"Women Speak" Celebrates Stories, Songs Of Southeast Ohio Women

Bryan Gibson

Updated Wed, Mar 13, 2013 3:54 pm
Photo Credit: 
Women of Appalachia Project
Megan Wormz Bihn

This Friday, ARTS/West will host an evening of spoken artistry with the 5th annual "Women Speak," presented by the Women of Appalachia project.

The event features the original stories, poetry and songs of Southeast Ohio women.

The project encourages area women of diverse backgrounds, ages and experiences to come together, embrace stereotypes and show the whole woman beyond superficial factors.

Women of Appalachia Project founder/curator Kari Gunter-Seymour was raised in Southeast Ohio and is grateful for that experience.

"I was so lucky to have had a number of people who offered me support and opportunity to grow," she said. "The Women of Appalachia Project is my way of paying forward, or giving back, however you might say it. 'Women Speak' offers a platform from which local women artists can share their work with each other and the community, in an environment that encourages and supports each and all, from the first time reader to the very experienced."

This year’s event will highlight the work of over a dozen writers, musicians and performers from Athens, Meigs and Hocking counties. Several new performers have joined the project this season, including songwriter Megan Wormz Bihn, poets Ellie Andrews and Sue Zano and storytellers Kim Jordan and Becky Banasiak Code. A spoken piece by The Sisters in Recovery Collection will also be featured.

"Each year I think that it cannot possibly get any better, be any more honest or thought-provoking," said Gunter-Seymour. "Then every year, as more and more women add their voices, I realize that there is more happening here than the event itself. It's an awakening of spirits and talent from an amazing group of women and a tremendous outpour of support from a community like no other."

Presentations will begin at 6 p.m., with a reception to follow. Donations in support of ARTS/West will be accepted at the door, but are not required. For more information about "Women Speak," visit www.womenofappalachia.net.