What is the value of art? Is it a frivolous hobby or a creative outlet necessary for emotional health?
Coming up this weekend is a three-day fundraiser designed to provoke such musings. The second annual “Women of Song” event is being held to promote the arts in Monmouth County through music, poetry, and performance. It kicks off Friday at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank before continuing on to Ocean Township and Asbury Park over the weekend.
Organizers Maxine Snow and Helen-Chantel Pike co-founded the event, with help from Brenda Wirth and Jenny Woods, to rectify what they saw as a “lack of representation for female talent in the Jersey Shore area,” said Snow.
An artist herself (she designed the flyer, above), Snow said she recognized the importance of showcasing that talent. Last year, the event also raised over $1,300 to benefit the Monmouth County branch of 180 Turning Lives Around, a nonprofit dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence on a community level.
The organizers reached out to their networks of friends connected to the arts, and the project snowballed. “It was a feel-good grassroots event,” said Snow. “People came away feeling good about it.”
This year, the women hope to grow their success and send the proceeds to Amanda’s Easel, 180’s art therapy program that uses creativity to promote healing.
The event will bring in poets from Loser Slam Poetry in Ocean as well as artists from the Arts Coalition of Asbury Park (ArtsCAP). “Our goal is to introduce talent here to the public who may not be aware about poetry or the amount of female talent,” said Snow. “Plus working with these organizations brings awareness to them as well.”
Snow, a Red Banker for 12 years, feels that the arts are going to “help the community in a positive way and have a positive effect.” After seeing “Dead Bank” become Red Bank once again, she notes that the community foundation is what is most important.
“It’s been awesome to be a part of it and watch that transformation,” she said. “My goal is to keep that momentum going through whatever I can do and have others follow suit. I’ve tried leaving this area but I always end up coming back. I figure if I’m going to stay here, I need to do something productive.”
Women of Song runs from from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $10 for each day, and seating is limited. Click the flyer for more information.