Now See This

Women on the Verge

Portland welcomes the second annual Siren Nation Festival.

By Jenny Davis May 19, 2009

BACK FOR THE second year, the Siren Nation Festival, an arts and music gathering whose goal is to improve commercial opportunities for women artists of all kinds, is also expanding its cultural focus. This time around there will be more film offerings, as well as visual arts exhibitions at local galleries—both upgrades from the event’s debut.

Co-founder December Carson hopes to double last year’s turnout of 1,000 people with the inclusion of high-profile musical acts such as local folk-pop songstress Laura Veirs and whimsical New York hip-hop trio Northern State (another group that can thank Grey’s Anatomy for getting its songs out there). And fledgling filmmakers should be duly inspired by a retrospective of works by the late New Orleans director Helen Hill, a community activist who made experimental and animated short subjects before her (still-unsolved) murder last year at the hands of an intruder in her home.

Carson notes that there also will be workshops for women interested in gaining greater exposure for their artistic endeavors, and she adds that her nonprofit’s efforts will not slack off once the fest ends: Siren Nation will continue to sponsor artist showcases throughout the year. A woman’s work is never done.

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