A Four Day Feast of Inspiration, Activism, and Art

Written by Amanda Stuermer, World Muse Founder

Each year around this time, I start to feel my anticipation building as we plan for our annual MUSE Conference, and I try to imagine the ripples that will spread out into our local community and beyond. This year’s event feels more important than ever given the dialogue that is happening around the globe – and even at The Golden Globes – on issues of gender equity and women’s empowerment. I look forward to connecting our local community to those national and international conversations.

This year, MUSE Conference will be featuring another vast array of artists, activists, athletes, entrepreneurs, visionaries, and trailblazers from Palestine, Kenya, and across the United States who are showing up, speaking up, and bringing awareness to the issues that need our focus in this moment. We look forward to having our community join us as we delve into topics like #MeToo, Times Up, Hookup Culture on College Campuses, Bullying, Teen Suicide, Female Incarceration, Menstrual Activism, Frontline Activism, Art as Activism, and more.

MUSE Conference will begin on Thursday, March 1, 2018 with a special MUSE Film Series featuring the documentary “Radiance of Resistance.” This film tells the story of Janna Ayyad, 11 years old, and Ahed Tamimi,16 years old, who live under military occupation in Nabi Saleh, Palestine. Janna Ayyad has been called the youngest journalist in Palestine. Ahed won the Handala Courage Award from Turkey when she was 13 and met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This film will take an intimate look at their everyday lives and their importance as the new generation of Palestinian non-violent resistance. The filmmaker will be here for a Q&A.

Friday, March 2nd, will feature our MUSE Salon Series. These interactive panel discussions will feature local and regional leaders musing over Women Who Reinvent Themselves, Westside Meets Eastside, Creating a Culture of Compassion, and Youth Voices. Each Salon is $10. I highly recommend registering early as space is limited. You can register on our website beginning January 14th.

Our MUSE Art Show will be opening on Friday, March 2nd, as well. Along with our MUSE Art Show, we will also be unveiling our TEEN MUSE Project, a photography exhibit featuring over almost 100 local youth musing about what matters most to them – their fears, hopes, struggles, and dreams. I encourage our entire community to come out and see and hear the faces and voices of our future. It is quite powerful.

On Saturday, March 3rd, we will be musing all day at The Tower Theatre. Over 40 presenters will take the stage for another all out inspiration-fest. We will hear from a local Planned Parenthood Director who also happens to be a past Olympian, a music teacher turned activist from Warm Springs, and the women behind online movements like #MeToo and #NotOkay. We will be treated to conversations with filmmakers, professional athletes, CEO’s, yoga-activists, and even the youngest journalist covering events in Palestine. At the end of the day, you can enjoy libations and continued conversations at our celebratory MUSE Reception held at The Liberty Theatre.

We will wrap up our conference weekend with a very special workshop. Our Muse Integration Workshop is the perfect way to balance out the conference weekend. A gentle yoga practice will offer opportunities for guided meditation, intention setting, and movement. This will be combined with journaling, group dialogue, and personal reflection. I look forward to bringing our community back together to integrate all of the inspiration shared the prior three days.

I would love to see men and women of all ages participating in our MUSE Conference weekend. Grab your spouse, friend, child, parent, neighbor and join us. There is something for everyone. I am often asked which part of MUSE Conference weekend I am most excited about. The truth is, I am excited about all of it. I like to think each piece is vital – the beauty of seeing social change through artistic expression, the invitation to engage in meaningful conversations, the opportunity to witness powerful stories of leadership and change, and the ability to put all of the inspiration generated into action.

This is a powerful moment in time for women. Please join me in it. #MuseOnThis