For intrepid spirits hoping to connect with local artists, Miami’s SWAN Spoken Soul Festival is one of the city’s premier ways to connect with women visionaries. This flagship is part of the city’s SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day celebration, a yearly observance designed to provide exposure to and reinforce the importance of female artistry.
“SWAN Day... represents empowerment. The goal of SWAN is to inspire a sisterhood of artists who support and promote each other's work and to expose the community to the incredible art that women artists are creating,” spokesperson Ily Goyanes explains.
This year's event at the Arsht Center will follow the theme "Art = Humanity." Though the event has always been an important way for community members to show their support for women artists, Goyanes says, SWAN is more crucial now than ever.
“Fortunately, the strategy to hold women back has backfired, resulting in a renewed third wave of feminism — let's call it Wave 3B,” she says. “We will no longer accept the roles assigned to us by old white men. We are not going to shut up. We will roar louder than ever.”
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SWAN will take place over three days, beginning with the SWAN Community Program this Friday, April 6. The event is designed for Spoken Soul Festival participants to show mutual support for their community, and this year, the ensemble will renovate the lounge in SafeSpace, a Miami-Dade shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children.
SWAN continues Saturday, April 7, with the Spoken Soul Showcase and concludes Sunday, April 8, with the sold-out Vanessa Baez Memorial Women’s Brunch, which will take place at Brava, the Arsht Center's onsite restaurant, and feature America’s Got Talent star and Miami native Yoli Mayor as the guest speaker.
The Spoken Soul Festival is free and open to the public, and Goyanes believes visitors can expect positive feelings to come from their experience. “Fun, camaraderie, inspiration, awe, good vibes,” she says. “It really is a one-of-a-kind event. You have artists, photographers, filmmakers, dancers, and spoken-word artists. What other event offers all that without a cover charge?”
SWAN Spoken Soul Festival. Friday, April 6, through Sunday, April 8, at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; arshtcenter.org. Admission is free.