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SheROCKS Event Partners with Americans For the Arts
5 min read


In its 10th year of celebrating women artists and entrepreneurs, SheROCKS will feature multicultural artists from across the nation.

Washington, D.C. — In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Americans for the Arts announced that they’ll be joining the 2023 SheROCKS Event as an official Awareness Partner. SheROCKS is one of the fastest growing events for emerging multicultural women artists and entrepreneurs. The event will be held at Capital Turnaround, 700 M St SE, Washington, D.C., on March 25, 2023. Tickets are on sale at Eventbrite.

Created in 2013 by The State of Fem Art, SheROCKS honors women making strides in visual and performing arts. It aims to encourage the growth and preserve the futures of women artists and creatives who don't often have access to arts education, funding, and opportunities on par with their male counterparts.

Throughout the year, Americans for the Arts will spotlight SheROCKS’ work and artists to create national equitable awareness about women in the arts and educate other emerging artist on resources available to help guide and support their careers. In addition, Americans for the Arts will host a series of community conversations across Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, to explore topics impacting the arts and culture community.

“We are excited to partner with SheROCKS in this vital work to empower female multicultural artists,” stated Americans for the Arts President and CEO Nolen V. Bivens. “This year’s International Women’s Day theme, #EmbraceEquity, aligns with our vision of the cultural, social, educational, and economic power of the arts to help solve some of the greatest challenges in America. In order to overcome barriers and achieve inclusion and belonging, equitable action is required. We strive to advocate equitably for the power of the arts across the nation and SheROCKS is an excellent opportunity to do just that.”

Now in its 10th year, the event will offer an array of activities, including live performances, exhibits, dynamic workshops, rousing talks, educational panels, a women-owned marketplace, and a power brunch to advance connection and collaboration. The celebration kicks off with the ultimate girl’s night out—a pamper party & mixer with luxe treats to launch an exhilarating weekend that provides a magnificent opportunity to experience women’s artistry up close and personal.

“We are grateful to collaborate with Americans for the Arts to drive awareness around the importance of elevating artists who are often under-resourced. Amplifying their work and stories helps us continue to work towards a more equitable art world, one that considers the cultural and lived experiences of all women artists,” said SheROCKS Founder Timea Faulkner.

The event’s lineup will showcase singer Bobbie Michelle, singer/musician Shan Dae, singer PatriceLIVE, visual artist Michaela Baldwin, singer/songwriter Kyaira, Filmmaker of the Year honoree Debbie Vu, musician Roella Orolo, dancer Nya, singer Janai, photographer Kourtney Iman, Poet, Ashley Cruel, Visual Artist, Cherrelle King, Photographer of the Year honoree Olivia “Lit Liv,” and photographer/visual artist Dawn Bangi. For a complete list of showcased artists, visit

This year’s event sponsors include: Chaise Management Group, Destiny’s Pops, PXL Booth, Zen in A Jar, An Xquisite Beginning Event Design, among others.

For more information, please follow along through our social media platforms at @Americans4Arts.

Mariaesmeralda Paguaga

5 min read

SOFemArt's SheROCKS Event joins forces w/ The Better Give Giveback Foundation to Support College Creatives & Alumni Artists

The State of Fem Art’s SheROCKS Event has joined forces w/ 501(c)3 The Better Give Giveback Foundation through their Creatives on Campus program.

The State of Fem Art’s SheROCKS Event has joined forces w/ 501(c)3 The Better Give Giveback Foundation through their Creatives on Campus program to create an annual programming initiative called “SheROCKS w/ CROC.” This program provides immersion, education, and opportunities for women of color in post-secondary education to learn about the arts and creative business careers with specialized programming starting at this year’s SheROCKS Event on March 23rd-March 25th.

