Toshi Reagon is another force of nature, and we’re all better for her presence as an artist, organizer and friend.  Today kicks off her fourth annual women’s festival that consists of nine (9) events that focus on various women’s health and LGBT issues, as well as cultural nights that celebrate the creativity and brilliance of women.  Special guests this year will include Sting and Patti Lupone, not to mention a lineup that includes Tamar-Kali, author Jacqueline Woodson, Hanifah Walidah, Joan As Police Woman, and Stephanie McKay, to name only a few.  Killer, huh?

Here’s the schedule of events:

9/14- Word*Rock*&Sword Year IV, Opening Service We’ve Come A Long Way To Be Together. 
Time: 3pm to 7pm

Location: Via email upon RSVP

Get Tickets: Free – RSVP Only- Limited Space
Hosted by Toshi Reagon
We open the festival every year with community. In this service each person takes 2 minutes to introduce themselves to the community gathered in any way they choose.
Poems, Stories, Visual art, Dance, Song, Silence, or even my name is ______ .

9/15- Word*Rock*&Sword: A Festival Celebration of Women’s Lives Supports Uprising of Love Featuring Patti LuPone, Sting and Special Guest

Location: Gershwin Theatre 222 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
Get Tickets:
 $50-$100 http://www.ticketmaster.com/Uprising-of-Love-Benefit-For-Global-tickets/artist/2025744

The net proceeds of this event will go directly to Fueling the Frontlines, a three-year, $20 million campaign for global LGBTI rights led by the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice

9/17- Word*Rock*&Sword: A Festival Celebration of Women’s Lives Women’s Health Workshop

Location: Jack 505 1/2 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11238

Get Tickets: Free Donations Welcome

With M. Victoria Albina FNP-C of MHP Heartbeats.com, Juliet Widoff MD of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and Adaku Utah of Solarbliss.


9/18 Word*Rock*&Sword: A Festival Celebration of Women’s Lives
Water From The Well W/ Imani Uzuri

Time: 6pm

Location: Sacred Studios Brooklyn 197 Clifton Pl, Brooklyn, New York 11216
Get Tickets: Sign up- Limited Space bit.ly/1kXjlcZ (sliding scale and some scholarships available)

imani uzuri Presents Imani Uzuri – Water From the Well SacredStudio Brooklyn Sept.18th at 6pm Water From the Well is an engaging healing creative expression workshop Using multi-layered practices including vocalizing, journaling, storytelling, small/large group engagement, group sound-making, singing and chanting, Imani Uzuri, who has facilitated creative expression, writing and healing workshops internationally including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, London, New York, Berkeley, Cambridge, and Philadelphia, invites participants to dynamically and intimately explore their own creative expression.

9/18- Word*Rock*&Sword: A Festival Celebration of Women’s Lives   
Time: 7pm

Location: Barbes 376 9th St, Brooklyn, New York 11215

Get Tickets: Free – Donations Welcome

Authors Reading with Jacqueline Woodson, Mecca Jamillah Sullivan, Liza Jessie Peterson, & Ayana Byrd. There will be a book signing following the event

9/19- Word*Rock*&Sword: A Festival Celebration of Women’s Lives and Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Present Out In The Night

Time: 7pm

Location: Restoration 1368 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216

Get Tickets: Free with RSVP
Film Screening Out In The Night, A Film by Blair Dorosh-Walther, Out in the Night is a documentary that sheds light on the story of four African-American lesbians and the media storm that ensued after they got into a fight with a threatening man one night. The film attempts to give voice to the women involved in this so they can share their accounts of what really happened that night. The film also raises questions on how race, class, gender, and sexuality affect the way people are portrayed by the media and in the courtroom. Q&A to follow.

9/20- Word*Rock*&Sword: A Festival Celebration of Women’s Lives Unshackled: Women Speak Out on Mass Incarceration and Reproductive Justice

Time: 2-4pm

Location: Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, New York 11238

Get Tickets: Free

An afternoon of conversation and spoken word from formerly incarcerated women impacted by the intersection of mass incarceration and reproductive health issues.
Conversationalists include:
Dana-Ain Davis, Queens College
Mercedes Smith, Coming Home Program, Coalition for Women Prisoners
Maria Caraballo, Coalition for Women Prisoners
Laura “Tina” Tinen, Coalition for Women Prisoners
Farah Diaz-Tello, National Advocates for Pregnant Women http://www.advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/
Renata HillOut in the Night and New Jersey 4
Sharmaine Smith, Coalition for Women Prisoners
Poetry performances by:
Jacqueline VelezCorrectional Association of New York
Sharon White-Harrigan
Musical performances by:
Kimberly Nichole [http://www.KimberlyNichole.com/]
Morley [http://www.morleymusic.org/]
This event is a collaboration with the Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum and the Correctional Association of New York’s Women In Prison Project.

