Women’s History Month: Highlighting Women in the Visual & Performing Arts

Today is International Women’s Day, and the start of Women’s History Month, so here are some local events that highlight women in the visual & performing arts!

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Throughout March, women musicians and artists are the focus of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Friday Nights recurring after-hours events. Performers include Philly singer-songwriter Birdie Busch (Friday, March 15), jazz vocalist Denise King (Friday, March 22) and the multinational collective LADAMA (Friday, March 29).


Philadelphia Photo Arts Center

The culminating exhibition of the Women’s Mobile Museum, a year-long artistic collaboration between South African photographers Zanele Muholi and Lindeka Qampi, and 10 local female artists, is on display at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center through Saturday, March 30. The works featured contemplate the question “Who is art for?” and explore representation in art. Pieces from the Women’s Mobile Museum are also on display at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts through Sunday, March 31.


International Womxn’s Day at Asian Arts Initiative

Attendees celebrate the potential of an inclusive international women’s movement at this event at the Asian Arts Initiative, where artists and advocacy groups come together to create a safe, caring space for women, trans and non-binary people. The evening includes an opening reception with food from LALO Philly, tarot readings, creative writing activities, a “Path to Home Ownership” workshop, performances and a queer dance social. Tickets are $15 to $20 but no one will be turned away if they don’t have the means to pay for a ticket.

When: Friday, March 8, 6-11 p.m.
Where: Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine Street
Cost: $15-$20

The Women’s Film Festival in Philadelphia

The Women’s Film Festival aims to inspire, celebrate and unite women working in the film and entertainment industry. Films made by women and about women are screened throughout the nine-day-long festival, which opens on Thursday, March 14 with This Changes Everything, a documentary that examines the systemic gender bias and discrimination against women within the entertainment industry and outside of it. The film features interviews with prominent actresses and women filmmakers like Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Oh, Rosario Dawson and Shonda Rhimes.

Nina Simone: Four Women at People’s Light

Through March 31, 2019 (select days)

A new play at People’s Light in Malvern visualizes a happenstance meeting between three women and iconic singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone at the site of the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing. Inspired by Simone’s song Four Women, the musical work explores racial discrimination and Black womanhood.

BTF Philly – The Bechdel Test Fest

BTF Philly returns for the fourth year to promote local women and non-binary comedians. Audiences can enjoy improv, standup, burlesque, sketch and more types of performances at the festival at venues like Franky Bradley’s and World Cafe Live. March 7-9, 2019

Where: Various locations including World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street

Welcome The Stranger at the National Liberty Museum

Reception: Friday, March 8, 2019, 6-8:30 p.m.
Exhibition: March 9 – June 9, 2019

Welcome The Stranger, a new exhibit by artist Micaela Amateau Amato, features cast glass, mixed media and ceramic pieces depicting historical and modern-day figures who overcame injustice. The works profile Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Harriet Tubman, Malala Yousafzai and more. Visitors can celebrate International Women’s Day, meet the artist and get a first peek at the exhibit on Friday, March 8 during an opening reception.

Where: National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut Street




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