Thursday, March 8, 2012

Celebrate International Women's Day at Salon sYmphoNY!

Dixon Place Presents...

Salon sYmphoNY

More than a dozen New York-based performers from across the globe will celebrate inspirational women from their homelands on International Women’s Day on Thursday March 8th.

The International Women Artists’ Salon in collaboration with Art Boundaries Unlimited (ABU) is presenting Salon sYmphoNY to give new voice to notable artists from countries of origin in honor of the annual homage to women.

There will be monologues, poems, play excerpts and, even songs from countries from Croatia to Canada, Sweden to South Africa, as well as America, where these performers have made their homes.

Dixon Place is providing their Lounge space for this free sampling of women’s contribution to the arts across the world. The event is curated by Jenny Green and The OPTimistiks.

This is a FREE event.
Doors open at 7pm, for a 7.30pm curtain at Dixon Place
161A Chrystie Street, (between Rivington and Delancey) NYC

For more information please contact Heidi Russell at or 646.272.8879

International Women Artists' Salon

Art Boundaries Unlimited

The Lounge at Dixon Place

The Dixon Place Lounge is open before,
during, and after the show. Proceeds directly support Dixon Place’s artists and mission.

salon sYmphoNY 2012 artists bios
(Honorees are listed after each country and presenters in Red)

AMERICA Toni Morrison:
Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, editor, and professor. She is known for her epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed black characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon and Beloved. She has won nearly every book prize possible, and has been awarded honorary degrees.  In a time of personal strife and discovery, her work allowed me to connect to a deeper part of my self, art, and most importantly, my Momma Mia.

Starr Kirkland is an actor/spoken word artist. She is lucky to perform in many plays/readings, and perform her original spoken word in CA, DC, and NY.  She works with Realize Your Beauty, promoting positive body image and eating disorder awareness through theatre arts. Thanks, Loves!

AUSTRALIA Joanna Murray-Smith:
Joanna Murray-Smith is a Melbourne based playwright, screenwriter and novelist. Her plays, which include Honour, Rapture, Bombshells, Nightfall, Redemption, Love Child and Flame, have been produced around the world. Honour has been produced in over two dozen countries, including productions on Broadway and at the National Theatre in London and most recently in the West End. Amy will be reading the part of Sophie in Honour: It tells the familiar tale of a middle aged man, George, who leaves his wife, Honour, and their 24-year-old daughter, Sophie, for a relationship with a much younger woman by the name of Claudia.

Amy Browne moved from Melbourne, Australia to NYC at 19 to study at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, then the New School. She has been working on her own short films and with producer Steve Holmgren and Steady Orbits. She is extremely excited to be performing again after a short hiatus.

CANADA Alice Munro:
Alice Munro was born Alice Laidlaw in 1931, in Wingham, Ontario, Canada. She attended the University of Western Ontario and in 1968 her first collection of short stories, The Dance of the Happy Shades, was published. In 1974 a second collection of stories was published and Munro’s only novel was published in 1971.  Considered Canada’s own ‘Chekhov’, Alice married James Munro and had three daughters before her works were published.  She won numerous awards including the Man Booker Intenational Prize, three time winner of the Governor Generals Award for fiction, received a Medal of Honor for Literature from the U.S. National Arts Club and was a contender for a Nobel Prize in Literature.  Munro’s style was so highly admired for it’s humanity and reflections of the complexities of the human psyche.

Kelsey Lynn Stokes is a writer and actress, having written her debut novel, Clouded Visions, at 17.  She filmed the lead role in a feature film entitled, April Grace last summer and will be filming several more independent features this year.


CROATIA Tommi Mischell:
Tommi Mischell isa  well known Croatian Pop star who moved to US to uphold a musical evolution of jazz/funk & soul. ‘Red Head’, began her singing career at age four, in a church: “they had to put me on a pedestal, I was too short, the people couldn’t see who was singing”. By the age of 19, Tommi had already changed a few bands, and gained vast media and audience recognition with her first début song with her band “Tommi” (including her brother Miro Mische- pianist of a famous Croatian rock band Tutti Frutti). By age of 20, out of a marriage which succeeded for even three months, her daughter was born, as the war in Croatia struck, she continued to perform humanitarian concerts to raise money for children and families in Croatia and Bosnia. Tommi was greatly recognized for such poetry in songwriting, and her powerful voice. “Mischelle is once and future celebrity, her voice is by turns, silky and sultry, alternatively powerful, and pleading, she looks every inch the Diva”- quotes the Philadelphia Inquire.  “Most traces of a glamorous life gone, she works amid dust and work 12 to 15 hours a day, eats and changes her clothes in her car for her recording sessions and performances. Just four hours after returning form her Manhattan’s SIR studio performance, Ms. Mischell was back to work on an elaborate massive staircase, trying to finish a job, so she could buy more studio time”- The New York Times “I am still dreaming, and I won’t ever stop”- says Tommi smilingly.