According to research by Americans For the Arts, Students engaged in arts learning have higher GPAs, standardized test scores, college-going rates, and lower drop-out rates. However, the Department of Education reports that access to arts education for students of color is significantly lower than for their white peers. In addition, 72% of business leaders say that creativity is one of the top 5 skills business leaders seek when hiring.Did you know the nation’s arts and culture sector (nonprofit, commercial, education) is an $876.7 billion industry that supports 4.6 million jobs (AFTA, 2020)?

If women of color are not provided with equal access to arts learning and cultural experiences that foster the creativity needed to develop future business leaders and innovators, then how can they benefit from the jobs and opportunities created by individuals in the arts and industries where creativity is a core skill needed for various corporate sectors?

This annual program will:

✔️Immerse participants of the Creatives on Campus community program within one of the fastest growing event weekends for emerging women artists and entrepreneurs, SheROCKS Event.

✔️Provide participants with training and educational opportunities to learn about careers and entrepreneurship within arts & entertainment, marketing, consulting, health and wellness, and more.We’re thrilled about this partnership as our goal is to continue to increase equity in the arts for artists and creative students while providing immersive experiences that foster creative and business skills, a knowledge and appreciation for the arts, and encourage creativity in post-secondary educational settings.

Link to donate: SheROCKS w/ CROC Campaign

The State of Fem Art Teams Up With DiscoverU Health
5 min read

The State of Fem Art Teams Up With DiscoverU Health to Bring Affordable Healthcare and Wellness Programming to Artists

The State of Fem Art (SOFemArt) and DiscoverU Health have partnered to provide affordable healthcare for freelance women artists and artpreneurs .

The State of Fem Art Teams Up With DiscoverU Health to Bring Affordable Healthcare and Wellness Programming to Artists

(WASHINGTON, DC) –– The State of Fem Art (SOFemArt) and DiscoverU Health have partnered to provide affordable healthcare for freelance women artists and artpreneurs in D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia. DiscoverU Health is a nurse-led healthcare management firm that provides inclusive concierge medicine to pediatrics and adults through virtual and concierge in-home visits by board-certified professional providers.

Starting March 24th until April 24th, SOFemArt members will receive 15% off DiscoverU's monthly health plan and services, providing access to Primary Care, Urgent Care, Chronic Care, Mental Care, Sexual Health, Women's Health Care, Dermatology Care, Dental, Vision, Labs, and more. After the initial launch of their partnership, SOFemArt members will continue receiving 10% off services through 2023. The two organizations have also partnered to provide health & wellness programming for artists education and awareness to encourage creative entrepreneurs and artists to integrate health and well-being into their daily lives.

"Many of our artists have shared how hard it is to find affordable mental and health care services and coverage. That truth is even greater for BIPOC women artists who work full-time in the arts & entertainment industry. Not only are the health and well-being of artists a necessity to us, but it is vital. We're happy to partner with DiscoverU health because they truly care about providing person-centered, equitable care," said Timea Faulkner, Founder of SOFemArt.

The partnership announcement comes on the forthcoming launch of the SOFemArt app, which will happen during the SheROCKS event in Washington, D.C, at The Capital Turnaround. At the event, SOFemArt and DiscoverU Health will share more about their blossoming partnership and why it's a game-changer for full-time artists.

“Everyone should have the liberty to pursue their passion and purpose without the risk of losing access to healthcare. With the SOFemArt and DiscoverU Health partnership, artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs can participate in preventive health while enjoying the pursuit of their dreams. Following your passion presents significant risks, but healthcare should not be one of them,” said DiscoverU Health CEO, Pamgrace Gachenge.

Register here to join the SOFemArt directory for access to DiscoverU healthcare services and to attend wellness events fueled through this partnership:

About The State of Fem Art

SOFemArt is a community-driven platform + app of artists and advocates committed to amplifying the voices and work of women artists through mentorship, resources, opportunities, funding, and curation. We aim to reframe gender biases and false perceptions about the education, skill, intellect, or talent of women creatives across the arts and entertainment industries. We do this by putting a lens back on raw talent, putting the resources in the hands of artists, and putting the power of amplification back into the hands of fans to work towards a more equitable arts, entertainment, and tech industry.

