Women of Substance Festival 2017

Be the Change

March 31-April 8, 2017

You’re invited to take a journey or two… or three… or more… with "Be the Change," the second Women of Substance Festival, bringing together art, ideas and conversation to St. Catherine’s University from March 31-April 8. Inspiring women to make a difference in their communities, the celebration features artists, thinkers and change-makers who challenge the status quo, encourage you to look at the world in new ways, and instill a deeper understanding of self, purpose, and action.

The highlights of this year’s WoS Fest include two exceptional artists with Minnesota roots who have been groundbreaking in male-dominated musical fields: Lizzo, a celebrated alternative hip-hop star, and Sharon Isbin, one of the world’s greatest masters of classical guitar. 

For 20 years, the Women of Substance series has showcased women’s ideas, amplified their voices and honored their places on life’s stage. Through art and ideas, the series ignites women’s innate power, consciousness and sense of justice, motivating and inspiring others to take action and lead lives of substance. The Women of Substance Festival magnifies the mission, values and spirit of St. Catherine’s University.

Click here for a comprehensive downloadable festival brochure.

Here’s this year’s WoS celebration line-up:

Date Time & Location Description
Mar 31 Fri | 3 p.m.
McNally Smith College 
of Music, Room 70
 Sharon Isbin Master Class 
Learn from the master herself as Grammy Award-winning Sharon Isbin teaches classical guitar 
techniques and discusses her rise to fame in a male-dominated field. The McNally Smith Classical Guitar Quartet and students will perform in an hour long class, followed by Q & A with Ms. Isbin.
Mar 31 Fri | 7 p.m.
Ticketed | $15
Free with student ID
Jeanne d’Arc Auditorium, 
Whitby Hall
Poetry as a Conversation for Something Better: A Reading by Naomi Shihab Nye and Ibtisam Barakat
Award-winning Palestinian-American author and poet Ibtisam Barakat closes her Wisdom Ways residence with a reading, book-signing, and dialogue to reflect on the importance of poetry and literature and its power to help us imagine — and grow — into a better world.
Mar 31 Fri | 7:30 p.m.
Ticketed | $20-$35
The O’Shaughnessy

Lizzo in Concert

lizzo_893_vendini.jpgCome to The O’Shaughnessy for an inspiring evening celebrating women’s power with the vivacious hip-hop artist, Lizzo, who has defined her own legacy in music.

April 2 Sun | 2 p.m.
Ticketed | $25-45
The O’Shaughnessy
Sharon Isbin & Isabel Leonard – Music from Spain 
isbin-leonard.jpgSpend an afternoon of musical magic with Sharon Isbin, one of the foremost interpreters of Spanish guitar music, and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, whose expressive intensity, impeccable technique and charisma have been cited by critics around the world. Together, they offer a special, intimate recital that thrills audiences nationwide.
April 3 Mon | 6:30 p.m.
Ticketed | $25
Wisdom Ways
Hedgerow Initiative – Women and Christianity: Resilient Women, Emergent Church
Join creative and resilient women who wrestle with today’s Gospel message and ponder what the Reformation asks of us in its 500th anniversary year, who seek the holy in a world where many label themselves as secular, and who dare to re-imagine women’s leadership in our churches.
April 4 Tues | 6:30 p.m. 
Free, refreshments included
Jeanne d’Arc Auditorium
Very Young Girls documentary viewing
Become informed about commercial sexual exploitation and how to take a stand against this injustice in preparation for the Bonnie Jean Kelly & Joan Kelly Distinguished Scholars Lecture.
April 5 Wed | 7 p.m.
Ticketed | Free with reservation
The O’Shaughnessy
Bonnie Jean Kelly & Joan Kelly Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture 
featuring Rachel Lloyd 

Headshot-Rachel-Lloyd.jpgEngage in eliminating the commercial sexual exploitation of young women. Rachel Lloyd, author and founder of Girls Educational and Mentoring Service (GEMS), who leads and influences the global conversation around sex trafficking, will be at St. Kate’s for an evening of conversation and taking action.
April 6 Thurs | 7 p.m.
Ticketed | $20
Wisdom Ways
From The Heart As It Is: A Spring Harvest of Poems and Songs
Explore how personal journeys can transform words and musical notes into ways that contribute to understanding our vast, shared world. This special evening features local poets Angela Shannon, Laura Mackenzie, Sharon Chmielarza and Michael Dennis Browne. 
April 7 Fri | 12 p.m.
Center for Women, Coeur de Catherine
Room 230
Social Science Teach-In Brown Bag Discussion
Explore shifts in policy and the implications of a Trump administration on issues of access, equity, and opportunity with race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, age and ability with presenters Sharon Doherty, Caroline Krafft and Deep Shikah.
April 7 Fri | 7 p.m. 
Recital Hall
Music Building
Bad A$$ Women Poets
Partake in an evening of poetry and conversation with the Department of English as they bring Sun Yung Shin, author of Minnesota Book Award nominee Unbearable Splendor, and Andrea Jenkins, Minneapolis poet and writer to campus.
April 8 Sat | 6–8 p.m.
Catherine G. Murphy Gallery
Visual Arts Building
Still | Tension – Opening Night Reception
Artists: Cassie Henning, Felicia Hamann, Elizabeth Cleary & Pajai Vang
Dates: April 8–May 21
The annual Senior Juried Exhibition showcases the talent of St. Catherine University’s graduating studio art and art education majors. This year, the four students excel in a variety of mediums and techniques. They have each designed final capstone projects that push them artistically and intellectually.

WoS FEST is supported by The O’Shaughnessy, Saint Catherine University, The Bonnie Jean and the Joan Kelly Distinguished Visiting Scholar fund. Additional support is provided by The Saint Paul Foundation and Wisdom Ways, Art Works of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Minnesota State Arts Board.