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Womxn 2 Womxn Instruments Change through Art

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Womxn 2 Womxn Instruments Change through Art

Dhani Del Toro dances in a dark lit room.

Dhani Del Toro dances in a dark lit room.

Photo by: Image by Alexis Perez.

Dhani Del Toro dances in a dark lit room.

Photo by: Image by Alexis Perez.

Photo by: Image by Alexis Perez.

Dhani Del Toro dances in a dark lit room.

Story By: Tamika Rey, Business Manager

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Dulce Upfront provided a combination of music, arts, and culture to the public to encourage social change through Womxn 2 Womxn, an open mic showcase, on Jan. 24.

“Womxn 2 Womxn is the umbrella — the megaphone for local artist to speak on issues in ways digestible for people that are there,” Ome Quetzal Lopez, co-founder of Dulce Upfront, said.

Local artists come to Dulce Upfront during the Womxn 2 Womxn showcase to express themselves on issues of society in a comfortable venue. There are DJs who play music between artists’ performances and local vendors outside selling items such as hand woven dream catchers.

Benches and heating lamps at the door embrace those who trickle in and out of the doorways. The stage is fixed in the middle of the room with strobe lights on each side, paintings by local artist on the walls, live plants in the main window and basket woven rugs decorating the floors.

“We like to encourage people to come out and share,” said Ronnie Taylor, co-director of Royal Jelly and the DJ network for Womxn 2 Womxn. “We provide a venue for women and those who identify as women to network musically.”

Guitar, spoken word, and dance were a few of the different types of acts that performed to encourage an atmosphere of multicultural art activism within the community. Last month, Dulce Upfront hosted a runway to encourage the same.

Once Dayanna Sevilla hit the mic, the audience participated in a relaxation exercise where everyone closed their eyes, took a few breaths and then yelled out how they were feeling.

Most art showcases do not get the audience involved. “It’s a place for people to feel, through experiences at places like this: loved, beautiful, appreciated, celebrated,” Lopez said.

Dulce Upfront hosts festivals downtown where they rent three stages as a means to get the community involved to feel included rather than different from others. They also work with nonprofits and colleges and other social groups to use art as activism.

“We want people to see themselves in it,” Lopez said. “We want them to know [people of the community] are not a threat and they are something to celebrate and a part of the culture.”

Dhani Del Toro was one of the acts, and performed an urban dance set. Members of the audience were encouraged to sign up for open mic acts after the relaxation exercise.

Although arts and culture are being used as vehicles for social change at Womxn 2 Womxn, that’s not the only intention. “These showcases are not necessarily about art. We use art as the vehicle,” Lopez said.

Your political beliefs should not deter you from attending the showcases.

“At the end of the day,” Lopez said, “it’s about connection and our sense of this connection to ourselves, the community, mother earth, the universe, and the multiverse.”

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Womxn 2 Womxn Instruments Change through Art