UW-L creative festival to focus on women’s global influence in arts

Dessa Uw L
Dessa, an international touring rapper, singer and writer, will perform in concert during the festival.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – An annual creativity festival at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse will focus on women’s clout in the arts throughout the world Monday and Tuesday, March 2 and 3.

The 7th Annual Creative Imperatives Festival, titled, “A Curved Lens: Celebrating Women in the World Through the Arts,” will include exhibits, workshops, presentations and performances created by UW-L students, faculty and staff from the Art, Music and Theatre Arts departments. Other contributors will include participants from Women and Gender Studies, Educational Studies, Communication Studies and Exercise and Sport Science.

The UW-L School of Visual and Performing Arts will present the program, with all events free and open to the public.

Making main presentations will be Dessa, an internationally touring singer, rapper and writer; Maegan Crowley, a metalsmith and educator, and composer Ingrid Stölzel:

  • Dessa has appeared on the Billboard Top 200 charts both as a solo artist as a member of the Doomtree hip-hop collective and contributed to The Hamilton Mixtape at the invitation of “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Her writings have appeared in publications such as the New York Times and National Geographic Traveler. Free tickets are required for “Dessa in Concert with MONAKR” at 7:30 p.m. Monday 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 2, in the Toland Theatre at the school’s Center for the Arts. Tickets can be picked up at the Center for the Arts Box Office at 16th and Vine streets from 1 to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door.
  • Crowley owns and operates the “Iron Maegan Metalworks” in Dolores, Colorado, where she produces custom metalwork for residential, public and commercial sites. She draws her inspiration from plant life, mostly from the southwest region where she lives and strives to emphasize the beauty of detail in nature.
  • The San Francisco Classical Voice describes Stölzel as having “a gift for melody” that creates “a reflective and serene soundscape that makes you want to curl up on your windowsill to re-listen on a rainy day.” Her compositions have been commissioned by leading soloists and ensembles and performed in concert halls and during festivals worldwide.

Topics include “Working to Harness Anger as a Creative Force in South Africa” from 11 to 11:55 a.m. Monday in room 120 of the Center for the Arts; making your own wearable guerrilla art from 2:15 to 3:10 p.m. Tuesday in the Center for the Arts’ room 203, and a presentation by Kathy Gorman on how dancer Martha Graham revolutionized the posture of dance from 4-4:55 p.m. Tuesday in the Frederick Theatre in the basement level of Morris Hall.

Also featured will be a music performance and discussion titled “Blowing Their Own Horn: Women Composers in Jazz” from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the band room of the Center for the Arts. The UW-L Jazz Orchestra will highlight contributions from notable women jazz composers such as Mary Lou Williams, Melba Liston and Maria Schneider.

The full event schedule for the  7th Annual Creative Imperatives Festival  is available on the UW-L website.