More than a year after the plans were first hatched to stage an International Women’s Day celebration in the seaside town, WAMfest Felixstowe has risen out of the ashes and will take place as planned albeit a little later than International Women’s Day.
Felixstowe Festival events, chaired by Laura Locke, event manager and radio presenter with Felixstowe Radio , and a team of women volunteers developed the unique idea of a festival to raise the profile of women in the arts. Felixstowe Forward were approached and gave their support. A range of venues including the Orwell Hotel, 2 Sisters Arts Centre in Trimley, 142 Hamilton Road art gallery and Cuppa are involved in the project. Funding has been secured from sponsors including Ipswich Building Society and Felixstowe Town Council and the WAM women team cant wait for the show to start.
WAMFest Felixstowe will, at last, take place over Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th September commencing with a launch party at the 2 Sisters Arts Centre with fabulous entertainment from Big Mama Funk and the Ukulele Ladies, newly formed for WAMfest.
On Saturday in the town centre there will be performances on the Triangle by Felixstowe Harmonies, Essentially Swing and Stellar Acappella.
A range of exciting, ticketed events will be held at the Orwell Hotel all through the day including an eclectic mix of audiences with authors such as Ruth Dugdall , and performances by talented women musicians, including the Common Ground Band, with Hattie Bennett, Emily Bennett and Pat Whymark, Christina Johnston, International Soprano. The day culminates in a final celebration in the evening with Belinda Gillett, popular beautiful singer, Pink Lemonade, a pop punk band from Norfolk, and Divatown featuring Jackie Hole.
142 Hamilton Road art gallery will host an all women week as well as the Gallery Box on Beach Street.
Felixstowe residents have already witnessed some of the WAMfest developments. Over the weekend of International Womens’s Day in March, a video taster was released by Jon Swallow of Swallow Media featuring some of the performers and artists and at 142 Hamilton Road a women’s exhibition was held.
To whet the appetite as a precursor to WAMFest Gloria Gonzalez Picton and her daughter Yasmin ran an exciting flamenco workshop at the 2 Sisters Arts Centre in Trimley near Felixstowe on Saturday 14th August.
And a stunning iconic mural is being lovingly created by the very popular Colombian artist Catalina Carvajal and it is transforming the hoardings around the old Central Surgery opposite the Orwell Hotel.
With the support of sponsors, Felixstowe Town Council, local councillors and the Mayor of Felixstowe, the ‘WAM women’ are pushing back against the barriers.
MEET THE TEAM
Laura Locke has worked in tourism and the media, and has been a course leader and senior lecturer in Events and Tourism Management at the University of Suffolk for over 20 years. She now works part-time and enjoys being a radio presenter for Felixstowe Radio.
Ever passionate about women’s issues and the arts, she worked with her students of event management to create women’s events at the University. On taking a break from full time work, she decided to run women’s networking events in Felixstowe – Cocktails and Conversations. From that sprung the idea of an International Women’s Day Celebration of women in art and music.
After a long period of planning and deferral due to the pandemic she is excited to work with a great team of WAMwomen, to bring WAMfest to fruition at last.
Mikaela is a local photographic artist, secondary school teacher and part of the team at 142 Hamilton road.
Mikaela has helped to produce the WAM website and is in charge of our social media.
Mikaela is also hosting the exhibition at 142 as part of WAM fest!
To find out more about Mikaela: www.mikaelajaderackham.com
Alison is thrilled to be involved in WAMfest, she is interested in all things cultural and particularly passionate about theatre, music and literature. Alison is part of the management team at The Two Sisters Arts Centre in Trimley and her role in the WAMFEST team is in finance and administration.
Colombian illustrator and visual artist based in Suffolk, England.
Catalina works in digital and mixed media and enjoys drawing objects, plants, landscapes, animals and anthropomorphic figures.
Catalina has painted our wonderful murals opposite The Orwell Hotel and has produced all of our marketing material! She is an ultimate WAM Women!
To find out more about Catalina: www.catalinacarvajal.co.uk
Victoria is a local artist and director who owns The Gallery Box at Beach Street Felixstowe.
Victoria will be hosting a 'Women' themed exhibition throughout September, selling a wide range of artists work!
To find out more about Victoria: