Women Who Rock: Making Scenes, Building Communities "Vibrations of Love" (2012 Conference)
This year’s theme asks us to consider the possibilities and limitations of space in relation to musical performance, transformation, and community building. We aim to honor Washington Hall’s legacy of fostering music scenes and political organizing by exploring past and present spaces of women’s, queer and transgender musical performance.
Located in the Central District, Washington Hall’s community and immigrant roots are deep. Though the hall is an unconventional conference space, we see its current renovation as an opportunity to access the building in creative and unexpected ways, using spaces like the balcony, hallways, dressing rooms, and kitchen as meeting areas.
The sonic vibrations of love generated by musicians and speakers such as Marian Anderson, Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Jimi Hendrix, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, and Joe Louis reverberate in the building walls. Washington Hall is now the new home of progressive, community-based arts organizations such as Hidmo, Voices Rising, Uzuri Productions, and 206 Zulu.
We have the opportunity to activate the building's musical "vibrations of love," created and sustained across generations. How do these musical vibrations create a sense of home in a hostile environment, helping to disrupt, re-imagine and reinvent the social and physical structures that shape everyday life?