Ella Mische actress/playwright/screenwriter, grew up in a performing arts family. Ella graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Her first play ‘Manhattan Lavender’ was produced off Broadway. Film credits include Oliver Stone’s Wall Street 2, The Winning Season and Gossip Girl. Ella is currently editing her screenplay, working on a book project, and in rehearsals for a pilot.

ENGLAND Emily Bronte:
Emily Jane Bronte (1818-1848) is best remembered for her only novel; the masterpiece classic of English literature, Wuthering Heights. Emily was from Yorkshire, England. Shortly after her mothers death she was home schooled by her father along with her other three surviving siblings. During their leisure time they would let their imaginations run wild and create fantasy worlds. With her 2 sisters Anne & Charlotte who also became renowned for their contribution to the great British classical literature world, Emily would start to write short stories. Eventually she would go on to be a school teacher but due to ill health she returned home and became the stay home sister doing lots of cooking & cleaning. It was here her imagination ran wild and under the pen name Ellis Bell, she wrote Wuthering Heights."

Emily Eden is from Hampshire, England where she has been acting since a young girl. After singing in nightclubs from the age of 16 having lied about her age, she moved to London and since has performed on stage & screen, starred in numerous national commercials and even written/piloted a BBC comedy show. But now Hello New York. She loves you!

EGYPT Yousra:
Yousra is an Egyptian actress and singer, born on the 10th of March 1955 in Cairo, Egypt. Her birth name is Civene Nassim. She is the sister-in-law of actor Hesham Selim, son of famous Egyptian football player, actor and former president of Al Ahly, Saleh Selim. Youssra is considered as a glamorous icon for the Middle East. Despite obstacles, she has always managed to pull herself up into the limelight. Recently many people have acknowledged that Yousra has reached a point of stardom where anything she has to say will be heard by more people and to greater effect than even those in authority.

Sharine A. Mohamed
is the daughter of an Egyptian father and American mother and lives half her life in Cairo and New York, two different cultures always striving to adapt and belong to both and being accepted in each. She is a Producer/ Director for Film, creating fictional films based on true events about issues that women face, relationships and dating, cultural clashes, social stigmas and taboos.

ECUADOR/CHILE Gabriela Mistral:
Gabriela Mistral (1889–1957) was the pseudonym of Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, a Chilean poet, educator, diplomat, and feminist who was the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1945. Some central themes in her poems are nature, betrayal, love, a mother's love, sorrow and recovery, travel, and Latin American identity as formed from a mixture of Native American and European influences. Her portrait also appears on the 5,000 Chilean peso bank note.

Like many Latin American artists and intellectuals, Mistral served as a consul from 1932 until her death, working in Naples, Madrid, Lisbon, Nice, Petrópolis, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Veracruz, Rapallo, and New York. As consul in Madrid, she had occasional professional interactions with another Chilean consul and Nobel Prize winner, Pablo Neruda, and she was among the earlier writers to recognize the importance and originality of his work, which she had known while he was a teenager and she was school director in his hometown of Temuco. On November 15, 1945, Mistral became the first Latin American, and fifth woman, to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. She received the award in person from King Gustav of Sweden on December 10, 1945. In 1947 she received a doctor honoris causa from Mills College, Oakland, California. In 1951 she was awarded the National Literature Prize in Chile. Poor health somewhat slowed Mistral's traveling. During the last years of her life she made her home in the town of Roslyn, New York; in early January 1957 she transferred to Hempstead, New York, where she died from pancreatic cancer on January 10, 1957, aged 67.

Cecibel Cañarte was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador on July 10, 1972.  She graduated from the School of Fine Arts, in Painting, on 1991. Cecy moved to New York in 1995 and worked in the diamond industry for 12 years. During her time in New York, she participated in many exhibitions with groups of artists from different nationalities.  Cecy is now working in Ecuador and finishing her law studies, as well as maintaining her treasured ties in NYC.

