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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Resistance songs highlight Artemis Singers "Rise Up" Concert Jan. 13
From a press release
2018-01-11

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EVANSTON, Ill. Artemis Singers, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will present "Rise Up," a call-to-action concert of progressive, energizing music, with guest artist Melanie DeMore and students from Evanston Township High School ( ETHS ) at 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, at ETHS, 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston, Ill.

DeMore, an Oakland, California vocal activist and choral conductor, will also lead a vocal music workshop, Using Your Voice for Change, at ETHS, Jan. 13, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Open to the public, the workshop will show people how they can use their voices to express themselves. Singer-songwriter DeMore has performed on stage with Pete Seeger, Odetta, Richie Havens, Judy Collins and Laura Nyro, among others.

Artemis Singers "Rise Up" concert program features songs which identify inequities in society and offer solutions.

"We will sing about problems facing our country, our city and our planet, and encourage people to make changes," said Loraine Edwalds, "Rise Up" concert co-artistic director. "Don't just 'hope,' resist. Hoping for change implies we're without power, we're afraid or we're just waiting. No, for this concert, we want to define what we're up against and then start fighting it."

Edwalds is encouraged by the political tsunami unleashed by the November 2016 election results.

"To end marginalization and inequality," said Karen Mooney, co-artistic direcor, "we must be courageous enough to question the laws and traditions that created disparity in education, in housing and in wages. Only when we take courage and act to force that change will there finally be justice for those who have been 'other,' for those who have, all these years, stood outside the circle of power."

Mooney noted that it is no longer enough to be "safe," to want Safe Space. "These times call for more than safety," she said. "These times call for bravery, for Brave Space. We can, and must, do something about the problems of the world."

The 35-member Artemis Singers specializes in performing music written or arranged by women. The chorus takes its name from the Greek goddess Artemis, who is a symbol of independence among lesbian feminists.

"Rise Up" concert tickets are a suggested donation of $20 in advance for adults; $25 at the door. For seniors age 65 and older; students; and children 12 and younger, tickets are a suggested donation of $15, with ID, in advance or at the door.

Workshop tickets must be reserved by Jan. 6, 2018. Suggested donation for Using Your Voice for Change is $25 for adults; $20 for seniors and students with ID. Lunch is provided during the workshop. Minimum age for workshop is 13 years.

Combined concert and workshop tickets are a suggested donation of $40 in advance for adults; $30 for seniors and students with ID. Visit www.riseup2018.brownpapertickets.com for tickets.

The "Rise Up" concert will be held in the ETHS Upstairs Theater. The Using Your Voice for Change workshop will be held in Room A252, located one floor directly below the theater.

Parking is available in ETHS parking Lot 2, located on the west side of the building. People should enter the building at Door #2 on the west side. Both concert and workshop are accessible.

Mooney said Artemis Singers will present progressive, empowering songs such as "Fired Up," "Song of Choice" and "The Women Gather."

"We can't let the political climate of today wear us out," said Mooney, noting Holly Near's "Fired Up" song lyrics. "Fired up, ain't gonna take it no more...

Children need schools more than they need jails,

That's where our society fails

First seven years creates the child's foundation,

Mandatory for a healthy nation..."

Mooney noted the poignant lyrics in Carole Maillard's "The Women Gather" song.

"The women gather crying tears that fill a million oceans...

People say, 'Not in this neighborhood

It doesn't happen here

Our kids have everything

What do we have to fear?'

But what about the ones who say, 'This happens every day

Drugs and violence take our children

How much more death can come our way?'"

On the humorous side, the program features a spoof on Rodgers & Hammerstein's 1951 classic, "Getting to Know You," in which the lyrics change to "We're here to control you, Here to control all about you..."

Founded in 1980, 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.

Inducted into the City of Chicago's Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2008, Artemis Singers has been a mainstay in lesbian feminist cultural life. 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' first CD commemorates its 25th anniversary.

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 production, choreography, artistic direction, stage management and vocal instruction.

For more information about the concert and workshop, email info@artemissingers.org or call ( 773 ) 764-4465. Artemis Singers is on Twitter and Facebook. www.artemissingers.org .


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