Eugene Weekly : Arts Shorts : 3.6.08

Global Women, Global Music

On March 7, the ASUO Women’s Center welcomes everyone to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). It’s a global affair, with musicians from Africa to Tahiti celebrating women.

The first IWD was in 1911 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and according to the IWD website (,it is “the global day connecting all women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential.”

Traditionally, IWD is celebrated on March 8. That’s a Saturday, so the UO will hold its celebration the day before the rest of the world. Aida Jolosheva, organizer of the university’s event, grew up in the former Soviet Union where IWD “is one of the biggest holidays, and everyone celebrates it,” Jolosheva says. “In my home country, it was more built into the culture. When I was in middle school, little boys would give us flowers; it would be very festive.” This is Jolosheva’s first year organizing the event. “I wanted to share that kind of tradition with the University of Oregon, and that’s the reason I wanted to have a concert this year.”

Mahama Abdel Samir will revive the rhythm of African country Burkina Faso through the drums, while a traditional Bhangra dance from the Punjab region will be performed by Sat Pavan Khalsa. Fifteen Tahitian dancers will present a traditional dance, and a performance by the UO’s women’s a capella group will complete the evening.

The International Women’s Day concert is free and begins at 6 pm Friday, March 7, at the Mills International Lounge in the UO’s EMU. — Megan Udow


Raising the Curtain

Live theater in Eugene counts as the most affordable of the performing arts; even the Equity company, the Willamette Rep, often has tix available for $12. Yet beyond the price, barriers remain — theater might seem mysterious, a “high culture” ritual that doesn’t intimidate like classical music but doesn’t invite like a concert at the WOW Hall. But the Lord Leebrick Theatre just won two grants to help change that image. Both the Spirit Mountain Community Fund and the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation just announced $5000 grants to the semi-pro (non-Equity) theater company. The Spirit Mountain grant, from the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, is intended to make theater and theater education more affordable and accessible to youth and low-income folks. The Weyerhaeuser grant will provide scholarships for the Leebrick’s extensive theater education programs. Congrats to the Leebrick for raising the curtain on theater for everyone. — Suzi Steffen


UO Pulling Down the Prizes


And more congrats to the UO’s Theatre Arts program. Though they had to spend time in Dick Cheney-land to learn about it, several UO students were honored Feb. 18-22 at the Northwest Drama Conference and Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VII Conference in Laramie, Wyo. Perhaps the most exciting news came for senior Drew Kaufman, whose designs for King Lear, the UO/LCC production of The Threepenny Opera and the upcoming UO/Lord Leebrick Or Not to Be all won first place. The Threepenny lighting design goes on to the Kennedy Center in D.C. to compete against the other regional winners. Senior Lilli Turner’s fabulous costume designs for La Dispute won two first-place awards as well. In addition, actors Jennifer Thomas and Bobby Vrtis made it to the final round of the acting competition with scenes from Frozen and Henry VI, Part 3; Thomas also performed a monologue from Mystery School. — Suzi Steffen