Before the NWHP, even the concept of women's history was unheard of. Throughout the 1970s the group worked hard to promote the study and recognition of women's unique place in the historical record. With this study comes the inevitable scrutiny of the word "history" itself and in this era that has witnessed Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, most people can break it down to read "his story." During the cultural revolution referred to as Women's Liberation, the term "HERstory" was coined to refer to the study of the past in which women play more than a wifely role. This year the NWHP has chosen the theme of "Women's Art: Women's Vision." Women chosen to be honorees by the organization include painters, sculptors and printmakers.
This is all well and good, you're thinking, but what does any of this have to do with arts and culture? A lot as it turns out. The Women's Resource Center of Central Oregon has organized a celebration of Women's History Month for more than four years, and has included in its myriad of events an evening of entertainment by women for everyone. The past HERstory events have been memorable with performances ranging from short poems to epic monologues, solo singers to full bands, and of course the dancing. About the only thing that has remained consistent is the wide range of talent.
This year's HERstory event takes place on Wednesday, March 5 at Silver Moon Brewery Co. While the last two have been organized by and benefited KPOV, the Human Dignity Coalition is in charge (and is beneficiary of the event) this time and as with all HDC events, it's sure to be memorable. This year's open mic format invites all women who are interested in getting onstage. A few acts have already been slated, including local musical favorites Shireen Amini and Aimee Rosa, along with HDC director/songstress Jenni Peskin.
Two years ago, the Mariposa Bellydance performance featuring two very pregnant mamas was a major highlight - until last year when the same ladies returned to the stage with their babies strapped to their bellies. While the kids are probably too big now to wear for a dance this time around, Leah Napoli and the Bijou Project will again satisfy our need for bellydance - an ancient art form that may be the best celebration of women's bodies out there.
If there are still women out there who would like to show off their talents at the celebration, it's not too late. Any woman wishing to perform can contact Jenni Peskin at email@example.com or call 385-3320. Come on ... you know you want to do it. And to answer the question a good faction of our readership has been wondering throughout this piece, YES men are, of course, welcome to attend HERstory.
7pm Wednesday March 5. Silver Moon Brewing Co., 24 NW Greenwood Ave. $5 - performers get in free.