North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art and its “Women on the Rise!” program will host the third annual Girls Summit Friday and Saturday, with panel discussions on topics like gender-specific education, body image and women’s health.
The summit will feature multiple panel discussions over two days along with a film screening, two special exhibitions and a performance from the Seattle-based R&B/hip-hop group THEESatisfaction.
One of the featured speakers at the event will be Ruth Nicole Brown, a gender and women’s studies professor from the University of Illinois. She has started a program called Saving our Lives, Hear Our Truth (SOLHOT), which works with black girls in central Illinois as a space that allows the girls to discuss social and political ideas in their community and come up with potential solutions.
Brown said she participated in the summit two years ago and hopes to get the message of SOLHOT across more clearly now that it has grown in her community.
“Two years ago I was just talking about it and describing it; we’ve been working to find the words to explain it,” Brown said.
She also said that she was drawn to return to South Florida because of the diversity of the women involved and the reputation of MOCA.
“The thing that I really appreciated in years past was how diverse the audience was,” Brown said. “I can’t think of another space that brings so many people together to help young people in our community.”
Stasia “Stas” Iron and Catherine “Cat” Harris-White of THEESatisfaction said they were honored by the invitation to perform and look forward to the opportunity to showcase the kind of art they didn’t always see growing up.
“I love the opportunity to showcase our work to young people as I personally didn't get a chance to see a lot of women performing live growing up,” Harris-White said in an email.
And as two close out the summit on Saturday they hope that the performance will aid in getting across “Women on the Rise!” and MOCA’s goal of encouraging creative expression for the girls.
“They are going through a time when academics are at the forefront of their minds. By stressing areas of science, mathematics, linguistics and social studies while they’re in school it leaves little room for them to express themselves artistically,” Iron said. “We want to give them something else to enjoy.”
General admission for the two-day summit is $20 per day or $30 for both days. Admission for MOCA members, students or educators is $10 per day or $15 for both. Admission to the closing party and THEESatisfaction show is $20 for non-members and $10 for members, students and educators. For more information and to reserve tickets, visit www.mocanomi.org or call 305-893-6211.