Tribute to Virginia Giordano
by Toshi Reagon
Virginia Giordano was one of my favorite concert producers. When I was a kid being an intern at Roadwork Inc. (progressive women’s cultural booking and festival production organization), folks would talk about Virginia. She was tough and specific and held her positions strongly. You could depend on her productions. You mixed that with her big mushy heart and dedication to the artists she loved and it was a great combination.
Women’s Music producers were often created out of the need to make a show you wanted to see in your town, or at your school. Lots of folks started out with no experience. Virginia created all her shows with a very professional template. I think her longest relationships were with Ani DiFranco and Sweet Honey In The Rock. She adored my mother (Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon), and after Mom retired from Sweet Honey, Virginia never missed our Sacred Music Show at Joe’s Pub in NYC.
I learned so much from her. It was such a surprise to find out that she was a painter. I was happy to know that she didn’t just produce art but was an artist herself.
Virginia was an activist. She was a white woman who could talk about white people’s privilege in America, and the damage that not having awareness and activating to create balance can do to all living things. From her lifetime of work to her last statements on Facebook, her intention is clear. Her profile picture remains #blacklivesmatter.
I am happy that SisterSpace is keeping her name in the air. Our ancestors are the ones we stand on to keep creating and walk the path of Justice, Liberation, Love, and Freedom. It is good to call their names, learn their names, and pick the fruit you need from their trees.