Ladyfest, an arts and cultural women’s empowerment, LGBTQ Festival, is back for its second year! It will take place September 15-17 in multiple locations in and around Downtown Flint with an extended schedule and more programs. “We decided to focus on offering more variety to showcase the microcosm of Flint strength, skills and talent across disciplines including the arts, music and more,” says Project Director Nadia Alamah in a press statement. “The team this year has worked tirelessly out of their belief in the amazing wonders our community can create.”
Ladyfest Flint kicks off with workshops at Buckham Gallery on Friday, followed by music at Flint Local 432. On Saturday, a vendors’ market will take place at Factory Two, with workshops from 2-6pm, followed by music at Churchill’s Food and Spirits. The event concludes on Sunday, with a Flint water crisis activists panel and music at Flint Local 432. Entertainment will be provided by Jenn McMillan, Katie Stanley Band and LUNAR. An art exhibition, “Vulnerability,” will showcase 13 Flint-area women and LGBTQ+ artists and will be available for viewing at the recently renovated Ferris Building. “Flint has always been a place with a rich arts community and I think our challenge as artists and community members is to continue to foster the development of this artistic community and see what new ways the arts can manifest themselves and continue to benefit Flint’s revitalization,” says LFF Art Coordinator Janice McCoy.
To increase its variety, LadyFest will host four workshops, all of which encompass different areas and disciplines —from Interior Decorating Basics and Bike Maintenance, to MetaAwareness Meditation and Creative Entrepreneurship Tips, “We wanted to ensure that there’s something out there for everyone to enjoy or benefit from,” Alamah adds. “Workshops build community through skill-building and collaborative learning.”
A Flint-based writer will also tell her story as an international student about how moving to Flint has shaped her writing experiences, and a Flint water crisis panel will take place on Sunday, where local activists talk about their efforts and have a community dialogue about necessary change. “Bringing people together to celebrate arts and culture within the Flint community has been very rewarding and exciting,” says McCoy says. “LadyFest is about making the arts accessible to the Flint community and to provide opportunities for artists who are women or interested in women’s issues to showcase their art. Accessibility is key, both accessibility for the general public to view and participate in culture spaces and accessibility to artists to be able to participate in those cultural spaces as makers and sharers.”
“I’m really excited to see everything come
together this year and see it grow,”
Designer Carly Aldridge adds. “Everything that LadyFest stands for is something I want be a part of and help grow in our community.”
The event made possible by a contribution from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural
Affairs New Leaders Grant; the Community Sponsorship Grant from the University of Michigan-Flint; and funding from Red Ink Flint.