This is the third year of the weeklong festival organized by that force-of-nature-in-her-own-right Toshi Reagon. It’s very much a response to the current social and political climate that, to many women AND men, feels anti-women. According to the site:
We struggle in a political climate that still tolerates and actively encourages systemic discrimination against women–from the workplace to the doctor’s office. We witness Congressional attacks on funding for Planned Parenthood; the harassment and murder of abortion providers; the denial of access to affordable health care; the constant vulnerability of women and girls to violence and sexual abuse; the daily struggle of women to hold families together in our ailing economy. “In response to this backlash, we are inspired to respond creatively, showing our lives, our work, our activism and our talent,” says Reagon. “We will come together to share our gifts and focus our intentions for the 21 Century.”
Word*Rock*& Sword is about women taking and holding space, sharing experiences and skills, teaching and celebrating—spirit, body and mind, academic and social, all in the name of justice and rights for women.
Open to all.
The festival events started this past Sunday and continue through September 22. The musical lineup is killer (we attended last year’s festival). What’s most impressive is the incredible amounts of talent that Toshi assembles for this event from across the musical spectrum. Everyone from Joan As Police Woman and Morley to Tamar-Kali, Nona Hendryx and Jessica Care Moore. The full lineup includes:
JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN
WORD*ROCK*&SWORD Band of Angels
+ DJ TIKKA MASALA
Here’s Toshi Reagon doing a dope rendition of “Heartbreak Hotel”
Word*Rock*& Sword takes place on Saturday, September 21 at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC. Showtime is 7:00PM and tickets are $20.