About DiscoverU Health

DiscoverU Health tech-enabled healthcare is changing the narrative and standard of care. Evident in our motto, 'bringing care to you,' we're making concierge medicine affordable and accessible to underserved or uninsured individuals. Our preventative health services are anchored in partnership with small businesses and individuals. We aim to leverage healthcare, hospitality, and technology so every client has quality care with tangible outcomes.


Photo of celebrity Monique Coleman

Representation Still Falls Short For Black Women in Hollywood

Many questions come to mind when I reflect back to when I was a young little Black girl. I would watch Disney Channel TV shows from ICarly

Many questions come to mind when I reflect back to when I was a young little Black girl. I would watch Disney Channel TV shows from ICarly to Hannah Montana, and the only resemblance of something close to home was That's So Raven.

A great show in its entirety, though I've come to realize that I didn't have much representation in my youth of myself or my culture.

What started off as the best shows on television turned out to be the only shows on television.

There was never an option to switch between channels or movies of black families on Lifetime Movie Network or ABC Family. Instead, it was only on BET.

I would turn the channel to BET and watch the Awards with my mom and sister, watching Beyonce perform Deja Vu at the Grammys and Jennifer Hudson delivering powerful vocals from the film DreamGirls. Though BET had it all: live performances, black movies, and even hilarious rerun episodes of Martin and The Jamie Foxx Show - it was the only source of Black television.

And that came at a cost for Black women.

The provocative outfits of women wearing long v-neck slits across their chest dress outline or the too-tight fitted dresses that complimented their curves set a poor standard for the image of Black women.

Take, for example, R&B music videos like 50 Cent's "Candy Shop," where black women could be seen dancing sexually and acting out the submissive fantasies of men. Dancing blindly to the subliminal messages covertly intermingled with fancy cars and witty lyrics - it continues to be hard to overcome what society has deemed to be the archetype black woman.

The depiction of Black women has been hyper-sexualized for so many years throughout the media scene.

Surgically produced bodies, larger-than-life boobs, and even longer wigs, becoming the next black Barbie–THAT became the version of the Black woman most often seen in the media. No longer seeing the diversity or range that represents Black women in all our different flavors - the depiction is starting to fall far from reality.  

We still don't have enough diverse representation of us in the media, and the little we do have prioritizes hypersexualization.

The management teams responsible for casting black women for roles are predominately white men, according to The study also found that about 92% of CEOs in the entertainment industry are white, and 68% are white men.

It's already a slippery slope when the selected depiction of Black women is decided amongst a group that does not represent them in any way.

How do we go about this issue?

I've read numerous articles and watched countless interviews where Black artists in the entertainment industry share their frustrations.

They face encounters behind the scenes that they've expressed as "too damaging to their authentic selves."

Disney star Monique Coleman, known for her role as Taylor in High School Musical, shared in 2021 to Insider Entertainment in an article Monique Coleman reveals her High School Musical character wore headbands because the crew didn't know how to style Black hair that "We've grown a lot in this industry and we've grown a lot in representation, and we've grown a lot in terms of understanding the needs of an African American actress. But the truth is, they had done my hair, and they had done it very poorly in the front."

Monique Coleman as Taylor in the movie High School Musical

She then went on to mention that while playing Taylor, the team of hair stylists always insisted that she wear headbands to "maintain" her hair. Her character was always presented with straightened hair. In order to "define" her look to appear more naturally pleasing, a headband was granted by executives on the show.

Why are so many young Black women taught at a young age that their hair is "too difficult" to handle?

Gabrielle Union, well known for her role in Bring It On, stated in a discussion with Glamour that she realized too early on in the industry that "there were many people in hair and makeup trailers who were totally unqualified to do my hair." She openly shared that hairstylists would use products dedicated to white hair that would leave poor results on her black hair. Union recalled an encounter where a hair stylist used Aqua Net too frequently on her hair, causing chunks of her hair to fall out while on set.

