Half the Sky Festival

Brooklyn Arts Council welcomes you to Half the Sky Festival, an exploration of gender and diaspora in Brooklyn women's traditional performance. The festival encompasses six weeks of concerts, panels and workshops featuring music, dance, narrative, verbal arts, urban performance and ritual traditions. The old Chinese proverb "women hold up half the sky" is a stepping off point for recognizing that despite the 50% statistic alluded to in the phrase, women's traditional performances are still often segregated and domesticated. In Brooklyn, the effects of diaspora have altered both the practice and meaning of some women's traditions.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

GENDER AND DIASPORA: CONFLICTS AND RESOLUTIONS
Saturday, April 21, 2-4pm, Panel; 4-6pm, Reception

KEEPING BOUNDARIES/BREAKING BARRIERS
Sunday, April 22, 2-4pm

THE SWEETEST SONG
Saturday, April 28, 4-6pm

THE HOME ALTAR AS EX-VOTO: LIVING WITH THE SACRED
Tuesday, May 8, 6-7:30pm

A WOMAN UPFRONT BENEFIT CONCERT & RECEPTION
Wednesday, May 9, 6:30pm, Reception; 7:30pm, Performance

HIGH STRUNG WOMEN
Thursday, May 10, 7:30-9:30pm

FOLK FEET FEMALES
Saturday, May 12, 7:30-9:30pm

BAY MAYN MAMES SHTIBELE: THE WOMEN'S ART OF YIDDISH FOLKSONG
Monday, May 14, 7-9:30pm

JAZZ WOMEN FUSING FORMS
Friday, May 18, 9-10:30pm

CINDERELLA IN THE ARAB WORLD
Thursday, May 31, 1-3pm

GIRLS HIT THE STREETS
Saturday, June 2, 7-8:30pm

WOMEN'S RITES & RITUALS: THE ART OF TRANSFORMATION
Sunday, June 3, 2:30-3pm, Mikvah (women's ritual pool) Tour; 3-5pm, Workshop

DRUM IT DOWN
Tuesday, June 5, 6-6:30pm, Drum Jam; 6:30-7:30pm, Demo/Workshop

CIRCLE, SHIMMY, SWAY
Saturday, June 9, 3-5pm

BACHELORETTE BASH
Sunday, June 10, 2:30-5pm


Featured in this video is Tamara Chernyakhovsky, a performer of traditional Ukrainian song and dance. Here, she shares a traditional Ukrainian women's wedding cry sung by a bridge before her marriage. Several important issues about gender and culture addressed in Half the Sky Festival are raised in Chernyakhovsky's recitation and explanation of the lyrics to this song. You may see Tamara Chernyakhovsky perform in Half the Sky Festival's 'Folk Feet Females' event on May 12, 7:30-9:30pm, and in 'Women's Rites & Rituals: The Art of Transformation' on June 3, 2:30-5pm.

Half the Sky Festival provides a unique opportunity to expand our concept of women's traditional performances in diaspora. It looks to the past and the future in celebrating and questioning what it means to be a woman performing culture. In Brooklyn, half the sky is filled with amazing women traditional artists we'd like you to know.

Download the Calendar

Calendar_LowRes.pdf

Half the Sky Festival is made possible, in part, by support from MetLife Foundation, Con Edison, the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust, Astoria Federal Savings, Mrs. Eleanor Archie, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the Brooklyn Delegations of the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and New York City Council and its Brooklyn Delegation. Media partner: WNYC Radio.