Nearly 60 women all dressed in black adorned the steps of Indianapolis’ Monument Circle on Aug. 21 this year. Some touched up their makeup, a few enjoyed coffee, while others practiced their poses for the photo shoot that brought all of them there together.
Hoping to make a difference in regards to the gender inequality in Indy’s entertainment scene, Katie Josway of local band Gypsy Moonshine had a vision. She had met many artistically talented women in the city, and wanted to honor this group of artists in some way.
“Initially, I was just going to have my little group of friends for a photo shoot,” Josway said. “Because I’d never really had a supportive group of women in my life before.”
Josway began wondering if there were even more women artists that she could reach out to in the scene.
“There can’t be that many of us,” she said. “I wonder how many I can get from the scene in general.”
The photo shoot was a great success, and Josway decided to have the photos released at an even bigger event – a live showcase of artists, musicians and speakers, taking place on Oct. 8, along with the Women of Indianapolis Arts (WOIA) official website, which will be launched on the day of the showcase. The showcase will be called Alice Through the Looking Glass Ceiling, in reference to the metaphorical glass ceiling that prevents certain demographics from rising beyond barriers.
What’s more, the group photo of the WOIA will be submitted to the Indiana Historical Society, which means the photo will be in the public archives of Indiana’s history forever.
Showcasing 7 bands and 8 art booths, this all-age event will truly be one of a kind. It will feature local bands such as There Are Ghosts, and Josway’s band Gypsy Moonshine. Along with bands and artists, there will also be number of guest speakers such as Lola Lavacious.
Lavacious is very excited to speak and attend the event on Oct. 8.
She said she is looking forward to “the elevated visibility of these talented women, creating phenomenal art and realizing there is power in togetherness.”
Speaking at the event on behalf of Angel Burlesque, Lavacious wants everyone to know the importance of embracing oneself as a woman and a burlesque performer.
Lavacious maintains that it is important to have these uncomfortable conversations of these preconceived ideas of what burlesque is.
“Performing burlesque has honestly been a unique experience as it does embrace all things female and changing the narrative of owning our bodies vs what society expects,” she said. “Burlesque allows that space to frame an issue and delve into it all while being entertaining to audiences and empowering women in their own skin.”
For the showcase, Josway has her goals for the showcase set very clearly.
“Just in general, I really want to show people how much talent there is here,” Josway said. “There are some incredibly talented people in our scene. So that’s first and foremost, showing the quality of work that’s being done, and allowing the artists themselves to meet each other and develop a community and support each other, and have fun, make new friends. That’s been amazing for me and I know it’s already sort of happened for most of these women.”
The event is being held Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. at Grove Haus.
Tatiana Rebelle - spoken word performance
Lola Lavacious - speech. "Feminism and Burlesque" with a special performance by