Women of Substance



Who is a Woman of Substance? What is she like? How does she make a difference?

We believe a Woman of Substance searches for truth and wisdom, values dialogue, respects diverse voices and perspectives, and challenges conventional norms. Our Women of Substance series supports and honors these women, many who  to amplify ideas and spur action to make a difference.  

Since 1996, The Women of Substance series showcases women’s ideas, amplifies their voices and honors their place on life’s stage. These artists, thinkers and change makers challenge the status quo, make us look at the world in new ways, drive us toward a deeper understanding of ourselves and spur our own sense of purpose and action. Through art and ideas, the series ignites our innate power, consciousness and sense of justice, motivating us to take action and inspiring us to lead lives of substance.

Join us in celebration of Women of Substance turning 20 - WoS Fest!

Friday, September 9, 2016 - 7:30pm

DESSA is a rapper, a singer, and an essayist with the Doomtree collective—the ascendant Minneapolis hip-hop crew. She's made the Billboard Top 200 list as a solo artist (for Parts of Speech) and as a Doomtree member (for All Hands).

Dessa built a career bucking...

Friday, September 16, 2016 - 7:30pm, Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 7:30pm

"Best Choreographer" -Star Tribune 2016 Best of Minnesota

This acclaimed Minneapolis-based contemporary Indian dance company premieres their newest work on the theme of “Work Women Do.”

Horidraa: Golden Healing explores how...

Friday, October 7, 2016 - 7:30pm

Merging ’90s R&B and neo-soul with her indie-rock roots, Caroline Smith's music has settled comfortably into a new backdrop as she takes a step from girl to woman. Her 2014 record, "Half About Being a Woman," is about self-acceptance and growing into yourself.

Freeh & Hagen's Test Pilot
Saturday, October 22, 2016 - 7:30pm

Test Pilot is a chamber dance opera by choreographer Penelope Freeh and composer Jocelyn Hagen that explores the legendary story of the Wright Brothers as seen through the eyes of their sister, Katharine. The power and wonder of creativity and invention are examined...

Maria Schneider
Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 7:30pm

On stage at The O’Shaughnessy for the first time, 5-time Grammy-award-winning composer-orchestrator Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.”

In The Thompson Fields...

Friday, March 31, 2017 - 7:30pm

A gifted rapper, hair-raising gospel singer, razor-sharp wordsmith, classically trained flautist, feminism and black empowerment advocate, plus a Nice Life Recording Company & Atlantic Records artist, Lizzo released her major label debut “Good As Hell,” featured on Barbershop: The Next Cut...

Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 2:00pm

An evening of musical magic with St. Louis Park native and Grammy-winning master guitarist Sharon Isbin and Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard.

Sharon Isbin is recognized as one of the foremost interpreters of Spanish guitar music. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard’s...

Rachel Lloyd
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 7:00pm

What:      2017 Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Distinguished Scholar Lecture, "A World for Girls: Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Social Justice."
Who:       Rachel Lloyd
Where:   The O'Shaughnessy

Joan Osborne
Friday, September 8, 2017 - 7:30pm

Tickets go on sale June 9.

Joan Osborne has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the great voices of her generation -- both a commanding, passionate performer and a frank, emotionally evocative songwriter. A multi-platinum selling recording artist and seven-time...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 7:30pm

Tickets go on sale June 9.

Singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens is the co-founder of the GRAMMY award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, in which she also plays banjo and fiddle. She began gaining recognition as a solo artist when she stole the show at the T...