Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
New Womanity music festival aims to empower young girls
A NEW music festival is to take place in Oxford later this year, aimed at boosting young women’s confidence.
The “Womanity” festival is being organised by the Young Women’s Music Project (YWMP) and is to be held in November.
It will include a combination of live music performances, female guest panels, self-defence workshops and more.
Zahra Tehrani, director of YWMP, said the venue has not yet been confirmed but she hopes to host the festival in the grounds of an Oxford University college.
The 26-year-old said: “The festival will be filled with performances and workshops that will guide and inspire young girls.
“There’s a lot of sexual violence against young women – especially with regards to the recent Bullfinch case.
“The festival aims to support them and we’re quite ambitious. We’re looking for over 1,000 people [to attend].”
Ms Tehrani has been working for YWMP since 2004 and has led the project since its founder, Kate Garrett, died of cancer aged 37 in May 2009.
The project was founded in 1999 and was originally based at the Ark T Centre in Cowley, before it moved to Safehouse Studio, in Cave Street, Oxford.
It hosts music workshops twice a month aimed at women.
She added: “If we didn’t have the Young Women’s Music Project then lots of girls just wouldn’t try out new music.
“The reality is that they would be running in the streets.
“School only does a certain amount to build confidence for young people and music can do so much more – it’s about empowerment.”
YWMP has won £6,000 funding from Oxfordshire County Council’s positive activities fund for the past two years, which has been used to pay Ms Tehrani, buy instruments, rent Safehouse Studio and buy the members’ bus fares to and from the jam sessions on the first Monday each month.
Member Mary James, 14, from Wolvercote, pitched for the latest grant with the help of Regina Filipazzo, 14.
She said: “It’s so exciting.I’m really looking forward to getting the festival organised.YWMP means a lot to me and provides so many opportunities.”
Confirmed speakers at Womanity so far include American author Sabrina Chap, who will talk about her book Live Through This and perform her own music.
The group has asked Oxford School of Ju Jitsu to lead self-defence workshops and there will be local bands playing on the day, as well as the YWMP.
Details about timing and location are to be confirmed but for more, visit ywmp.info
Comments are closed on this article.