Riverside’s Bernie Wohl Center.
W.H.A.M. 2023 Calendar of Events
“POLYMNIA: Many Expressions of Joy,” the inclusive, affordable digital art market with local women artists whose canvases, sketches, photos, etc. are on display and for sale for the duration of the festival.
Opening Ceremony: “Plants That Heal,” Tea and Women’s Healing Circle w/ Indigenous Performance Artist, lisa nevada
Intimate embodied experience honoring the feminine to help balance out our world.
Inviting participants to open their senses to the healing powers of plant medicines. This event will activate the body by taking notice of the textures, smells, designs, and tastes of plants and herbs. “Our circle will slow down time and encourage openness of heart and body to our earth mother, to release what is no longer needed and reclaim the strengths of the feminine.”
9 Muses by Margaret Mendel
A public reception to celebrate the official WHAM exhibition: 9 Muses by Artist-in-Residence Margaret Mendel and live launch of POLYMNIA: Many Expressions of Joy, the digital pop-up art sale by local women artists. Unveiling the original hand-drawn watercolor portraits capturing moments from interviews with the creative leaders behind this year’s 9 selected performances.
“As A” by Qualah (Think Quality)
Comedic meta-monologue on finding your place and knowing your worth.
While grappling with her own identity, family and friends’ thoughts of her, her mother’s passing, and relationships, a middle-aged Trinidadian-American woman is preparing for her genuine, sometimes naive and optimistic one-woman show. Topics included: Motherhood/ They give babies to anybody, Relationship/ I should win an award, Coming of Age/ I hate it here, Denial/Shame/Guilt/ am I the only one dealing with this? Oh I am? Got it!, Survivor’s guilt/ Mommy I miss you, Accountability/Healing/ I’m a grown up now.
Affinity’s Wellness Concert
Wellness-themed dance and listening party with a live band featuring pop-up Salt Cave.
Up-and-coming Reggae/R&B/Hip-Hop Vocal Artist Affinity performs the hit new single “BIJA – Dum Day” (Bija is sanskrit for seed mantra) about “Believing in yourself when the world says: give up” along with a set of other original songs, featuring Special Guest. This event is also an opportunity to enter a salt cave and try out its healing properties for yourself.
“My mission is to cultivate a community of resources we can benefit from using the power of words and healing sounds in order to encourage development and growth.”
International Women in Jazz Showcase
The International Women in Jazz is committed to supporting women jazz artists and related professionals and fostering greater awareness of women’s diverse contributions to jazz worldwide. IWJ President Jacqueline Lennon presents a musical variety talent showcase of female-led jazz ensembles including noted vocalists and instrumentalists.
“Decompositions” by Tannis Kowalchuk of Farm Arts Collective
Solo performance with stories and animations of organic changes.
A successful organic farmer whose produce and flowers feed NYC weekly shares her insightful solo performance about biological life and its shadow: decay and decomposition. A visually striking set replete with vivid animations and shadow puppets plays host to an entertaining meditation on both soil and physical challenges like breast cancer, of which Tannis (recently crowned Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York’s Farmer of the Year) is a survivor. Her decade-long climate change epic has been recently featured in the NY Times.
“Secret City” by Paracademia
Immersive found object sculpture installation inhabited by sound and music.
Milica Paranosic is the creative genius behind the wholly un-classifiable multi-media installation of inventive miniature worlds inhabited by toy figures, musical robots, autonomous projections, VR headsets, whimsical QR codes, and adult beverages. “Secret City hosts all seasons at once. You, the visitor, you the citizen, choose your own season. Remember: there are always two (or more) sides to any story!” Non-linear narratives abound in this free-range musical/performance event designed to unleash your most playful self. Paracademia provides performance, education, and professional opportunities to immigrant women.
“She’ll stop denying, apologizing and sacrificing/ the Power within her head, her hand, her heart to WIN!/ ‘Cause it’s not far once she begins/ to wake up and declare/ All she needs/ It’s right there.”
“LOVE LETTER TO ME: Open Up Your Eyes” by Paula Ralph Birkett
Self-talk/self-care soul-jazz cabaret of original empowerment anthems; “How you perceive yourself is how you be yourself.”
LOVE LETTER TO ME: Open Up Your Eyes demonstrates what it really means to love yourself despite feelings of unworthiness and shame. Through humorous intimate stories, original songs, and spoken-word, Paula Ralph Birkett discovers the words of acceptance that reside in all of us but are so often hard to read. Her band including guitar, keyboards, and percussion brings these ideas to life, followed by a brief audience talkback after the show to discuss its themes.
Ida B. Wells Story Hour (For Kids & their Families) presented by writer & elementary educator Joyce Jacobs
interactive dramatization of the achievements of civil rights leader Ida B. Wells and other Black women political figures.
Geared at the K-4th grade age group, Joyce Jacobs (Graduate of BMCC, Fordham University M. Ed. MST, Columbia University) will use visual aids and original material to share the history of a very important African American female whose critical work as a teacher, journalist, activist, speaker, and suffragette helped earn women the right to vote.
RUTHLESS COMEDY HOUR from Karen Bergreen, Cynthia Kaplan & Cory Kahaney
A comedy variety show “for grownups with half an effing brain.”
In its 5th smash year, this event features top stand-up comedians, musicians, and celebrity interviews, and addresses social, political, and local concerns by making brutal fun of them. Bergreen is a veteran stand-up comedian and author of two acclaimed novels. Kaplan tours extensively with her comedy rock band, The Cynthia Kaplan Ordeal, and is the author of two just as acclaimed collections of humorous essays. Kahaney was a grand finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, has been on all the late-night shows and has had specials on Comedy Central and HBO.
“Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happily Ever After” by Liz Morgan
Multifaceted immersive theatre piece about immigrant rights with an advocacy engagement strategy. Directed by Maria Camia.
Liz Morgan is best known for her work “Why I was Late Today…” (Huffington Post). She is currently Waterwell’s 2023 New Works Lab Commissioned Playwright. Her original plays include Deliver: Letters to the Motherland from a Foreign Body (Kilroys Honorable Mention) and The Clark Doll which was featured at the Deep Water Literary Festival and nominated for a Drammy Award in the category of Best Original Script after its premiere. This workshop production will be presented with support from The Helen Gurley Brown Foundation’s BOLD Ventures Grant and the Broadway Advocacy Coalition.
Festival Closing Reception
As the ancient Greeks were fond of honor, glory, and prizes, we invite you to track your journey in our Festival Passport Book and receive a stamp for each event you attend. Attendees with the most stamps will win VIP Tickets to GRCAP Season Events and be publicly crowned at our Closing Reception.
With Light Refreshments!