IRELAND Eva Gore Booth:
Eva Gore-Booth was born 22 May 1870 , and died on 30 June 1926. She was an Irish poet and dramatist, a committed suffragist, social worker and labour activist. She was born at Lissadell House, Co. Sligo, a regular haunt of W.B Yeats who was very close to both Eva and her older  sister Constance, later known as the Countess Markievicz.Both she and Constance, who later became a prominent Irish revolutionary, reacted against their privileged background and devoted themselves to helping the poor and disadvantaged. In 1895, Eva became seriously ill with threatened T.B.  In the following year, while convalescing in Italy, she met and fell in love with Esther Roper at the villa of Scottish writer George MacDonald. They later became joint secretaries of the Women's Textile and Other Workers Representation Committee.In 1916 Eva and Esther established a radical journal entitled 'Urania,' which expressed their pioneering views of gender and sexuality.After WWI Eva and Esther became members of the Committee for the Abolition of Capital Punishment and worked for prison reform. .After Eva's death, Esther collected many of her poems for publication and wrote a biographical introduction to them.

Nicola Murphy is very proud to represent Ireland for International Women's Day! Acting credits include: 3DHamlet-A Lost Generation (Edinburgh Fringe 2011) & The Yeat’s Project; in Dublin: 100% Pure Irish dance the show & Salome. Producing credits include US Premiere of Trans-Euro Express with the Irish Arts Center & 3DHamlet A Lost Generation. Nicola is Co-Artistic director of Fundamental Theater Project.

JAMAICA (Dr Dothlyn Sterling): Candi Sterling is a creative entrepreneur based in New York. Her diverse work focuses on environmental journalism and the performing arts. Born in Jamaica, West Indies, she also represents Art Boundaries  Unlimited, an  organization that fosters international exchange in the arts.  Her mother, Dr Dothlyn Sterling, president of the Caribbean American Cultural Association, is the author of the poem she is sharing

PUERTO RICO Sylvia Rexach:
Sylvia Rexach Born 1921 in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Considered the greatest contemporary Puerto Rican composer. She founded the first all female Puerto Rican musical group “Las Damiselas”. During WWII she left college to join the Women Army Corps Services as an office clerk. After the war she worked as a comical script writer at a radio station. Co-founder of The Puerto Rican Society of Women Authors, Composers and Music Editors. She was their Secretary Director until her death. Was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2001; 40 years after her death. Her music and lyrics have the ability to touch anyone who hears them because of her tormented romanticism and ability to transcend through time. Her best known songs are Alma Adentro, Di Corazon y Olas y Arenas. Two theaters in Puerto Rico and a Music Festival in the Bronx are named after her. She died at the age of 39 in 1961.

Vanessa Marco is from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She trained in dance and music from an early age. She played the lead role in one of the biggest musicals of her country, La Verdadera Historia de Pedro Navaja. She studied acting at The American Academy of Dramatics Arts and TV and Film Production at St. John's University in NY.

RUSSIA Anna Akhmatova:
Anna Akhmatova was born in 1889 and was a Russian and Soviet modernist poet with the distinct ability to blend classical severity and concreteness with lyrical saturation. She faced much tragedy in her life – her husband was shot after being accused of being a counter-revolutionary and her son was arrested and sent to a labour camp. As a result she published very little poetry between 1923-40. Her style, characterized by its economy and emotional restraint was strikingly original and distinctive to her contemporaries. The strong and clear leading female voice struck a new chord in Russian poetry. Her work was condemned and censored by Stalinist authorities and she is notable for choosing not to emigrate and remain in Russia.  In 1965 she received an honourary D.Litt. from Oxford and soon died in 1966."

Dana Pelevine was born in Moscow, Russia and grew up in London, England. She moved to NYC in 2006 and is a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Academy repertory company. She is also the Co-founder of Dare To Speak Productions that produced the controversial two-woman show I Plead Guilty.

SCOTLAND Muriel Spark:
Muriel Spark, born in Edinburgh in Feb 1918, died in Tuscany in April 2006, wrote 22 novels as well as poems, short stories & biographies including of Emily Bronte & Mary Shelley. She produced propaganda for the Foreign Office during World War II and became General Secretary of the Poetry Society. A brief, unhappy, marriage at the age of 19 gave her only child and a much racier name than her maiden Camberg. She endured several years as a struggling writer in London where she had a breakdown after a period of addiction to diet pills. The daughter of a Jewish engineer and Protestant mother, she converted to Catholicism in the 1950s as her work became more successful, most notably The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which was adapted into a Toby award-winning Play & Oscar-award winning film. Muriel lived the high life in New York for a few years before settling in Italy with her companion Penelope Jardine.
She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1993 for her services to literature.

Jenny D Green is a Glasgow-born Actor and Producing Artist who has found her home in Brooklyn. Trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Her production collective, The OPTimistiks, enjoy collaborations with Art Boundaries Unlimited, the International Women Artists' Salon and Origin Theatre. Next up: a Panto for NYC! Live, Love, Laugh +!

