WOW - Women of the World - Chester will see leading female voices from across the region discuss, debate and celebrate the theme of ambition and explore the paths to a gender equal world.
Taking place from May 20–21 at Storyhouse - Chester’s brand new £37m theatre, cinema and library, WOW features a programme of workshops, speed-mentoring sessions, panel discussions, film, exhibitions, poetry, stand-up comedy and a marketplace.
Head of spaces for Storyhouse, Kate Carpenter, said: “The response to WOW Chester has already been brilliant. We had women, men, girls and boys from across the borough and beyond take part in our Thinkins which have shaped the WOW Chester programme. We are surrounded by people with wonderful and challenging ideas – it’s inspiring.”
Speakers include a keynote address from Southbank Centre’s artistic director and WOW founder Jude Kelly, Cheshire Woman of the Year Kate Northcott Spall, leading business woman Simone Roche, and leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council Cllr Samantha Dixon.
Launched by Southbank Centre in 2010, WOW is now a global movement, with international WOW festivals reaching more than one million people across five continents and growing year on year. Following a series of open Thinkins, WOW Chester has been programmed by contributors, thinkers and doers based across the region.
Panel discussions will take place on a range of subjects including women in business, women in sport, abuse and childlessness. A series of workshops will feature poetry, singing and salary negotiation and there will be an exhibition of art curated by 40 artists – many from Arab and Muslim cultures.
There will be a performance by Cheshire based dance company Fallen Angels, the film Sonita (winner of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary) will be screened in the new Storyhouse cinema and there is an interactive workshop for under 10s to explore what it means to be a girl and how to start a feminism campaign from their bedroom.
The festival will be rounded off with an evening of stand-up comedy.
All weekend, a marketplace will be hosted in Storyhouse’s impressive foyer with a range of stalls providing information, raising awareness, and showcasing work, craft and fashion.
Tickets for WOW Chester go on sale Friday, March 10. Visit www.storyhouse.com to find out more.