The popular Eugene-based band the Ovulators will perform as part of the Athena in Velvet spring celebration of music, wine and creativity at Southern Oregon University. - Photo by C. Spine

A celebration of women and creativity

Southern Oregon University's Women's Resource Center invites you to celebrate all your senses: entertain your ears, taste sweet chocolate and wine, gaze upon art, drink in the scent of flowers and plants, dance and be merry.

All this will take place when the center presents its fourth annual "Athena in Velvet: A Spring Celebration of Women and Creativity," scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, May 30, at the SOU Britt Ballroom, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

The evening features an eclectic blend of music and art. Performers include spoken word artist Claudia Alick, belly dancer Tiazza Wilson, and Eugene's The Ovulators. Local women artists have donated various art pieces for a silent auction open to bidders throughout the show.

Performance artists will embody the theme through their transformation into human statues, inspired by the goddess Athena and the arrival of spring. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Women's Resource Center's creativity program, "Vivacious Voices: Empowerment through Education and Expression."

Alick joined the Oregon Shakespeare artistic staff in 2007 as associate producer. She curates the outdoor performance series "The Green Show," orchestrates OSF's 2007 Mixing Texts: Hip-Hop Boot Camp, and serves as the artistic office liaison to the education department and the community at large. She also acts as artistic office producer on the productions of "Fences" and "Coriolanus." Prior to joining OSF, Alick served as the artistic director of Smokin' Word Productions, as well as writing and directing plays staged at The Kennedy Center, the Hip Hop Theatre Festival and Cherry Lane Theater. Alick is known internationally for her poetry performances. She is a member of the award-winning NY Neofuturists, and is a performer on HBO's Def Poetry Jam.

Alick holds an M.A. in performance studies from the Tisch School of the Arts of New York University and a B.A. in theater from The George Washington University.

Wilson, originally from Morocco, lives in Southern Oregon where she pursues her love of dance. She has been teaching belly dancing since she was 19 and is the artistic director and choreographer of the Sahara Belly dancers, a professional belly dance troupe based in Medford.

Wilson is the new choreographer of the Oregon Conservatory of Performing Arts dance team. She has studied Egyptian, Turkish and Moroccan styles of belly dancing and teaches dance technique including floor work, stomach work, dancing with veil, wings, zills, canes, zar and Khaleeji. She has a B.S. degree in information sciences from the School of Information Sciences in Rabat, Morocco and a B.A. degree in accounting from Southern Oregon University. The Ovulators began their "indy, power, pop, glamour, rock band" in their hometown of Eugene in 2002. Band members Dori, Tina, Stardust, and Kayla were cast in a stage performance of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" which garnered "Best Theatrical Performance" in The Eugene Weekly. In 2005, they were named "Best Rock Band of Eugene." The group's second album is due out this year.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets are available at the SOU Women's Resource Center.

See wrc@sou.edu, call 552-6216, or visit SOU's Women's Resource Center in the Underground of the Stevenson Union, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

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