This year’s festival focuses on connecting communities through digital events
SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 BY JB CLARK
The Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Mississippi is kicking off the sixth annual Sarahfest on Saturday (Oct. 3) with a Facebook Live concert by musician and University of Memphis student Jordan Occasionally.
The yearly festival recognizes women’s contributions to visual arts, literature, music and media. This year’s theme, Connecting Communities, grew out of a focus on digital spaces brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, the visual arts portion of the festival will move from the gallery into the community. The festival’s artists will be transforming public spaces into displays of their work. The art also will be printed on postcards so that participants can share with people in other communities.
“Since the world has gone digital due to the pandemic, we wanted to focus on digital artists who’ve been put to work connecting people with each other through art forms like graphic design,” said Kevin Kozart, the center’s operations coordinator and coordinator of community engaged learning and research. “These artists are working to connect communities in a time when we’re so disconnected.”
This year’s programing will run through Nov. 7 when it will culminate with a prerecorded concert from Teneia Sanders, an award-winning musician and songwriter from Jackson.
The Sarahfest events include:
- Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. – Jordan Occasionally
- Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. – “All We’ve Got” documentary screening and Q&A with director Alexis Clements
- Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. – The “yoU Me Music Hour” podcast launch
- Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. – Queer studies lecture featuring Robert Fieseler
- Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. – Teneia Sanders concert
“We’re very excited about our fall lineup for Sarahfest,” said Theresa Starkey, associate director and instructional associate professor of gender studies. “The center has reimagined what an arts and music festival can look like; thanks to the help of our campus and community partners.
“We hope that by utilizing different media forms, we can reach a diverse and broader audience. We want to connect people to the arts, to our artists and to each other.”
More information and registration for events, as well as where to find the public displays, can be found at https://www.sarahfest.rocks/.