Saturday, February 16, 2013

Celebrate International Womens Day in Newcastle

International Women's Day is a day to recognise and rejoice in the contributions, achievements, aspirations and visions of women around the world. Globally, it celebrates women in all spheres of achievement both current and past, leaving aside all divisions of any nature - age, economic, political, nationality, ethnicity, cultural, religious. It happens on the 8th March each year and in some places extends over a number of days.
In past years in Newcastle, the day was celebrated with marches, parades, rallies, and music festivals.  However, over recent years it's lost impetus and although still celebrated by individual women's organisations, it has ceased to be a true community event with access for all women.   I wanted that to change this year.  I decided to organise an evening variety concert at the Royal Exchange Theatre [my favourite venue] but also wanted to take the celebration into the community. 
After submitting a proposal and subsequent discussion with local business group Newcastle NOW, they engaged with the Darby Street traders and a number of them were enthusiastic about getting an event happening.  Consequently we have a 'pilot' event happening this year which - if well supported - could become a large scale event next year.    
Here's the program for the day:

 8-10am ...An Arts Breakfast in the Darby Street Cafe precinct - with live performers rotating in @15 minute performances between 5 participating cafes;  They are *Zinc  *Longbench *The Depot *Cafe 88 and *Coco Monde.    Performers are:    *Sonya Manzalini - one of Newcastle's finest Belly Dancers performing solo *Ann Caddey - who runs the Drawing Room in Newcastle, will be drawing and storytelling  *Gleny Rae - one of the finest fiddlers around, will be doing some instrumental tunes  *Sharon Allen Actress and musical comedienne, with a one-woman act and song  and finally *Maureen O'Brien [oh wait, that's me!] singer/songwriter who will be sharing some good women's songs both original and covers. 

 11am – 2pm ...A garden event at the YWCA in Dawson Street, Cooks Hill [the street behind the hotel in Darby Street]...myself and Anousha Victoire will be delivering music throughout the day which will also include an Art stalls, Wine and Cheese Tasting/s, face painting and other activities for the kiddles, belly dancing and other demonstrations.   The event will conclude with a Big Sing led by Anousha and I, in which everyone is encouraged to join in and sing along.  

8pm...A Variety Concert at the Royal Exchange Salon Theatre, 32-34 Bolton Street Newcastle, featuring a number of local women performers including *Dani Graczyk *Limerick Kaye  *Phoebe Carter-Swain  *Heart of Erin  *Two Piece Sweet  *Anousha Victoire  *Catherine Knight  ...and more to be confirmed.  The night will be a mixture of song, music, story, dance, poetry.  Tickets are just $12 at the door and children are free.
  • This is a day to celebrate womanhood by all women - and the men who support the women in their life - hope to see you at something on the day.

Late Edition/s
Just announced that the Newcastle Art Gallery will be exhibiting the work of 5 women artists with the gallery director giving a talk about the works at 11am on International Women's Day ....this is a free event
Jean Bas will be in store all day, offering impartial advice and expertise on fashion challenges
Whitakers Jewellers is offering free jewellry cleaning in store and a generous discounts on purchases
Coco Monde is also offering their High Tea experience all day - but bookings are essential   

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Busy, Blurred, and Blessed

Gosh we're well into 2013 and it's become a blur already!

Juggling a number of large projects including * the new musical for Novocastian Players and *a day of events for International Womens Day,;  my *Irish Show, *upcoming gigs,  now coaching *3 community chorus groups, working up a* duo with Kathy Clarke and a *duo with Anousha Victoire, singing in a new *Improv group .....and its no wonder I'm just plain dizzy some days. It's scary when you start singing one song and finish another ...what th' ?!?  Sometimes I've got to look in the mirror to check which hat I'm wearing.

But most days I just can't believe how blessed I am to be inhabiting a world of creativity, to be surrounded by like-minded folk, to be the blessed recipient of Divine Inspiration, to have the opportunity to share my gifts with many more people, to have the ability to inspire others, and - through others - to make a difference to my community.

I'm guessing this round peg has finally found her way to a round hole.  Hallelujah!  And it only took one lifetime.  Lucky, huh?