Wear your art on your sleeve and put HERstory on your mind

Students will put their stories on their sleeves and open their hearts to speak about women's issues on Friday night during a night of art and poetry.

Music, spoken word and poetry will be resonating from the Tempe campus Secret Garden on March 18, for the Wear Your Art on Your Sleeve event as part of the HERstory month, which is put on by the Womyn’s Coalition.

Sarah Evins, a graduate student in the School of Music and intern for the Womyn’s Coalition, said that HERstory month raises awareness about the history of women and its Wear Your Art on Your Sleeve event will allow women and non-gender conforming individuals to express their art.

“We want to raise awareness of women’s issues and to let people know our fight for equality still hasn't been reached yet," she said. "We still have a lot of work to do.”

For the event on Friday, the garden will be decorated with posters that revolve around the topic of women’s issues, which were created at an earlier event held during HERstory month. Students were invited to a workshop with Favianna Rodriguez, an artist who uses her art to inspire change, who taught the participants how to create an effective social justice poster.

With the decorated walls of the Secret Garden, people are encouraged to look at the art while listening to the speakers. Anyone is welcome to step up to the mic and share their work with the audience.

Public policy and justice studies sophomore Erin Rugland is the co-facilitator of the Womyn’s coalition. She said students have already signed up, and those who haven't secured a spot can participate in an open-mic for the rest of the night.

“We try to make it bigger and better each year, so we try to make improvements each year with our events,” Rugland said. “Last year we had a poetry night like the one we have coming up on Friday, so we’re trying to expand it to more music and illustrative art.”

 Rugland said she encourages anyone who wants to learn more about both women’s history as well as the issues women face today to check out the event.

“We’re trying to supply another platform for people to share their stories,” she said.

Creative writing freshman and Womyn’s Coalition intern Isabella Amparan said she is contemplating sharing a poem at the event.

“What I might be performing is a spoken word poem I have done about rape and rape-culture,” she said. “I’ve never done spoken word poetry before, so it would be my first time.”

All types of poems and music are welcome to be shared. Much of the poetry may focus on issues that women face, but will not be limited to that. With an open mic, the audience can also become the performers if they are brave enough to take the stage.

While Amparan is nervous to perform, she has been to previous events and has an idea of what the audience will be like.

“I’m expecting people who are really open-minded and really just want to learn, and who just want to be a part of something here on campus,” she said.

Reach the reporter at ndusanek@asu.edu or follow @NikkiDusanek on Twitter

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