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Artemis Singers March 3 Sheroes concert to celebrate women heroes
2019-01-23

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CHICAGO—Artemis Singers, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will present "Sheroes," a concert of songs and stories of strong women at 4 p.m., Sunday, March 3, at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago, in honor of Women's History Month.

"Sheroes" will showcase women who made a difference, who stood up to power and moved the people and world around them, according to Katy Clusen, concert co-artistic director. "These women had a powerful impact in our lives," she said.

The nonprofit Artemis Singers specializes in performing music written or arranged by women.

"We are celebrating famous women, current and historic, plus women leaders of our community and personal role models in our family," said Hilary Marsh, co-artistic director of "Sheroes."

On the March 3 program are songs honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman and Joan of Arc. Eleanor Roosevelt's quotes and written letters form the lyrics of "The Beauty of Your Dreams," by Seattle composer Joan Szymko. The song includes Eleanor's inspirational message, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Believe in your dreams... Believe in the beauty of your dreams."

Artemis Singers will present the Chicago premiere of "Won't You Marry Me Ruth Bader Ginsburg?" by Ann Reed. "Girls and Airplanes," is Nashville composer Anne E. DeChant's tribute to World War II-era women breaking down barriers. The humorous "Big Butch Woman" by Martha Brown, "Common Woman" by Marla Beth Elliot and Reed's "Heroes" are also on the program.

The chorus will perform Bernice Johnson Reagon's song, "Fannie Lou Hamer," honoring the Mississippi sharecropper and civil rights activist.

"These women provide courage and strength," said Clusen, noting the "Sheroes" program features the full-chorus performing 12 songs; a small group ensemble playing one song; and two guest artists presenting their stories.

Guest artist Kru Maekdo will speak about her Chicago Black Lesbian photo archives exhibit on display.

Another featured speaker is Anna DeShawn, founder of E3 Radio, an online radio network that produces radio streams from a queer point of view. E3 Radio's streaming programs blend music and talk to educate, empower and entertain. DeShawn is president of the board of directors of Affinity Community Services ( Affinity ), a social justice organization.

"We had been socialized not to speak up," said Clusen. "We have all been through a lot."

Because of the #Metoo movement and because of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, the political becomes personal. "We need positive inspiration now," said Marsh. "We have to stay connected."

Audience members will have an opportunity during the performance to include their own "Sheroes," - naming women who have impacted their lives. Clusen said that "Sheroes" attendees are invited to send a photograph and caption identifying one's personal woman hero to pr@artemissingers.org by February 25 with "Sheroes" in the subject line. These will be incorporated into the "Sheroes" event.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $20 in advance; $25 at the door. Artemis Singers offers discounted tickets for students, seniors and children. These tickets are a suggested donation of $15 for children 12 and younger, students and seniors age 65 and older.

Visit oursheroes.brownpapertickets.com/ for tickets. "Sheroes" is accessible.

Email info@artemissingers.org to request March 3 "Sheroes" tickets be held at the door. For more information, call ( 773 ) 764-4465.

On Chicago's northwest side, the Irish American Heritage Center is close to the CTA Lawrence Avenue bus line as well as the CTA Blue Line's Montrose Avenue stop.

The Center is one block east of the Edens Expressway Wilson Avenue exit. Ample free parking is available in the Center's north ( accessible entrance ) and south parking lots. The "Sheroes" performance will be cabaret-style. The Irish American Heritage Center's Irish pub, the "Fifth Province," will be open March 3 from 3:30 p.m. through 7 p.m.

Artemis Singers is comprised of women with diverse backgrounds who are dedicated to effecting positive change in cultural attitudes toward women and women artists. Performances highlight historical, political and personal events common to women.

Founded in 1980, Artemis Singers has been a mainstay in lesbian feminist cultural life. The chorus takes its name from the Greek goddess Artemis, who is a symbol of independence among lesbian feminists. The chorus was inducted into the City of Chicago's Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2008. Audiences have seen Artemis Singers at the Chicago History Museum, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park ( Gay Games ), at Women & Children First bookstore and at numerous universities.

Artemis Singers will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020.

Artemis membership is open to all women singers. Artemis provides creative opportunities for women interested in all aspects of choral production: song writing and arranging, performance lighting, choreography, audio, artistic direction, stage management and vocal instruction.

Artemis Singers is at www.artemissingers.org and on Twitter and Facebook.

—From an Artemis Singers press release


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