Celebrate women’s art!

Today marks the 100th annual  “International Women’s Day” — which celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women.

It’s a lovely excuse to pause for a moment (or more) to reflect on the role of women in our personal and collective histories — and to enjoy an online collection of artworks by women from around the globe.

The “Global IWD Arts Initiative” features works by diverse women who aim to “inspire, challenge, entertain and provoke thought from a gender angle.”

Click here to enjoy some of their paintings, sculpture, photographs, drawings, sketches, collages and more — as well as stories written by women with diverse voices.

“International Women’s Day” is also a perfect reminder that women artists in our own neighborhoods and local communitiesare are doing remarkable things — and deserve our support.

The Arizona Women’s Theatre Company presents their 5th annual “Pandora Festival” May 20-22 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts — for which auditions are being held Sat, April 9, from 1-5:30pm.

The festival is focused on new works — which are presented as “staged readings.” This year’s festival will be the first to include the works of women playwrights within and outside of Arizona.

Arizona Women’s Theatre Company describes itself as “the only theatre in Arizona to focus on women playwrights and directors.” They specialize is producing “contemporary, provocative, thought-provoking plays written by women.”

But what about those among us who dream of dramaturgy? The Arizona Women’s Theatre Company presents a dramaturgy workshop as part of this year’s fastival. “Developing New Plays-Dramaturgy: Its Meaning and Uses” takes place Sat, April 30, from 1-4:30pm in Scottsdale.

The workshop will be led by Laurie Brooks, an award-winning playwright and fiction author — and is open to “invited playwrights, directors and actors involved in the festival.”

I’m intrigued by not only her young adult title, “Selkie Girl,” but also the names of several of her plays — including “Everyday Heroes,” “The Lost Ones, “Atypical Boy,” and “Brave No World.”

I saw the Arizona School for the Arts theatre arts department perform Brooks’ “The Wrestling Season” several years ago, and will be enjoying Brooks’ work again as ASA students present her play titled “Triangle” April 29-May 1 at the Phoenix Theatre Little Theatre.

We all work our art in different ways. Still, there’s one thing many of us have in common — an abiding gratitude for the many women who connect us to the past, enrich us in the present, and pull us forward towards the future.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to learn more about an independent film titled “Pushing the Elephant,” which airs later this month on PBS as part of its “Independent Lens” series. The film follows Rose Mapendo, a mother of 10 who escaped from the Democratic Republic of Congo during the late 1990s. Click here for information on screenings in Tucson and other cities.

Coming up: Seeing red in Arizona, Immigration takes the stage

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