This Saturday is the Seventh Annual SWAN day or Support Women Artists Now. SWAN day started as part of a collaboration between Chicago’s WITASWAN (Women Artists in the Audience Supporting Women Arts Now) led by my esteemed friend Jan Huttner and WomenArts. The initiative WITASWAN is a a conscious effort to support women in film. SWAN day arose out of it as a single day at the end of March to celebrate the work of women in the arts.

Read more here: http://www.womenarts.org/swan-day/swan2/history/

Women in the arts simply do not get the recognition as their male counterparts. If you look at just the Oscar statistics, female representation of nominees is dismal. I think that three women have been nominated for best director in the entire history.  Last year, novelist Kathryn Heyman took the London Review of Books to task for its “the stunning lack of female representation in its publication.” It has no female reviewers either. And it’s not because there aren’t good books or good movies written and/or directed by women. They just don’t get the attention they deserve. Books, movies etc by women shouldn’t be considered a niche genre; we represent slightly more than half of the population!

So it’s important for audiences to make conscious decisions about what they consume. Otherwise, nothing will change. Good filmmakers and writers of different viewpoints will fade away into obscurity.

So on Saturday, make the decision to see a film directed or written by a woman. Or maybe go to the bookstore and by a book by a woman. Check out local events in your town: http://www.womenarts.org/swan/

I’m going to learn about Clara Driscoll, a famous designer at the Louis Comfort Tiffany shop, and hopefully see Afternoon of a Faun at the Music Box. What are you going to do?


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