SWAN Day Takes Flight

The two-day event will welcome 50 local artists with the goal of inspiring female creatives.




Photo by Robert Isenberg

In that famous Hans Christian Anderson story, a homely duckling is maligned and ignored and forced to wander off on his own—until he transforms, one day, into a beautiful swan. Given patience and perseverance, the mature swan astonishes all.

In the case of SWAN Day, the acronym stands for Support Women Artists Now, but the idea is the same: Give women artists some time and inspiration, and they will rouse the world. Starting March 15, Pittsburgh’s edition of SWAN Day will feature 50 local artists for an exhaustive two-day event.

“It really puts Pittsburgh on the map,” says Tressa Glover, producing artistic director of the No Name Players. “We’re getting more and more recognition.”

Glover has produced Pittsburgh’s SWAN Day for four years, in partnership with her husband Don DiGiulio, who founded No Name. The international celebration started in 2008 in an effort to showcase female artists from Seattle to Norway and beyond. Created by WomenArts, an organization dedicated to empowering women artists, SWAN day is celebrated on various dates in March and April.

In preparation for the event, Glover and DiGiulio traveled around Pennsylvania and videotaped interviews with a diverse cross-section of women. They asked open-ended questions, and the answers were edited into a 45-minute video. The 50 artists received DVD copies, which they used to inspire works in every kind of discipline—from dance and theatre to fine art, fashion and music.

“We spoke with women of all ages, all backgrounds, everything,” says Glover. “We aren’t just talking with artists. And what we’ve found is that you really don’t know someone’s story until you ask them.”

Each year, Pittsburgh’s SWAN Day earns more attention, and 2012 is already a landmark: The event has been named an official international partner (along with events in Kenya, New York, Massachusetts, Bulgaria, Connecticut and Florida), and co-founder Martha Richards will attend for the first time.

“When I got the email,” Glover says, “I couldn’t believe what I was reading. [Richards’ attendance] is just awesome.”

Remarkably, Glover and DiGiulio do not pocket any money from ticket sales — they simply recycle earnings to sponsor the next year’s event. And although coordinating 50 artists is a frenzied undertaking, the pair embrace their labor of love. “Our goal is to do it annually, every year,” Glover says. “Everybody’s volunteering. Nobody’s getting paid. But it’s so completely rewarding to work with all of these artists. The energy is palpable. It’s unlike anything else.”

The two-day event is massive, but the No Name Players feel comfortable in the New Hazlett Theater. “We love that space. It’s versatile. The lobby is gorgeous and perfect—we use it as a gallery for art and fashion. We can actually fit all the work of the visual artists out there.”

At the end of each event, Glover finds herself propositioned by emerging artists. “They ask if they can be involved next year,” she says. “They email me afterward. We meet a lot of new people that way.”

(SWAN Day presents March 15 & 16. New Hazlett Theater, North Side. Thu. & Fri., 8 p.m. $20-30. Info & Tickets: newhazletttheater.org, nonameplayers.org).

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Watch: Scarehouse Visit is One These Steelers Won't Forget

Watch: Scarehouse Visit is One These Steelers Won't Forget

Bud Dupree, L.T. Walton, Cam Heyward and Ryan Shazier were among those on the Halloween adventure to the renowned haunted house in Etna.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Parts & Service Adds Pizza To Superior Motors

Parts & Service Adds Pizza To Superior Motors

Executive Chef Kevin Sousa and Pastry Chef Kate Carney are cooking sourdough pizza in an outdoor brick oven.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Underrated Fountains in Pittsburgh

The 5 Best Underrated Fountains in Pittsburgh

While we all know and love the grandeur of the fountain at Point State Park, there are many hidden fountain gems throughout the city. These are a few of our lesser-known favorites.

Comments


Madness and Mayhem in the ScareHouse Basement

Madness and Mayhem in the ScareHouse Basement

Visiting the world-famous haunted attraction's adults-only, subterranean experience.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers' Latest Soap Opera is Timely If Not Manufactured

Steelers' Latest Soap Opera is Timely If Not Manufactured

All of a sudden the Steelers have that us-against-the-world mentality many a team has sought to manufacture in tough times such as these.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

Robert Hallett, Goldsmith, handcrafts the jewelry in his Oakmont shop.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Celebrate the Life and Work of George Romero This Week

Celebrate the Life and Work of George Romero This Week

A preview of the week-long tribute to the late filmmaker, plus reviews and more movie news.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
The Pick of the Patch: Pumpkin-Themed Proposals

The Pick of the Patch: Pumpkin-Themed Proposals

In honor of fall, we’re showcasing three couples whose proposals involved one of the best things about the season: pumpkins.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Holiday How-To: Upgrade Your Fall Decor with Advice from Local Experts

Holiday How-To: Upgrade Your Fall Decor with Advice from Local Experts

Interior designers share their tips on creating easy, elegant décor that will take you from Halloween through Thanksgiving.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments

Edit Module

Edit Module