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.