Holly Near is a unique combination of entertainer, teacher, and activist. An immense vocal talent, Near’s career as a singer has been defined by an unwillingness to separate her passion for music from her passion for human dignity. She is a skilled performer and an outspoken ambassador for peace who brings to the stage an integration of world consciousness, spiritual discovery, and theatricality.
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Vicci Martinez is a recording artist known for passionate performances, powerhouse vocals, and forging her own path —independently releasing music and touring the country prior to being a finalist on the first season of NBC’s The Voice in 2011. On the show, she was mentored by CeeLo Green and together they released the single “Come Along” for her major label debut. Vicci Martinez has shared the stage with BB King, The Roots, Ed Sheeran, Train, and more. In 2015, she returned to her home town of Tacoma WA where she embarked on a journey to discover deeper meaning and purpose in her songwriting. The further she progressed in that search, the closer it brought her back to her youthful intention of music’s powerful influence to mend hearts and bring joy to people. That reminder sparked a strong desire to mentor and guide young musicians in their journey. She is currently writing and releasing music independently to allow her time to get involved in projects focused on inspiring and educating youth in the arts.
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Be Steadwell is a singer songwriter from Washington DC. With roots in jazz, acapella and folk-Be transforms a soulful blend of genres into what she calls queer pop. In her live performances, she utilizes loop pedal vocal layering and beat boxing to compose her songs on stage. Be's self-produced albums feature her earnest lyricism, proud LGBTQ content, unapologetic silliness, and the art of the simple love song.
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Heather Mae was once just a folk songwriter with a ukulele but after recovering from vocal nodules – which left her unable to sing for two years – she is stretching the limits of her music and her voice. Her newest EP, titled “I AM ENOUGH”, is a collection of five anthemic songs that encourage the listener to search for the best version of themselves while also shaking their hips to a new wave of pop – think Tegan & Sara, meets Sara Bareilles, with the vocal tenacity of Etta James.
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Pandora Scooter is a powerful spoken word dynamite dyke artist whose performances draw audiences in and leave them feeling great. She's performed across the nation at Pride Centers and Festivals and Universities. She's shared the stage with the incomparable Lily Tomlin, Melissa Ferrick, Alix Olson, Bitch, Crys Matthews, Antara, Sonia and Disappear Fear along with many others. She is thrilled to be back at SisterSpace!
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G.U.T.S. (Give Us The Strength)
Tiik.Angela.Ebony are G.U.T.S. (Give Us The Strength), a passionate, Washington DC based, power-risk, post-punk trio. They have one album out and one on the way. GUTS music builds on their years of varied experiences and ultimately grows out of that mystical place between classic rock/punk and new rock. G.U.T.S. has played venues from Virginia to Connecticut in clubs, festivals & backyard BBQ's.
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FIERCE is a five piece, all-girl band based out of Lancaster, PA. Their music consists of classic rock and blues to modern rock, pop and dance hits with some originals thrown in to showcase their writing talent. The group has been in existence since November 2011. While some of the members have changed over the years, the group’s intensity remains strong. The current line-up features former members of the bands Dirty Girls, Sisterbeat and Deja Vudoo.
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Sha'Ifa Mami Watu
Philadelphia poet Sha'Ifa Mami Watu is the creator and driving force behind Rough Ground, a Community Workshop-to-Performance Experience. In describing the poetry of Sha’Ifa Mami Watu, the playwright Robert Bashiri Price wrote that, “In an age of lies and falsehoods, the truth becomes exotic…”. Rough Ground is that exotic place where truth crystallizes into something precious. It is a safe, creative space where dancers, visual artists, vocalists and indigenous drummers first workshop in their disciplines and then perform with the poet, interpretations of her poetry. It is a place where the truth of a single artist, becomes a collective story - retold by a community of artists.
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Janie Womack and Jody Echterling
Janie Womack and Jody Echterling have both been making music since they were kids. Both are self-taught, accomplished musicians who’ve been performing in the Central Pennsylvania area for many years in various groups, Jody as a rock drummer/vocalist and Janie as a vocalist/guitarist. Together they’ve created a unique sort of acoustic act – music of many colors; from 50’s to current, country to pop, blues to old standards, ballads to alternative – a little something for everyone! The combination of their cohesive vocals, “strings and beats”, and zany interaction makes for an evening of captivating entertainment! “Music is a powerful element – it touches people at such a deep level. It never ceases to amaze me how intensely gratifying it is to experience the energy exchange between performer and audience, and it’s true no matter what side of the footlights you’re on.” - Janie It’s my heart and soul. “Entertaining people has always been one of the greatest joys in my life – to make people forget about their troubles for a while and…feel the love! It’s one of the best feelings ever!” - Jody
Kei Slaughter (they/them) is a Soul-folk sonic storyteller conjuring bokou magik from deep New Orleans roots. Expansive in genre and gender, they bring the gospel of freedom frequencies to a community of listeners becoming participants in their own radical authenticity.
