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Published: Monday, 12/31/2012

Lourdes U. festival seeks female artists, exhibitors

Festival to celebrate women's achievements

BY KELLY McLENDON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Seven years ago Lisa Binkowski, associate athletic director and director of recreation programs at Lourdes University, began thinking about a festival that would celebrate the accomplishments of women.

“I had noticed there's a lot of activity that goes on around the community for different themed months, but there didn’t seem to be a lot of activities honoring women's history month,” she said.

Ms. Binkowski proposed the festival idea and assembled a committee of 12.

Through its meetings, the WAVE (Women, Artists, Visionaries, Entrepreneurs) Festival developed. It is a juried exhibition and sale of crafts and artwork that invites female artists to the campus to sell their work. The 2013 event is scheduled for March 23.

Performance and musical acts are large parts of the event. Ms. Binkowski said some of the acts include male performers. “We’ve tried a lot of different things,” she said. “We’ve had poets in the past. It’s different every year. Last year we had a bell choir. We’ve had belly dancers.”

The festival has grown from 35 booths its first year to about 45 now. Any money raised above the expenses to put on the festival goes to a local charity for women. Admission to the festival is free.

In addition to artisans’ wares, elements of women’s history are infused through the day. A slideshow of historical and monumental events in the lives of women will be shown, and other media highlighting women are to be on display. Ms. Binkowski said she believes it is important to keep the festival low-cost for the women who want to participate. Holding the event at Lourdes also has a special tie to women.

“We were founded by women, by the Sisters of St. Francis,” she said of the university. “We were really the only female college ... We’re a very community-minded campus.”

Jewelry, pottery, fiber arts, and home décor will be available at the festival.

“We really try to do this community thing to support the talents of women in our community. That's what a big part of it is,” Ms. Binkowski said.

Festival officials are accepting applications from artists. All displayed items must be created and handmade by the exhibitor. Women entrepreneurs are invited to present services or products. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 22. Visit lourdes.edu/wave.



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