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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 22, 2005

Women's Center Co-Presents 12th Annual Iowa Women's Music Festival Sept. 10

The fall of 2005 marks the 12th anniversary of the Iowa Women's Music Festival, to be held Sept. 10 from noon to 5:30 p.m. in Iowa City's Upper City Park. Co-presented by Prairie Voices Productions and the University of Iowa's Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC), the Iowa Women's Music Festival is a community-wide event that spotlights the creative endeavors of women in an outdoor festival featuring live music, arts and crafts. 

The festival's mission is also to provide a vehicle by which women can work behind the scenes to gain experience in event planning, fundraising, promotions, the technical aspects of concert production and administration of a non-profit business.

This year, the festival and its related events are expected to draw more than 800 participants from Iowa, the Midwest region and the nation. The event is family-friendly and welcomes everyone. The festival itself has been free to attend since its beginning in 1993 and will continue this tradition of accessibility in 2005.

To the many volunteers who work to make it happen, the Iowa Women's Music Festival represents a unique culture of women working together to produce a community arts experience that is not available in this format elsewhere in Iowa. The festival gives women a dedicated stage to express their voice in a music world that is traditionally male-influenced. Where leadership opportunities for women in the music business are difficult to come by, the festival offers women full reign of productions.

Laurie Haag, WRAC's Program Developer and a member of the festival planning committee, explains, "Our mission is important partly because if we don't take responsibility to support the work of women artists and the needs of the women's community, no one else will. It is important to give artists a forum to be heard, to give community members a place to come together and enjoy themselves, and to give volunteers an opportunity to gain new skills and experiences. When it all comes together, we are all -- the artists, the audience and the workers -- part of something larger than ourselves, and that is a rare experience."

Each year, the festival features an ever-changing line-up of performers, with focus on Iowa artists as well as up-and-coming, fresh, progressive voices in the national music scene. Featured artists for 2005 include nationally-known singer-songwriter Edie Carey, Australia native and rocker Martine Locke (formerly of The Velvet Janes) backed by Iowa City's Mad River Band, Midwest singer, musician and record producer Lojo Russo, and Iowa performers Vicki Price, Bree Clime-White, The Jen Gloeckner Band and Bad Karma (an all-girl band featuring high school students from Iowa City High and West High Schools). From the veteran blues of Vicki Price to the activist folk of Bree Clime-White to the driving pop-rock of Australian Martine Locke, there will be a musical genre to fit everyone's tastes.

In addition to the Saturday performance, several other events will be taking place in conjunction with the festival. On Friday, Sept. 9, CSPS in Cedar Rapids will present an evening with Ember Swift and Pamela Means (a headliner at the 2002 Iowa Women's Music Festival), beginning at 8 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 11, the Guitar House in North Liberty will host an IWMF Songwriting Workshop with local guitar legend Gayla Drake Paul from 2-4 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $5 to attend, and all proceeds will benefit the festival. Attendees will also be entered in a drawing to win a free guitar.

The Iowa Women's Music Festival is co-presented by Prairie Voices Productions, a volunteer-coordinated, independently run, non-profit organization and the Women's Resource and Action Center at The University of Iowa. The festival depends on the generous support of many area businesses, individual donors, media sponsors and other community organizations to continue its work in the community arts.

More information about the 2005 Iowa Women's Music Festival can be found on the festival website at www.prairievoices.net or by calling Laurie Haag at the Women's Resource & Action Center, at 319-335-1486.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Laurie Haag, 319-335-1486, laurie-haag@uiowa.edu; Writer: Linda Kroon.