Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



Artemis Singers' summer performance urges listeners to be 'defiantly optimistic'
by Kayleigh Padar

This article shared 5054 times since Fri Jun 2, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The longstanding lesbian chorus Artemis Singers will use their annual summer concert to implore listeners to consciously choose hope in the face of hardship.

The performance, "Better Times Will Come," takes place at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave., June 10 at 7 p.m. It's the group's first indoor concert since the pandemic started in March 2020.

"Hope is the concert's primary message, in a way that says, 'We know there's a lot to be discouraged about,'" said the show's co-artistic director Jennifer Byrne. "It's saying, 'Come on, dust yourself off. Keep going. Let's do it.' We have put our energy and hope into positive, collective action."

Artemis Singers was founded in 1980, and the self-directing chorus currently includes 30 members. This year, a wave of new members joined the group, which has felt like a "breath of fresh air," said longtime member Hilary Marsh.

This feeling is reflected in this year's show, which was co-directed by Marsh, who's been with the chorus ten years; Byrne, who joined about four years ago; and Da-Mekah Victorian, who started singing with the group just last year.

"We listened to old concerts together, to create an appreciation, not only for our legacy, but for where we're going," Byrne said. "We're really trying to embrace our younger members while also celebrating the richness of our history. It's like Artemis is back, but on the move, evolving and growing and passing torches in a way."

Members of the chorus played a part in deciding which songs would be included. Any member of the group could suggest songs and everyone voted on their favorites, Marsh said.

This year, the group made a conscious effort to choose more songs that were written or arranged by BIPOC creators. For the first time, about 40% of the songs in this summer's show were created by BIPOC artists, including some self-composed songs that will be debuted for the first time, Victorian said.

"Since the choir has been around for so long, it's truly unbelievable to see how many songs we have in the library, but a lot of them tend to be from the same sources," Victorian said. "It can also be really hard to identify whether or not a composer is a person of color, but that was something we really encouraged people to think about when they were suggesting songs for the group."

Marsh, Byrne and Victorian worked together to develop the show's theme, arrange the songs and manage production details. However, each group member has a unique role to play within the chorus, whether they're soloists, instrumentalists, composers or production assistants.

"We really do it all—we don't outsource," Byrne said. "Everyone pitches in and we get it done. I absolutely love that collective power and collective energy, musical and otherwise."

The show will feature a variety of songs that showcase the chorus' "range of capabilities," Victorian said.

"The music is positive and uplifting and fun," Marsh said. "It's not a heavy, serious concert. We have done those and they're great and moving and important, but positivity is important too. I like to say that we're doing this theme because we all need it."

The group will debut a few songs they wrote or arranged themselves, including one called "I Wish You Enough" which was arranged by chorus member Allison Downing.

"It's about the giving that's in communities of women, and shows how we try to support each other," Byrne said. "I get chills every time we sing it."

Another song, "The Weaving," was written by members Loraine Edwalds and Laurie Lee Moses, and expresses the joy that individuals find through participating in the chorus.

"The Weaving celebrates bringing our voices together in Artemis, in many different ways," said Moses. "Each musical part echoes and connects to the others, evoking Edwalds' poetic meditations—how did we get here? It is about our stories, created together, piece by piece, over time."

After the show, the chorus will host a dance, bringing back a tradition that was lost to the pandemic over the past few years, Marsh said.

"Back in the day, lesbian communities always had dances where we'd get to hang out together in a place that wasn't necessarily a bar," Marsh said. "That's where we got to meet people, make friends, make all kinds of connections. This is one of the few instances where that remains, so any chance we get to do that, we make it happen."

Collectively creating these kinds of intergenerational spaces, where queer women can build community with each other, has been a powerful experience for Marsh, Byrne, Victorian and the other chorus members, they said.

"It feels like organic connections just happen," Victorian said. "I lived in Louisiana my whole life, until four years ago. Seeing a room that's completely full of adult lesbians was never something I thought I would get to see, or be a part of. It has given me so much hope."

Victorian said she hopes that people who see the show get the sense that "there's room for us to be optimistic while acknowledging that there are really hard things happening at the same time and that we can move forward together."

"The songs are powerful, touching, hopeful, and the experience of singing in this chorus has just been absolutely wonderful," Byrne said. "It's been healing and energizing for me to be a part of, so I think that will come across in the concert and be wonderful for people."

