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Madison FemFest

A Madison companion event to Milwaukee's Riverwest FemFest launches with a mix of music, visual art, and a workshop. Info

FemFest poster by T.L. Luke.

FemFest poster by T.L. Luke.

Milwaukee's week-long Riverwest FemFest began in 2015 to empower communities that have largely been excluded from creative spaces throughout history. In offering a platform for people of color, womxn, femmes, gender-nonconforming/non-binary/trans-identified persons, FemFest honors these groups' efforts to occupy and (re-)claim artistic spaces. While this year's Riverwest FemFest runs from May 26 to June 2, Ellie Jackson (one of the festival's co-founders) and Madison-based musician Rosalind Greiert (guitarist/singer for Heavy Looks and host of WSUM's The Effeminate Musique) have collaborated to present a one-night Madison edition of FemFest.

This year, the nascent festival will benefit Wilma's Fund, which assists homeless members of Dane County's LGBTQIA+ community, as it celebrates the vital role womxn play within the community. Madison FemFest will showcase the works of Emma Dehlinger, Malerie Lenz, and illustrator T.L. Luke, who designed the event's poster, while Charly Rowe will lead "A Catharsis Workshop For PTSD" to open the event. Following this presentation, Madison power-pop band According to What, which released its rollicking, twee-tinged Punk Songs To Hold Hands To EP in April, and the genre-bending multi-instrumentalist Ms. Lotus Fankh (pronounced "funk"), who recently completed a video for NPR's Tiny Desk Contest with Radio Milwaukee's help, will launch the event's musical portion before a new Madison band called Woke Up Crying performs. To conclude the festival's events, DJ Hitachii will spin records across various genres highlighting femme voices. —Shaun Soman