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Female icons rock

Holly Near & Cris Williamson
March 12, 2004

Female icons rock at Weigel Hall

Holly Near and Cris Williamson, icons in the genre of independent women's music and outspoken activists, will appear at Weigel Hall at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow.

The pair has been performing nationally to sold-out houses in celebration of the August 2003 release of their joint CD.

While not widely recognized by the mainstream, both have met with large and appreciative audiences since the 1970s - when a women's genre was truly "alternative."

They have served as tremendous influences in the forefront of the women's music movement - and a major presence in the lesbian community for decades.

"We are both singer/songwriters who try to incorporate into our lyrics - either the songs we write ourselves or ones we choose by other writers - some kind of reflection of positive conscientious community thinking," Near said.

In addition to music, Near and Williamson will talk about their experiences. While Near assures concert attendees a "nice concert," she promises it will not be void of content.

"We take situations we've experienced either in our family life or social change movements we've worked with," Near said. "We reference them in a way the audience relates with and finds amusing and entertaining."

The concert is brought to Ohio State by Silverstream Music and co-sponsored by the OSU Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Student Services.

"GLBT helped bring them here because they are both such instrumental figures in women's music and music in general, that we wanted to bring these two pioneers here in order to give people in a Columbus a chance to hear their music," said Brett Beemyn, coordinator of GLBT services. "It also serves as a small precursor to the National Women's Music Festival that we are sponsoring this summer."

Proceeds from the concert will benefit the National Women's Music Festival, which has its permanent home at OSU. The NWMF, celebrating its 30th year this summer, is the oldest women's festival running.

The concert will be interpreted in American Sign Language. Tickets can be bought at the door for $35. For information call Silverstream Music at 614-675-1182.

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