The Athena Project has an inspiring effect on the people and artists who get involved with the annual festival. Just ask Dominique Flores, the events coordinator with Athena. “I started as an …
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WHAT: Athena Project festival
WHEN: March 3 - 31
COST: Free to $50
Girls Create Summer Camp Showcase
Date: Saturday, March 3, at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Location: Community College of Denver Black Box inside The King Center, 855 Lawrence Way, Denver
Tickets: Free but reservations required
Weekend of Music including Cross Pollinations
Dates: Thursday, March 8, at 7 p.m. — Open mic in the Quinlan Cafe
Friday, March 9, at 8 p.m. — Cross Pollinations in the Tufts Theater
Saturday, March 10, at 8 p.m. — Concert with Megan Burtt and special guest Nina de Freitas in the Tufts Theater
Location: Quinlan Cafe and Tufts Theater at Swallow Hill Music, 71 E. Yale Ave., Denver
Tickets: Open Mic is free. Cross Pollinations and concert are $14 for Swallow Hill members, $16 in advance or $18 at the door.
Evening of World Dance
Date: Saturday, March 17, at 8 p.m.
Location: CU Eugenia Rawls-Courtyard Theatre inside The King Center, 855 Lawrence Way, Denver
Tickets: $20 for adults, $18 for students/seniors/military discount
Master Dance Classes and Panel Discussion
Samba, modern and contact Improvisations classes followed by a panel discussion
Date: Sunday, March 18, from 3 to 6 p.m.
2018 Plays In Progress Series
Dates: Friday, March 23, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 31, at 2 p.m. is “The Buddha’s Wife” by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin
Saturday, March 24, at 2 p.m. and Saturday, March 31, at 7 p.m. is “Mama’s Eggnog” by Angela Stern
Saturday, March 24, at 7 p.m. and Friday, March 30, at 7 p.m. is “The Golden Hour” by Elizabeth Nelson
Saturday, March 24, at 5 p.m. panel discussion
Saturday, March 31, at 5 p.m. panel with playwrights and Dramatists Guild members
Location: The Black Box Theatre at Johnson-McFarlane Hall at University of Denver, 1903 E. Iliff Ave., Denver
Tickets: Individual and package tickets starting at $13 and $20 for one class and $50 for all three classes
The Inside Child by Claire Caviglia
Date: Thursday, March 22, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $5 suggested donation
Strong Face by Philana Omorotionmwan
Date: Thursday, March 29, at 7 p.m.
Tickets: $8 suggested donation
New play development and the process of generating stories for the stage panel discussions
Date: Saturdays, March 24 and 31, at 5 p.m.
Tickets: Free but reservations encouraged
Tickets and donations for all events can be made at www.AthenaProjectArts.org.
The Athena Project has an inspiring effect on the people and artists who get involved with the annual festival.
Just ask Dominique Flores, the events coordinator with Athena.
“I started as an actress, but now in this role, I help to feed and help the artists with whatever they need,” she said. “I’m now also a mentor in our Girls Create Program, where I get to work with the next generation of women creators.”
SuCh, a Denver-based soul singer, who first performed as part of the festival in 2014, has also taken on new challenges since then.
“This year, I’m going to be a part of Cross Pollinations, where I’ll be paired with another artist I’ve never met before, and we’ll have 12 hours to present a new work of art,” she said. “You can’t really plan for it, and that’s really exciting.”
Since its creation in 2012, the Athena Project has not only focused on celebrating and making spaces for artistic women in the metro area, but it also has encouraged these performers to grow and tackle new challenges, styles and mediums.
“The original goal was to celebrate women artists, especially because women are so underrepresented in the arts world,” said Angela Astle, Athena Project’s founder and executive producer. “A lot of people don’t think it’s that way, because they see women performers a lot. But behind the scenes, it’s not that way. So we wanted to create a space where women can share their stories.”
This year’s festival runs from March 3-31 and features the artistic talents of women and girls in theatre, dance and music. Events include a weekend of music at Swallow Hill, the music production and concert venue organization; world dance, the Girls Create Celebration, Plays In Progress Series, panel discussions and workshops.
“This year, we wanted our programming to be more rounded out, and to offer more for audiences,” Astle said. “Our goal with each discipline is to fill a niche and expand what we can do in the discipline.”
The Cross Pollinations program is new this year. As SuCh explained, it will feature a musician paired with a playwright, dancer, visual artist or spoken word artist, and at the end of 12 hours each pair will present a live original work of art around the theme of Fierce Women Thriving.
Other highlights from the month include an open mic night for female singers and songwriters, a concert headlined by Megan Burtt, who was named the 2015 Best Singer/Songwriter by the Westword Music Awards and has toured nationally and abroad with acts like Gregory Alan Isakov, Mark Cohen, and Lissie, and emerging artist Nina de Freitas, a Brazilian-born musician and daughter of Academy Award nominee Carlinhos Brown.
And all ages get in on the creativity, with a showcase of plays created by middle school girls during the project’s Girls Create summer camp.
This gives these students a chance to see their work as a live performance with actors on stage and a director. On the same day, the girls who participated in the fashion design and visual arts camps will have their creations highlighted in a runway style fashion show and gallery show.
“It’s so amazing to see what these young girls are able to come up with, and the stories they’re able to tell,” said Flores, who will work with these young creators. “We want these girls to know they can do anything.”
Flores and SuCh encourage people to attend events on multiple weekends, especially since there will be such a variety throughout the month. Children and students are particularly encouraged to see what Athena has to offer.
“I didn’t go into music until I was an adult, even though I always knew music was my thing,” SuCh said. “Who knows? If I had been exposed to more music and art earlier, I might’ve started younger.”
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