Photo by Bernie DeChant

Photo by Bernie DeChant


9/20- WORD*ROCK*&SWORD: A Musical Celebration of Women’s Lives
6pm Doors w/ DJ Robi D Light, 7pm Show 
Location: Le Poisson Rouge 158 Bleecker St. New York, NY 10012
Get Tickets: $20 http://lepoissonrouge.com/lpr_events/wordrocksword-a-musical-celebration-of-womens-lives-september-20th-2014/ Reserved Seating is available by emailing dowhatneeds2bedone@gmail.com after you’ve purchased tickets with the Subject Line “SEATING”. We will add you to our seated list.

Toshi Reagon, wwwtoshireagon.com
Joan As Police Woman, www.joanaspolicewoman.com
Climbing PoeTree, www.climbingpoetree.com
Tamar-kali, www.tamar-kali.com
June Millington, www.junemillington.com
Alsarah, www.alsarah.com
Hanifah Walidah, suckaforlife.wix.com/hanifahwalidah
Be Steadwell, www.besteadwell.com
Morley, www.morleymusic.org
Nona Hendryx, www.nonahendryx.com
Ganessa James, www.ganessajames.com
Women of The World, www.womenoftheworldmusic.com
Marcelle Davies Lashley, www.marcelledavieslashley.com
Stephanie McKay, www.stephaniemckay.com
Adaku Utah www.motivatingexcellenceonline.com/project/adaku-utah/
Judith Casselberry,
Patreese Johnson,

Martha Redbone, http://martharedbone.com/

Allison Miller- Drums, Juliette Jones- Violin, Alex Nolan- Guitar, Christelle Durandy- Percussion and Vocals
9/21- Word*Rock*&Sword: A Festival Celebration of Women’s Lives  *Earthly Magic & Divine Connections* Yoga in Honor of the Autumn Equinox

Location: Fort Greene Park

Get Tickets: $10 – Suggested donation

Ola Ronke Presents a morning of loving and transformative yoga and meditation. Join us as we explore balance, breath, and our connection to our divine Mother Earth. The Autumn Equinox marks the beginning of the dark, composting phase of the year and we are aligning ourselves with the natural rhythms of the planet under the bright morning sky and amongst the trees!!!


9/21- Word*Rock*&Sword: A Festival Celebration of Women’s Lives  Closing Service
Time: 3pm

Location: Bed Vyne Brew 370 Tompkins Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11216

Get Tickets: Free

Sunday Tea Dance Bed-Vyne Brew w/ DjRimarkable www.iamrimarkable.com
We will celebrate the end of our festival is style. Great Drinks, Great Beats, Tasty Treats, Excellent Company.
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.

toshi reagon

Toshi Reagon by Bernie DeChant


Toshi Reagon has been described as “a talented, versatile singer, songwriter and musician with a profound ear for sonic Americana—from folk to funk, from blues to rock” by critic/blogger Eva Yaa Asantewaa (InfiniteBody). “She masters each of these genres with vocal strategies that easily spiral and swoop from the expressively sinuous to the hard-charging, a combination of warmth and mischief.”  While her expansive career has landed her comfortably in residence at Carnegie Hall, the Paris Opera House and Madison Square Garden, you can just as easily find Toshi turning out a music festival, intimate venue or local club.  Toshi finds home on any musical stage. Toshi has had the pleasure of working with Lenny Kravitz, Lizz Wright, Ani DiFranco, Carl Hancock Rux, Nona Hendryx, Pete Seeger, Chocolate Genius and many other amazing artists, including her favorite collaborator, her mom, Bernice Johnson Reagon.  Toshi has been the recipient of a NYFA award for Music Composition, The Black Lily Music and Film Festival Award for Outstanding Performance. She is a National Women’s History Month Honoree, and is the 2010 recipient of OutMusic’s Heritage Award.

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About The Author

Rob Fields is the founder and publisher of Bold As Love Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @robfields.

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