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    Thoughts on Women’s Music

    margieBy Margie Adam

    My initiation into the world of Women’s Music came in l973 at an “open mike” at Kate Millet’s Sacramento Women’s Music Festival. There were maybe 50 women in the room. I sat at a piano not knowing how to use a microphone, and told the audience I wasn’t a performer and didn’t know what I was doing. Their response was: “Just sing your songs. You’ll be fine.” They were right.

    More recently, I found myself backstage at the rally site for the National Gay/Lesbian/Bi March on Washington preparing to perform for one million people. I was completely unnerved by the mixture of celebrity energy swirling around backstage along with the reality of ‘history in the making.” Then I looked around and had a moment of clarity. I was surrounded by a crew of women I recognized from Women’s Music festivals all over the country—the same women I had been working with for years. These were the people who were producing this incredible event for a million people live and countless millions watching on TV. I was instantly on solid ground.

    I was born and raised as a singer/songwriter/performer and feminist organizer in the Women’s Music movement of the l970s. My life has been forever changed by singing and playing music with other strong women singer/songwriters and musicians. My molecular structure is forever encoded with the feminist vision of Women’s Music.

    margie2The Future of Women’s Music

    Passion, audacity and activism are still the fuel of this community and its culture. Why do women who identify with Women’s Music keep doing it? Not for the $$. It’s too hard.

    We have always operated with another currency of exchange and it is acknowledgment. We share the stage; we share skills/contacts. We are passionate partners. Supporting Women’s Music means supporting artists, producers, distributors, technicians, women’s media and the audience. As an audience, we must continue to see ourselves as agents of change, not passive consumers.

    There is a continued need for community, an entry point for women seeking a safe space to come out, to experience woman-loving energy.

    Excerpt printed by permission of singer/songwriter and activist Margie Adam.