Issue 4 – Spring 2017

Page 11

Margate Mercury



POW!erfoufl Women Thanet


Seb Reilly


Courtesy of POW! Thanet

Every year for over a century, 8 March has heralded International Women’s Day; an opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate progress. What began as strikes, marches and demonstrations has grown into a multicultural, worldwide day of unity and forward-thinking, with events marking the occasion and calling for action held all over the globe

POW! Thanet runs from Wednesday 8 to Saturday 11 March 2017. Further information is available at

Members of the POW! Thanet team


n Thanet, the first major marking of this day was last year, after a group of artists, curators, performers, writers and directors got together and worked hard to form POW! Thanet, an isle-wide festival over six days to celebrate and explore issues around feminism, women and girls. POW! Thanet bought excitement, positivity, and a tangible sense of passion and empowerment to the area. The event was put on by a large team led by Kent-based Arts Manager Christina ClarkMcQuaid, who had the initial idea in 2014. The all-female collective that formed brought their own talents and skillsets to the table. Together they secured Arts Council funding and built a large and hugely successful festival in a matter of months. The festival gained enormous local interest, press coverage, and support from across the community for the 38 events that took place in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. Since its creation, POW! Thanet has worked to promote feminism, and explore issues relating to women and girls, both through events and gatherings, but also online via an accomplished and wellmanaged social media presence. There is a community spirit to the festival and its endeavours, and it welcomes all. This is a group about empowerment, equality and celebration, and there is much to be learnt from their approach to their projects, and to life. This year, POW! Thanet promises to be even better than the last, with the festival running over four days and 50 events, including performance, interaction, debate, art and culture throughout Thanet. Dreamland and Turner Contemporary are both backing the festival and providing venue space, as are a large selection of individuals and local groups who are keen to participate and support this worthy and exciting event.

“POW! Thanet 2017 will put the work of women on the map both locally and regionally. Not only is Turner Contemporary’s ‘Entangled’ – featuring the work of over 40 international female artists – taking place during POW!, but venues across Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs will be bursting with exhibitions, talks and performances; from jazz to hip-hop, from pop-up events to productions from established companies. POW! Thanet is here to stay as an important component of Thanet’s festival calendar” -

Jan Ryan, Founding Director of UK Arts International

“I believe wholeheartedly in the power of the arts to celebrate and empower the community, especially those who face challenging circumstances, and see POW! as a great vehicle to enable this. My role within POW! is to facilitate the young people’s programme, so keep an eye out for some incredible events this year for young people across the festival” -

Steph Dickinson Managing Director of Pie Factory Music