SWAN Day 2012 at NMWA

Join theater professionals and enthusiasts for a marathon of staged readings as part of the SWAN Day 2012 celebration!

"Curvy by Nature" at the 2010 SWAN Day staged reading

"Curvy by Nature" at the 2010 SWAN Day staged reading

SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day began five years ago as the brainchild of arts leaders Jan Lisa Huttner and Martha Richards, whose goal was to serve both artists and audiences. Since the celebration’s founding in 2007, over 700 SWAN Day events have been held in 21 countries. Held on the last weekend in March (Women’s History Month), SWAN Day brings performing, literary and visual artists together to celebrate women’s achievements in those fields. NMWA’s participation last year included video, poetry readings, and theater.

This year NMWA has partnered with the Georgetown Theatre Company and Women in Film and Video to present work by 13 playwrights from the U.S. and abroad. A panel discussion featuring women directors including Eleanor Holdridge, Jenny McConnell Frederick, and Mary Resing will discuss what qualities they look for in a new play.

NMWA has always included the performing and literary arts as an integral part of its mission and programming. The opening of the museum included the performance of a commissioned piece by composer Ellen Taafe Zwilich in the Great Hall. Exceptional women writers have been invited for public readings, and the museum has held writing workshops for teens. This past fall, in conjunction with the collection-based exhibition Trove: The Collection in Depth, the first-ever in-gallery theater pieces were performed. By participating in SWAN Day 2012, NMWA continues to support and highlight the accomplishments of all women artists.

Celebrate women artists of all kinds on Saturday, March 31, 1–5 p.m. The panel discussion begins at 2:30 p.m. Events are free with price of admission. For additional information, visit nmwa.org or www.womenarts.org/swan/.

—Elizabeth Keaney is the assistant educator at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.