SRI LANKA Sumathy Sivomohan:
Dr. Sumathy Sivamohan, one of Sri Lanka’s senior-most and best known Tamil dissident poets,  is author of Thin Veils: In the Shadow of the Gun & Wicked Witch Performing Act/ivism (2003), Militants, Militarism and the Crisis of (Tamil) Nationalism (2003), like myth and mother: a political autobiography in poetry and prose (2008).  She was awarded the Gratiaen Prize for English Literature in 2001. Her first short film Piralayam (Upheaval) was preselected at the Annual Film Without Frontiers of Barcelona in 2005.   Most recently, Sumathy Sivamohan won the prestigious Premchand Fellowship 2011 from the National Academy of Letters in India.

YaliniDream is Sri Lankan Tamil Blood, Manchester Born, Texas bred and Brooklyn steeped, conjures spirit through her unique blend of poetry, theater, song, and dance. One of the Sri Lankan Diaspora's most prominent dissident performing artists, YaliniDream reshapes reality bringing peace through justice to lands of earth, psyche, soul & dream.

SWEDEN Selma Lagerlof:
Selma Lagerlöf, (1858-1940) was the first Swedish author and woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. Some of her most famous work includes: The Saga of Gösta Berling, Jerusalem and The Wonderful adventures of Nils. Many of her books have been made into films.

Ahlgren is a Swedish, New York based film and theatre actor. She is proud to be a part of Jenny Greens initiative to celebrate strong women in our world. To see Sarah’s work please visit her website
Sarah is an AADA graduate.

TAIWAN Liu Shih-Fen:
劉世芬 Liu Shih-Fen is one of the most influential contemporary Taiwanese artists since 1996 and her work has been widely shown at prestigious international exhibitions in Taiwan, Japan, USA, UK, Israel and Italy, including the Liverpool Biennale in 1999 and the Venice Biennale in 2001. She was born in 1964 in Taipei, and her work as an artist goes hand-in-hand with her full-time work as a nurse in an obstetrics and gynecology. Without any official training in fine art either in college or at university, she started her career as a fine artist in the mid 1990s. Her first multimedia work, Murmurs - 119 Ways to Read Heart Sound (1996) was nominated for the Taipei Art Award in 1996.  Regarded by many as a pioneer, Liu Shih-Fen integrated her knowledge of medical science and her ability in multi-disciplinary mediums, exploring the struggles of power and the relationship between men (e.g. medical doctors, usually male-dominated) and women (e.g. nurses, mainly female-centred). Her work expresses her emotions of solitariness and sadness in Taiwan’s modern, changing society.

Wen-chi Chen was born and raised in Taiwan and when she was 3 years old, announced to her family: "I am going be in New York and become a hippie artist" (without even knowing where New York was). 22 years ago she moved to New York. 2 years ago she came out of her artist closet and began to paint.
Finally she is living her life as her true self ~ a woman artist!

WALES Fflur Dafydd:
Fflur Dafydd, (b.1978), is a novelist, critic and musician from Carmarthen, West Wales. She first came to prominence after winning the Literature Medal at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in 1999 while still a student of English at Aberystwyth, an award which led to publishing her critically-appraised collection of stories and poems, Y Gwir Am Gelwydd (“The Truth About Lies”) at the age of 20. Having gained an MA in Creative Writing from UEA, a PhD on the poetry of R.S. Thomas from the University of Wales, she then continued to work in several mediums, writing for stage, screen and radio before settling on her preferred medium of fiction. Her first novel Lliwiau Liw Nos (Colours by Night, Y Lolfa) was published in 2005 while her second novel Atyniad (Attraction, Y Lolfa) was awarded the prestigious prose medal at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 2006. She published her first English novel, Twenty Thousand Saints, with Alcemi Press in Autumn 2008, a novel which received the Oxfam Hay Emerging Writer of the Year Award at the Guardian Hay Festival 2009. Her fourth Welsh-language novel won the Daniel Owen Memorial Prize at the National Eisteddfod 2009. She has been a writer-in-residence on Bardsey Island (2002) and in Helsinki (2006) and was recently chosen by the British Council as the first ever Welsh participant on Iowa University's International Writing Program. She travels regularly to literary festivals across the world. She is also a popular singer-songwriter who performs regularly in Wales and further afield."

Clemmie Evans hails from Wales but has been a resident of New York for three years. She attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and has been working as an actress in the city since graduating in 2011. She loves all things literary and is proud to be giving Wales a voice tonight. Cymru am byth

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