Rather than accepting the distinction between natural black hair vs. white hair on screen and off, the "favorable" look always ends in the way of the white image.

Accurate representation and management of authentic depictions of Black women aren't just stripped away by dumbing down our appearance to meet misogynistic stereotypes or not allowing us to wear our hair in all its many textures and styles, but it's also historically lightening our skin post-edit or not having our shade of makeup on set to begin with.

Often while watching films that feature a far from diverse cast or even in magazines, Black women are seen with slight color distortions that do not match their correct skin shades. As Black women, we range in all different sizes and colors, and how we show up in films, on stage, and in photos should reflect that.

Leomie Anderson, a model for Victoria's Secret came forward in a recent Live stream via Instagram. She spoke with Insider Magazine, showing the makeup completed on her face after a day's work. What caught everyone's attention was the drastic discoloration from her normal skin tone and the orange shade that was added to her complexion. Anderson expressed her embarrassment by explaining the original look that the cosmetics team had completed on her and told the viewers that she had to fix the makeup to prevent walking out in such a disappointing way.

Leomie Anderson with (left) and without (right) makeup

Since when did it become the models' or actresses' responsibility to "correct" their glam due to the lack of hair and makeup teams not being culturally fluent in their craft?

It is beyond disappointing to hear more stories about how black beauty and the representation of women who look like me are not widely recognized, understood, or embraced.

How many women will have to share their stories?

The pressure that black artists already face in the industry is overwhelming. But it becomes an ever more significant issue when many people in positions of influence have yet to acknowledge and address that this is, in fact, STILL an issue.

But, rather than pass the issue to someone else, why not strive to change it? Educate yourselves on Black beauty and the entire essence of who we really are, not what society has depicted us to be.

Illustration of Bisa Butler

Bisa Butler Creates Portrait Quilts That Shares the Black Experience

This Women’s History month, we commissioned artist Aniko Aliyeva to celebrate the work of incredible women in visual arts.

This Women’s History month, we commissioned artist Aniko Aliyeva to celebrate the work of incredible women in visual arts.

Today, we recognize artist Bisa Butler. Her intricate portrait quilts tell the stories of the Black experience in technicolor. Each fabric is carefully selected as she translates historical photos into brilliant works of art.

The fiber artist has shared it can take hundreds of hours to complete just ONE quilt.  

In an interview with Print Magazine, Bisa shared, “Quilts are tombs of history. Printed fabrics give you a date and time. If I’m using oranges and blues and dayglow flowers made of polyester, you know that fabric is from the 70s because they’re not making fabric like that anymore.”

The New Jersey native holds her BFA from Howard University and a Master’s in Art and Education from Montclair State University.

This April, she will be honored by the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) alongside Faith Ringgold and Brian Donnelly (KAWS) for their 60th Anniversary Gala at Gotham Hall in New York.

Illustration of women artists
Women In Music
5 min read

9 Women Artists Changing the Game

USC’s Annenberg recent Inclusion Initiative report explored artists and creators of the top 800 songs on Billboards hot 100 charts spanning from 2012

USC’s Annenberg recent Inclusion Initiative report explored artists and creators of the top 800 songs on Billboards hot 100 charts spanning from 2012 to 2019. The study found that women made up only 27.1% of artists, 12.5% of songwriters, and an astounding 2.6% are producers. Our goal is to shed light on the many women who are immensely talented music producers, composers, audio engineers, artists, songwriters, and instrumentalists changing the way we experience music for now and the future.

Here is a wrap-up of a few women you should know about that are changing the game in the music industry and paving the way for a new generation of women in music.

Women artists
Visual Arts
5 min read

Women Artists Take Forefront at Biennale Arte 2022

2005 became a groundbreaking year for the 51st edition of the Biennale when Maria de Corral and Rosa Martinez would become the first two women

2005 became a groundbreaking year for the 51st edition of the Biennale when Maria de Corral and Rosa Martinez would become the first two women to curate the exhibition for the first time in its history.

