Producer Sarah Tybring aims to bring diversity and excitement to the Wom!nz Spot Lounge and Cafe, the all-women performance space at PrideFest. Tybring and co-producer Terri Meyer have booked a veritable melting pot of acts that are sure to draw an equally varied audience. “We have a little bit of everything,” says Tybring. “We tried to appeal to everybody who might come to our stage. We have so many local artists of great diversity in our community to showcase.”
This year is Meyer’s first as a co-producer, Tybring says, and she’s excited to have her on board. Meyer has a background in performance and a mind for social justice and change, both of which have helped her and Tybring select acts who highlight the importance of diversity, equality, creativity and positivity.
Each day of the festival at the Wom!nz Spot you’ll be sure to encounter something fresh and unique. One featured act on June 10 will be returning duo Mississippi Noir. Vocalist Annabel Lee and drummer Jenna Joanis bring indie and jazz heritage to their act, with a big sound and even bigger personality that you won’t want to miss.
Violin and cello duo Sista Strings will be headlining June 11. Sisters Monique and Chauntee Ross have performed and collaborated around Milwaukee and abroad, opening for such artists as Lupe Fiasco and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. They’ll be among several hip-hop acts and artists performing in sequence Saturday evening. “Their creativity is just unbelievable so I was thrilled to be able to bring them on,” says Tybring. “As the frontrunner of the hip hop show case that evening, they’ll bring such a wonderful blend of orchestral style with a street edge that is danceable and fresh.”
The Wom!nz Spot isn’t just a home for music. Metamorphosis Arts will wow crowds all Saturday with Meta Art Distraction: daring performances on aerial silks, chains and hoops. Tybring says master instructor Kim Anderson created the group to empower women through the arts of pole fitness, dance and yoga. The group will also perform on enormous rigs at the southern end of the festival grounds.
If you’re more into spoken word than sung, there’s plenty of artists devoted to the art of poetry June 12. For Meyers, these artists represent a massive library of social and political knowledge and will also bring self-awareness and body image into the conversation at Wom!nz Spot. “One artist for example will speak to body positivity. Others are very socially aware and have been involved in Black Lives Matter movements in the city, and another that will feature saxophonist Indigo Jade.”
For Tybring and Meyers, PrideFest represents a coming together of the Milwaukee community in a show of awareness, acceptance and forward thought. “Being able to be a part of something that creates community is so important, and to be a part of something that showcases women is also extremely important. We have so much togetherness and unity to create and so Milwaukee’s Pride festival is the perfect event to create safe spaces while supporting so much art,” says Meyers.