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Published: Sunday, 3/24/2013

Empowerment pushed at Celebration of Women Festival at Lourdes

NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Rini Ng, left, a community partner for  "Bead for Life: eradicating poverty one bead at a time" talks with Louisa Dutchess, of Toledo, center, and Karen Diehl, also of Toledo, right, about the artwork members of the group have created. Rini Ng, left, a community partner for "Bead for Life: eradicating poverty one bead at a time" talks with Louisa Dutchess, of Toledo, center, and Karen Diehl, also of Toledo, right, about the artwork members of the group have created.
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People who attended the 6th annual Celebration of Women Festival at Lourdes University today were surrounded by expressions of empowerment, strength, courage, and content.

Messages left by the women who have paved a path for the current generation of strong women were placed on the walls of the Franciscan Center as part of the university's Women’s History Month festival WAVE, or Women, Artists, Visionaries, Entrepreneurs.

“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got,” a famous quote from Janis Joplin, singer and songwriter, was one of the quotes on the walls.

“This celebration aims to raise awareness about women and their accomplishments. Unless you’re in women's studies or history, there is not a lot of awareness about the contributions of women to society,” said Lisa Binkowski, Lourdes associate athletic director.

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Lourdes was started by a women, the Sisters of St. Francis, so this is part of the university’s heritage, she said.

The exhibition portion of the celebration brought together 65 artists from northwest Ohio region to display their work to hundreds of attendees. Their handmade goods included pottery, jewelry, journals, soaps, lotions, perfumes, glass, and metal sculptures.

Ms. Binkowski said the university makes a point to provided a platform for female artists who may not always be afforded an opportunity.

The event had musical harmonies of the quartet Bliss, and the mystical moves performed by Aegela a Middle Eastern dance troupe. Money raised through T-shirt sales and a raffle will benefit the ladies of Aurora House in Toledo, a local charity that empowers homeless women and their children to achieve self-sufficiency.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com.



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