Women celebrate women

Published 9:29 pm Saturday, March 17, 2018

Women in Suffolk had a platform to engage, learn and create in celebration of Women’s History Month on Saturday at the North Suffolk Library.

Women’s Fest is meant to be a celebration of women, and the library accomplished that with multiple resources for the community, including a mammography van and speakers for a variety of topics.

“It’s important to network with women and have a conversation with them,” said Diana Ponder, owner of Simply Dee. “Networking is empowering, and we wouldn’t dare miss an opportunity to do that.”

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The festival featured vendors from all over the city, as well as women’s organizations. The National Organization of Women was present at the event as well.

NOW was collecting women’s hygiene products for their ongoing Go with the Flow initiative that supports women’s shelters and others who are in need of feminine hygiene products.

“In this climate, we have a lot of women who know that a lot can be done, but there are some that say we are already there,” said NOW member Sara MacDonald. “It’s important to have those discussions.”

Female artists were in abundance to showcase and talk about their artwork. Vivian Trainum came to the event as an opportunity to reach women with her art. Trainum upcycles old canvases and other things that can be found around the house.

This and That was also at the festival showcasing female artists’ work. This and That is a studio that currently partners with 36 artists, and a majority of the artists, 32, are women.

“It’s important for these women,” said Tracie Felgentreu. “A lot of our female artists are professionals and moms, and this is an opportunity to express themselves and decompress.”

Younger women also took the time to watch a self-defense demonstration. They had multiple time slots so that girls had the opportunity to test out their newly learned skills and improve their techniques.

While there were things to buy and learn, some women were just inspired because the event existed.

Amy Brunson, a library employee, was inspired by all of the female business owners present at the event.

“It’s inspiring to see female representation in the community,” Brunson said.

While things were wrapping up, an all-female band, The Storyweavers, were entertainment for those looking to relax. The band, composed of four women, is different from many local bands.

While musicians play the guitar and the bass and provide vocals, the fourth artist is an American Sign Language performance artist. This member of the band signs the music while the band plays, engaging the audience to represent the band’s sound.