The festival's second year features a mix of music, comedy, dance, and poetry by women artists. Info/tix
The inaugural LunArt Festival in 2018 comprised a series of performances, talks, and workshops that focused heavily on elevating women in the arts, and particularly contemporary women composers. That's still a big part of the focus in the 2019 lineup, which features versatile flautist and composer Valerie Coleman serving as composer-in-residence, presenting new works (alongside those of other composers who submitted new work to the festival) in a June 6 concert at the Maiahaus Project Space at 402 E. Mifflin St. and taking part in a June 8 panel discussion at the Madison Public Library's Bubbler space, among other activities. But LunArt also branches out a bit this year to shed extra light on comedy, dance, and poetry. Stand-ups including Vickie Lynn, Cynthia Marie, and headliner Chastity Washington will perform what promises to be a varied night of stand-up comedy on June 7 at Robinia Courtyard, and perhaps just including this show in the LunArt lineup will help a broader audience discover the strengths of Wisconsin's stand-up scene. The festival is also partnering with the Women Against Hate group art exhibition at the Overture Center, and the fest closes with a June 9 poetry reading at Common Ground in Middleton.
One of the most intriguing programs in the lineup is the "Portraits Of Josephine" concert on June 7 at Overture Center's Promenade Hall. Building off the compositions Coleman has created over the years about the life of Josephine Baker, "Portraits" will also feature work from four other composers and two dancer/choreographers, including Edna Alejandra Longoria's "Danzas Cautivas" for string quintet and piano. The musicians performing that night will include some versatile players in Madison's classical, jazz, and avant-garde music circles, like pianists Satoko Hayami and Vincent Fuh, and cellist Mark Bridges. There's still more new music to be heard in a June 8 "emerging composers concert" at Capitol Lakes, which covers work from six women composers who have been workshopping their pieces with Coleman and the other musicians participating in the festival. Some of LunArt's events are free and some art ticketed, so be sure to browse the full schedule. —Scott Gordon