Wild & Precious Arts Festival
Select Locations (Old Town Hall, Nini's Ristorante, Luthier's Co-op, and others, Easthampton, MA 01027)
The Wild & Precious Arts Festival brings two joyous days of lively musical performances, art exhibitions, and street parades to the city of Easthampton. The festival, running from May 27 to 28, celebrates the creative work of women over 50, including poetry, installation, cabaret, gospel music, a visual exhibit, and a dance band. Easthampton’s unique locations such as Luthier’s Co-op, Galaxy, Marigold Theater, the Blue Room at CitySpace, Elusie Gallery, Easthampton Congregational Church and Nini’s Ristorante are but a few of the participating venues.
Ellen Cogen, Professor of Music at Holyoke Community College and Music Director at The Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence, is the festival’s creator. Not only is she an organizer and idea maker, she will also accompany the cabaret performers and is the pianist and one of the singers in the gospel group Giving Voice. “To society, as women age, they become less visible and valued, although as older artists, many of us feel that we are just starting to reach our full creative potential. This festival is designed to give these women artists the spotlight they deserve and an opportunity for folks of all ages and genders to enjoy their works and celebrate their unique talents.” She adds that she hopes “everyone experiences joy, delight, thoughtfulness, and wonder.”
“Featuring women musicians over 50 showcases the years of performing plus the passion that these divas bring,” says Mary Witt, a local visual artist and the accomplished band leader of The O-Tones. Along with her work organizing the festival, she performs with the Dance Band and Giving Voice, and her art will be on display in the Elusie Gallery. On the mission of the festival, she says, “From young girls to women of any age, these [events] will show how passionate and dedicated older women artists evolve over time.”