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Ashley is a black, queer singer/songwriter based in Philadelphia. The music of Ashley Phillips / APSoul can be described as soulful, spiritual storytelling that is both universal and timeless. Her early influ ences come from music from the early 90’s - “Equally influenced by the sounds on the radio and my mother’s record collection, my sound draws from my affinity of 90’s Pop/R&B and Dance, and 80’s soul,funk and disco.”
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Kia McCall-Barnes, also known as Kia Comedy, is an Atlanta based LGBTQ comedian who is currently touring with her signature “Queer Comedy” shows. She has performed with many prominent comedians, including Luenell, Comedian Shang, and TK Kirkland, and she is also the host of SVTV Network’s “Queer Comedy Jam,” which features some of the country’s best LGBTQ comedians
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Debra D'Alessandro is an activist, educator and entertainer with a wide range of performance and broadcast experience. An award-winning broadcaster, she is host and producer of Amazon Country. Founded in 1974 Amazon Country is the nation's longest running lesbian/feminist radio program. Debra has hosted the show since 1996, and has received two Philadelphia Gay News Lambda Awards and a 2003 OutMusic Special Recognition Award for her work on Amazon Country.
From 1999 to 2005, Debra hosted weekly call-in TV talk shows, "Philly LIVE: Your Gay and Lesbian Community Connection" and "OutLoud" on WYBE public television. The two-time Emmy-nominated "Philly Live" was America's first live gay-themed television talk show.
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The Di-Cent Show is an edutainment radio show that will educate you on social awareness community resources to empower and uplift those in community. The D-Cent Show is The Platform for The People while Keeping It Di-Cent on the Grind! Check ou Di every Thursday from 6-8pm EST.
Ms. Rhythm Speaker and Music Over Matter (MOM)Jan Jeffries (aka Ms. Rhythm Speaker) is the founder of Music Over Matter. MOM is a diverse group of women sharing Soulful Beatz Rhythms and vocals while inviting audience participation. Members are Marcy Francis: bass player, sekere, jun jun drum & vocal; Auset Ankh: yoga instructor, sekere & jun jun drums: Karen Rayan: our chief gourd grower, jembe & conga player; Jan Jeffries: jembe, congas, trap drums, tap dancer, vocals. Jan Jeffries returns joyfully to SisterSpace; in past years she performed with Voices of Africa, and Monette Sudler Trio, and she also led the Women's Million March in Philly this year. MOM: That other thing you feel inside. No, No, Not talkin' bout your pride. The gut feelin', It lets you know From the stomach to the heart, Through your soul, That beat that gave you & me Life, Yeah, Life.Talkin' bout MOM The rhythm within yourself. Restoration Music, Helping People.
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Want to see who's played at SisterSpace in the past? View past performers
It's early yet, but as usual, we can promise you:
As always, we strive a schedule of workshops that are as interesting and diverse as the many women who attend. n the past, SisterSpace has offered workshops focusing on sexuality, feminism, relationships, body painting, self-improvement, financial planning, car maintenance, salsa dancing, and more! As the workshops are largely community-driven, we welcome you to share your passions and interests by facilitating a workshop (or two - or three). Visit our Workshops section for more info.
For the 3rd straight year, the women of Sexuality Space are pleased to offer a safe space for any SisterSpace attendee over the age of 18 to discuss, explore, witness and participate in consensual erotic play. Personal boundaries are encouraged, accepted and respected at all times. Workshops and events through out the weekend! Cozy public and private play spaces are stocked with safer sex and cleaning supplies. You are welcome to bring your toy bag, your loved one(s) and/or your friends to enjoy and explore the equipment, the educational workshops and the magic of sensuality and sexuality.
Feeling creative? Our Art Space has the supplies you need to express yourself through art (or crafts). Need to work up a sweat? Join a pickup game of basketball or flag football, or maybe a hike to the Susquehanna or some low-key lawn games. Feeling hot? Cool off in the Olympic-sized pool, or just hang out poolside and socialize. Wanna dance and sing? Hit the Saturday night dance party, and then go try our super-fun late night Karaoke. Or - grab a spot at the Open Mic on Saturday and show everyone what you can do! Wanna chill out? Get lost in a movie at the Video Lounge. Whatever your mood, there's something for you to do!