For more information about Artemis Singers and their June 10 show, visit .

This article shared 5054 times since Fri Jun 2, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Mets honor lesbian baseball icon Maybelle Blair
On Sept. 14 at NYC's Citi Field, the New York Mets recognized the life work of lesbian baseball pioneer Maybelle Blair, 96, with the inaugural Amazin' Mets Foundation Legacy Award, according to a Major League Baseball ...

Gay News

Marge Summit's life to be celebrated Oct. 15
--From a press release - A celebration of the extraordinary life of Marge Summit, the legendary Chicago bar owner, promoter of live music artists, political advocate and much more who passed away on May 16, 2023. Born Sept. 3, 1935 in ...

Gay News

WORLD Quebec lesbians, violence study, Rugby World Cup, Ugandan bill
The hidden history of Quebec lesbians is being explored, the CBC reported. Between 1985 and 1996, a group of lesbians leased the Plateau-Mont-Royal school and ran it as a community center. The school was also home ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Lesbian politician, Nancy Pelosi, bomb threat, politician dies, Lyft
Kathy Kozachenko—the first out politician elected to public office in the country—will be honored with a statue on the 50th anniversary of her historic election, per The Advocate. The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, will honor ...

Gay News

Dykes to Watch Out For Audible series returns listeners to the '80s
By Ro White - From 1983-2008, Alison Bechdel's comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For captured the drama and hilarity of lesbian life. Now it's been adapted into an Audible Original series that draws parallels between the queer past and ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Sex Education' star, Rotten Tomatoes, Jessica Lange, Queer/Art
Video below - Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa officially came out during an interview with Elle UK, according to Out. "I remember being at Manchester Pride, going through the streets with all my boys, shaking my cha-chas, living it ...

Gay News

Laura Ricketts talks about Chicago Red Stars deal, investor group, coming out
On Aug. 1, a group of investors led by lesbian Chicago Cubs co-owner/Chicago Sky minority owner Laura Ricketts announced that they had officially took ownership of the Chicago Red Stars National Women's Soccer League franchise. The ...

Gay News

Laura Ricketts-led group of diverse investors buys Chicago Red Stars in $60 million deal
From an Sept. 1 press release: A diverse investor group led by Laura Ricketts and prominent Chicago women business and civic leaders has officially taken ownership of the Chicago Red Stars National Women's Soccer League ...

Gay News

Rapinoe's last international match to take place in Chicago on Sept. 24
Lesbian soccer icon and two-time Women's World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe will play her last professional match against South Africa on Sunday, Sept. 24, in Chicago, U.S. Soccer announced. The match (scheduled for 4:30 p.m. CT) ...

Gay News

Brave Space Alliance holds Post Pride Mixer
On Aug. 27, Brave Space Alliance held its Post Pride Mixer at popular lesbian-owned bar Nobody's Darling. The social gathering celebrated past accomplishments while looking forward to new horizons for both the service organization and the ...

Gay News

UIC among nation's top 30 campuses for LGBTQ+ students
--From a press release - The University of Illinois Chicago has been named one of the top 30 colleges and universities for LGBTQ+ students, according to Campus Pride, a national organization serving LGBTQ+ and ally student leaders and campus organizations in ...

Gay News

Sharon Zurek among Chicago Filmmakers' 'Big Shoulders Award' honorees
--From a press release - (CHICAGO, IL) Chicago Filmmakers proudly announces the recipients of their "Big Shoulders Awards" to be presented during Chicago Filmmakers' Golden Anniversary Celebration and Awards Reception. This special event takes place ...

Gay News

Orlando Pride crushes Chicago Red Stars
In Florida's Exploria Stadium on Aug. 20, the Orlando Pride thrashed the Chicago Red Stars 5-0 in professional women's soccer action, according to WFTV. Four players scored for Orlando, led ...

Gay News

Calif. store owner killed over Pride flag display
In California, Cedar Glen business owner Laura Ann Carleton was shot and killed after a dispute over the Pride flag she'd displayed outside her shop, The Advocate reported. Authorities received a report that someone had been ...

Gay News

'A League of Their Own' cancelled; second season not filming
Prime Video is not moving forward with the previously ordered second and final season of comedy-drama A League of Their Own, which is about a WWII-era women's professional baseball team, according to Deadline. The show's fate ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.