CHICAGO - Artemis Singers, www.artemissingers.org, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, kicks off Pride Month a day early, Saturday, May 31, with "A Feminist Mosaic" Pride concert and dance at Broadway United Methodist Church, 3338 N. Broadway, Chicago.
Open to the public, "A Feminist Mosaic" begins at 7:30 p.m. The dance with live DJ immediately follows the concert. Both concert and dance are accessible.
"We're celebrating our roots in the women's liberation and gay rights movements," said Diana Clegg, co-artistic director, "A Feminist Mosaic." Then as now, Artemis Singers is performing woman-affirming choral music that was written or arranged by women, providing opportunities for lesbians to be visible, expressing sometimes-radical political perspectives and being an integral part of the Chicago feminist women's community.
Noting the beginning of marriage equality for Illinois in 2014, Clegg said, "Although what defined being radical 30 years ago is very different from what defines being radical today, Artemis still is at the forefront of effecting positive change."
Founded in 1980, the 37-member Artemis Singers specializes in music written or arranged by women. Artemis Singers will perform "I Am Here," a song written by chorus member Lynda Elimon as a tribute to her lesbian daughter and her daughter's partner, both of whom are also in the chorus. Musician and composer Elimon will direct the piece, too.
The nonprofit chorus will showcase forward-thinking contemporary songs such as "Proud," by Heather Small and Peter John Vettese; "Joan of Arc," by Ruth Huber; Karen Escovitz's "Who Stands for Life?" and "Beautiful," by Linda Perry.
On a retrospective note, the concert set includes "Amazon ABC," the alphabet song parody by women's music pioneer Alix Dobkin, as well as Holly Near's "Singing for Our Lives," and "Sweet Darlin' Woman," by Diane Lindsay, from Meg Christian's landmark "Face the Music" Olivia Records album.
"We have much to celebrate this Pride Month," said Midge Stocker, "A Feminist Mosaic" co-artistic director. "The struggle for equal rights continues, but we've made major inroads."
Stocker, Artemis Singers treasurer, and Clegg, vice president, are engaged to each other and will be able to marry in Illinois because of the Marriage Equality act.
Members of Artemis Singers, including Stocker and Clegg, performed at Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's Marriage Equality signing ceremony, Nov. 20, 2013, and the March on Springfield ( Illinois ) for Marriage Equality rally Oct. 22, 2013. Fourteen members of Artemis Singers have been legally married to women or are engaged to women.
Meta Hellman, Artemis Singers president, is production manager of "A Feminist Mosaic" Pride concert and dance. Stephanie Larenas is Artemis Singers' piano accompanist.
Visit artemisfeministmosaic.brownpapertickets.com to purchase tickets online. Tickets are a suggested donation of $15 in advance and $20 at the door for adults. Tickets for seniors age 65 and older and for children age 12 and younger are a suggested donation of $10. The ticket price includes admission to both concert and dance. Tickets may be purchased by mail with a check payable to Artemis Singers, P.O. Box 578296, Chicago, IL 60657. Tickets also are available from any Artemis Singers chorus member. Beginning May 17, tickets will be available at Women & Children First bookstore, 5233 N. Clark St., Chicago.
The venue, Broadway United Methodist Church, is located on the corner of Broadway and Buckingham in Chicago's East Lakeview. "The Chicago Cubs are out of town May 31, so traveling should be easier," said Hellman, noting that several pay parking lots are within a few blocks of the church. Check Artemis Singers' website for parking information.
This summer, Artemis Singers will perform a selection of music from "A Feminist Mosaic" at the 11th Sister Singers Network National Women's Choral Festival in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., July 23 27, 2014. Sister Singers Network, www.sistersingers.net, is a national cooperative of feminist choruses, ensembles, singers, arrangers and composers dedicated to the women's choral movement. Artemis Singers has been a Sister Singers Network member for 31 years. The festival's theme, "Returning to our Roots in 2014," captures the historical impact of women's music in the struggle for equality.
Inducted into the City of Chicago's Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2008, Artemis Singers has been a mainstay in lesbian feminist cultural life. Artemis membership is open to all women singers. The chorus also provides creative opportunities for women interested in aspects of choral production: musical accompaniment, choral directing, songwriting and arranging, choreography, audio, performance lighting, artistic direction and stage management. Artemis Singers is a 501( c )3 not for profit organization.
For concert information or to request May 31 tickets be held at the door, email email@example.com or call 773-764-4465. Artemis Singers is on Facebook and Twitter.