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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 31, 2009

Eclectic music featured at 16th Annual Women's Music Festival Sept. 11, 12

logoMusic ranging from jazz, folk and pop to rock, country and hip-hop will be featured in a full female lineup at this year's 16th Annual Iowa Women's Music Festival Friday and Saturday, Sept. 11 and 12 at various locations in the Iowa City community.

The Iowa Women's Music Festival is the state's only female-driven music event and is one of only about a dozen women music festivals across the country, said Laurie Haag, festival founder and program developer for the University of Iowa Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC).

Prairie Voices Production, a non-profit organization in Iowa City, and WRAC present the festival with major sponsorship from Toyota-Scion of Iowa City and the Iowa Arts Council.

"Our mission is to support women's art and music," Haag said. "We're supporting the University of Iowa's mission of supporting diversity, and we hope everyone will come out to appreciate the diverse talent of women artists."

michelleshockedThe festival's traditional main event, the "day stage" in Iowa City's Upper City Park, begins at noon Saturday, Sept. 12 and continues until approximately 5:30 p.m. The non-stop stage lineup includes Lynne Rothrock, Tracy Walker and Cosy Sheridan. Headliner acts will feature Carolyn Wonderland (below) with Shelley King and will culminate with Grammy nominee Michelle Shocked (right). Kim-Char Meredith is the emcee.

The eclectic line-up also includes an Internet mega celebrity, a master mystical storyteller and the 2008 Official Texas State Musician, the first woman to be honored. There is music for everyone at the IWMF, Haag said, including jazz, folk, pop, rock, country, Americana, roots, comedy, hip-hop and the blues, with influences of honky-tonk, soul and gospel as well as provocative performance art.

carolynwonderlandThe day stage in Upper City Park on Saturday afternoon is free and open to the public. Food and merchandise vendors will line the festival, and an auction will be held. Attendees should bring blankets or chairs for grass seating. The park is wheelchair accessible, and the festival performers will be American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted. Pets on leashes are welcome. In case of inclement weather during the outdoor portion of the festival, the rain location will be The Mill Restaurant in Iowa City. 

Ten acts will perform at Upper City Park and other venues across the city including Old Brick, 26 E. Market St., and The Mill, 120 E. Burlington St. in Iowa City.

The festival gives some unknown female artists an opportunity to perform on stage, as well as provides an opportunity for audience members to experience acts they don't normally see at festivals, Haag said.

Haag said she also created the event because Iowa City's musical festivals don't feature many female artists, and she believes this festival provided a platform to showcase this talent. Female musicians from Iowa perform as well.

"We need all opportunities to see women as role models, and this festival provides that platform," Haag said.

This year's festival features roughly 70 volunteers, half of which are UI students. Haag said the festival is unique in that it allows the UI and the Iowa City community to come together and enjoy the experience.

The festival will also feature a comedy night at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11 at Old Brick. Tickets will be available at the door on a sliding scale from $8 to $20 donations, but any amount is appreciated, Haag said.

The "Pop, Hip-Hop, and 80's Dance Party!" will be held at The Mill starting at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. Admission to that night's show is on a sliding scale ranging from $5 to $15.

For more information on the festival, a complete schedule or to apply to be a vendor or sponsor, visit, call 319-335-1486 or e-mail

For more information or special accommodations to attend this event or to sign up to volunteer, call WRAC at 319-335-1486.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Laurie Haag, WRAC, 319-335-1486,; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,; Writer: Ashton Shurson