Women's contributions to arts and music will be celebrated in Philadelphia this weekend at the 2d Annual Black Lily Film & Music Festival. Films, concerts and workshops will be in abundance May 2-4.
Black Lily began in 1999 as a women-in-music series founded by Mercedes Martinez and Tracey Moore of the alternative R&B duo Jazzyfatnastees. Filmmaker Maori Karmael Holmes, president of the board of directors, brought in the concept of integrating film into the series. The nonprofit organization's goal is to educate the public about the importance of women's artistry.
Melissa Thompson, whose documentary Like a Ship in the Night screens Sunday at International House, focuses on women from Ireland who travel to England illegally to have abortions.
"I wanted to show women's experiences in countries where they don't have these rights," Thompson said.
Among today's screenings at International House are Trouble the Water, about a couple who taped their ordeal of being stranded in the floodwaters of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and Hair Stories, directed by Yvette Smalls, which delves into the cultural issues of hair beauty among African Americans.
Free workshops for girls will be offered at the University of Pennsylvania Carriage House throughout the weekend, focusing on film and video editing and the business of fashion.
Friday's festivities end with the Black Lily Jam Session.
Saturday evening brings the Black Lily Honors and Concert. Tia Lessin, codirector with Carl Deal of Trouble the Water, will be honored along with hip-hop artist Bahamadia.
"To be honored in my hometown is overwhelming," said the rapper, who performs overseas.
Additional honorees are Bernice Johnson Reagon, Jeri Lynne Johnson, Martha Diaz, Pearl Bowser, and Stephanie Black. Scheduled performers include honoree Bahamadia, Jaguar Wright, Ladybug Mecca, Zaki Ibrahim, Emoni Fela, Slick & Rose, Muhsinah, Waheed, J*Davey, Ayo, and Lizz Wright with Toshi Reagon. Poet Amanda Diva will host.