Madison’s First-Ever LunART Festival Will Showcase 40 International Women Artists, including First Wave Alumna Zhalarina H. Sanders


The first-ever LunART Festival will be held in Madison on June 28-30, with the mission to support, inspire, promote, and celebrate women in the arts through public performances, exhibitions, workshops, and interdisciplinary collaboration. The festival will provide accessible, high-quality, engaging concerts and events with diverse programming through various arts fields. All artistic creators represented at LunART – composers, visual artists, writers, speakers, etc. – will be women.

To showcase women in the arts and bring their work into the spotlight, this three-day event includes a variety of concerts, outreach events, and educational programs. The artistic goal is to share works of women artists, and ensure the progress women have made will continue to flourish and grow, overcoming issues of gender inequity in the arts. LunART supports artistic development of all aspiring regional, national, and international artists, whether emerging or established in their fields.

“This festival will raise awareness of the position of women in the arts through engaging, accessible concerts and events,” said Dr. Iva Ugrcic, founder and executive director of LunART Festival, in a statement.

“The LunART Festival offers diverse programs representing current and relevant women in the arts, and we are committed to expanding and strengthening community ties through public performances and exhibitions. As we establish the festival’s reach into our local community and beyond, we see tremendous potential for growth in future years, with opportunities to expand our vision to theater, dance, opera, and visual arts, creating an interdisciplinary festival dedicated to women in all the arts.”

Through LunART’s mission and vision, the greater Madison community, audiences, festival musicians, artists, and the global music community will be directly impacted by raising awareness of the position of women in the arts, empowering women artists and creating a sense of unity and community, introducing underrepresented artists to Wisconsin audiences, and reaching diverse audiences and drawing from underserved populations.

by Zhalarina H. Sanders
One-person Hip-Hip theater show
Friday, June 29th @ 9.30PM
Bos Meadery 


Through the mediums dramatic writing, poetry, dance, and rap, Rose Gold is an installation of Hip-Hop theatre that recounts the tragedy of black motherhood and the glory of its daughters. This one-person play explores the relations of black women and intergenerational trauma. Bobbie Marilyn might be a mother. It is her most painful reality as she has learned that the child of a pregnancy she intended to terminate somehow survived.


“Rose Gold began with a voice, then a story. I was writing for a separate project when a character developed in my mind so vividly I had to write her instead. The purpose of this show is to address stigma related to the physical and mental health of women, specifically Black women. It intends to encourage conversation we are too afraid and not allowed to have. It intends to serve as a bridge to healing.” ~ Zhalarina H. Sanders

The inaugural festival includes three ticketed evening Gala concerts of contemporary classical music and two “Starry Night” late-night performances featuring local women hip-hop artist, singer-songwriter, and a rock band. Also on the schedule is an outreach concert featuring emerging women composers, a lecture about the influence of women in the arts, and a panel discussion about collaboration in the arts. The festival’s 2018 Artist in Residence is award-winning composer Jenni Brandon from Long Beach, Calif. Brandon’s instrumental and vocal works will be showcased at the Gala concerts, including one world premiere.

To connect with women composers globally, the festival held a call for scores from December-March that was open to women composers of all ages and nationalities, and received scores from over 90 applicants from more than 20 countries. Scores were evaluated anonymously by a committee of LunART Festival musicians and directors, and 4 works were selected to be performed at each of the Gala concerts during the festival. The following selected applicants were notified April 1:

◆ Katy Abbott, Glisten for solo piano
◆ Veronika Krausas, Hopscotch Tarot for mezzo soprano and violin
◆ Xinyan Li, Mongolian Impressions for bassoon, string quartet, and percussion
◆ Ingrid Stölzel, The Gorgeous Nothings for soprano, flute, oboe, and piano

Both Xinyan Li and Ingrid Stölzel will both be in attendance at the festival.

LunART Festival has partnered with area art organizations including Overture Center for the Arts, Madison Museum of Contemporary Arts, First United Methodist Church, Madison Public Library, Capitol Lakes Retirement Center, and First Unitarian Society as well as local businesses Robinia Courtyard, Bos Meadery, and Field Table.

Read more about the LunART Festival line-up here. 

Written by Madison365 Staff