This year, the exhibition, which features 213 artists, spotlights more than 180 women. Many of the featured artists are also indigenous, people of color, or non-binary artists. A choice which this year's curator Cecilia Alemani says is "a deliberate rethinking of man's centrality in the history of art and contemporary culture."

While women have been primary drivers in many facets of contemporary art culture, many of their stories have not been shared broadly by being given the space to exhibit at world-renown exhibitions like Biennale.  

Cecilia Alemani, Photo by Andrea Avezzù | Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

During a recent interview with ArtNews, Alemani said that she "made a point of focusing on women artists because [she] wanted to try to bring to the surface those stories that have been considered by many to be minor. Surrealism, Futurism, all those movements—they all had female artists."

In the exhibition opening to the public on April 23, there are heavy themes of surrealism and many new artists being featured alongside historic artists---quite different from the previous Biennale's. We can appreciate the space Alemani is also making for indigenous women in the arts.

"It is an important element of the show, not just because they are Indigenous, but because they bring to the forefront a different way of storytelling that is not the traditional one," she shared with Alex Greenberger for ArtNews.

The La Biennale di Venezia was set back a year due to the global pandemic, giving Alemani space and time to carefully curate this year's exhibition. In some ways, the pandemic and its impact on many of the participating artists truly influenced its direction.

The international exhibition "Milk of Dreams," titled after the book by Leonora Carrington (1917–2011), will take place in the Central Pavilion (Giardini) and in the Arsenale in Venice, Italy.

"The Milk of Dreams was conceived and organized in a period of enormous instability and uncertainty, since its development coincided with the outbreak and spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. La Biennale di Venezia was forced to postpone this edition by one year, an event that had only occurred during the two World Wars since 1895. So the very fact that this exhibition can open is somewhat extraordinary: its inauguration is not exactly the symbol of a return to normal life, but rather the outcome of a collective effort that seems almost miraculous," said Alemani.

The exhibit includes 213 artists from 58 countries; 180 of these are participating for the first time in the International Exhibition. There will be 1,433 works and objects on display, and 80 new projects were conceived specifically for the Biennale Arte. More importantly, let's celebrate the fact that women artists are shining bright, loudly, and boldly at this year's exhibition.

The State Of Fem Art Podcast Cover

The #SOFemART Gallery, Podcast, and Intention

On March 27, 2021, Love Life Media revealed “The State of Fem Art” (SOFA) virtual art gallery and 360 experience designed by Fatimah “Sattom” Al Asad

On March 27, 2021, Love Life Media revealed “The State of Fem Art” (SOFA) virtual art gallery and 360 experience designed by Fatimah “Sattom” Al Asad and curated by event founder Timea Gaines to recognize visual artists being spotlighted at this year’s SheROCKS event. The experience was crafted to commission, collaborate, and spotlight women artists and boldly declare our commitment to helping women artists and creatives be seen.

“We heard so many stories about women artists and entrepreneurs who had succeeded after attending SheROCKS event. We learned of the partnerships and relationships they established through the event. We also received numerous requests to do more. So we decided to create a space to continue the conversation, but more importantly to disrupt the industry in a way that levels the playing field for women in male-dominated industries,” said Timea Gaines CEO & Founder, Love Life Media.

With the SOFA announcement, you can expect media and entertainment, events, workshops, resources, tools, grants, collaborations, and a podcast set to feature women artists and creators.

Today is the first official public viewing of the SOFA art gallery and the podcast cover, which was created to highlight women artists who were disruptors in their own right.

On the podcast cover, you will see Frida Kahlo, Yayoi Kusama, Faith Ringold, Aretha Franklin, Audrey Hepburn, Norma Merrick Sklarek, Zaha Hadid, Rei Kawakubo, Madeline Anderson, and Debbie Allen. The first episode will provide a closer look at why each artist was chosen for the cover and their inspiring stories.

To receive the latest news about #SoFemART and the podcast launch, make sure you’re following @SoFemArt on Instagram.