ARTS/West & Women of Appalachia Presents the 7th Annual Women Speak

Date(s) - October 22, 2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


ARTS/West Presents is pleased to host the 7th Annual Women of Appalachia Project (WOAP) “Women Speak” performance, an evening of juried poetry, story and song, featuring artists from throughout Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. The event will be held in the performance space on October 22, 2015, at 6pm.

The mission of WOAP is to showcase the way in which female artists respond to the Appalachian region as a source of inspiration, bringing together women from diverse backgrounds, ages and experiences to embrace the stereotype – to show the whole woman; beyond the superficial factors that people use to judge her.

The work of seventeen spoken word artists, poets, storytellers and musicians, will be performed at five separate venues throughout Ohio; first up at ARTS/West, 132 W. State Street, Athens. In November several WOAP artists will present at the esteemed Columbus Poetry Forum, Bossy Girls on High Street. Sips Coffee House, Mt. Vernon will host a December Saturday afternoon presentation; The Bowen House in Logan in March 2015; and a performance at The Pump House Fine Arts Center, Chillicothe, will close out the season in May 2016.

“I am so pleased that this eclectic group of locations have been offered up to host this season’s “Women Speak” events, allowing this assemblage of spoken art to be heard potentially by hundreds of folks in the respective communities,” says founder curator Kari Gunter-Seymour.” Over the past 7 years, ARTS/West has been an important partner of WOAP. We are grateful for the support and encouragement provided by the excellent staff and volunteers.

When asked how living in Appalachia has influenced her life and therefore her art, Kentucky poet Barbara Biggs says, “I spent a lot of time trying to run away from these hills and valleys. I moved places, worked other places, but ultimately, always ended up right back here, within view of the Ohio River and the Indian mounds and persimmon trees. There are so many things I love about Appalachia: the complexity of the people, the feeling that I am never far from a maple tree, and that feeling in spring when the hills are pure green and everything just feels right.”

“Throughout my childhood, my grandmothers made sure I had access to stories and books and songs and instruments,” shares West Virginia writer, Jamie Bailey. I spent my days at each of their homes, pulling carrots from the earth, apples from branches, climbing in their trees, and inspecting their rosebushes. The Appalachian homes that hosted my childhood became playgrounds for my very colorful imagination.”

7th Annual Women of Appalachia Project “Women Speak”


132 W State St, Athens, OH 45701

Thursday, October 22, 2015 @ 6pm


Doors open at 5:30pm. The presentation is free to the public through donations in support of WOAP and ARTS/West will be taken at the door. There will be a short reception immediately following the performance. Refreshments will be served.

For more information go to or visit WOA on Facebook at For questions, email



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