For immediate release: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Contact: Iva Ugrcic | 608-695-3442 |


LunART Festival Cycles Around for an Exciting Second Season


Madison, Wis. – LunART Festival is back for its second season from June 5-9, 2019 to continue its mission of supporting, inspiring, promoting and celebrating women in the arts. The 2019 season brings ten events to eight venues in the Madison area, providing accessible, high-quality, engaging concerts and events with diverse programming from various arts fields. The festival will showcase over 100 artists this season, including many familiar local artists and performers as well as guest artists hailing from Missouri to Texas, Minnesota to Florida and as far away as Peru.


LunART’s inaugural 2018 season was a success on numerous fronts. From showcasing a wide variety of artists and arts disciplines to building lasting relationships and collaborations, LunART has distinguished itself from other arts events in Madison. Both artists and audiences have commented that the LunART atmosphere is one of camaraderie, love and acceptance. Festival directors Iva Ugrcic and Laura Medisky have set this season to come back even stronger, with expanded dates and more diverse programming.


Like last year, the three ticketed evening gala concerts are centered around classical chamber music. Other art forms, including contemporary and aerial dance, poetry, spoken word and visual arts, are interwoven throughout the programs to create a unique atmosphere for performers, artists and audiences.


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This year’s Grammy-nominated composer-in-residence is Valerie Coleman, described as one of the "Top 35 Female Composers in Classical Music" by the Washington Post. Coleman embodies LunART’s vision by challenging norms and being a strong advocate for diversity in the arts. Her rich compositional output infuses elements of jazz and African secular music into the western classical tradition, creating a soundscape that honors both worlds. Coleman’s music will be featured throughout the festival among the works of other remarkable women who shaped music history, from Barbara Strozzi to Clara Schumann to Missy Mazzoli.

Drawing from Madison’s rich arts scene and community, LunART 2019 features local artists including former Madison poet laureate Andrea Musher, actor and theater artist Deborah Hearst, choreographers and dancers Liz Sexe and Kimi Evelyn, aerial dancer Dr. Linda DiRaimondo, as well as musicians from arts organizations such as Madison Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Fresco Opera Theatre, Arbor Ensemble, Madison New Music Ensemble and Sound Out Loud Contemporary Music Collective. Under the direction of Kathleen Otterson, Madison’s only women’s choir ARTemis Ensemble returns in greater numbers and will present a work by LunART 2018 “From Page to Stage” alum Meg Huskin among others.


Visual art will have a stronger presence in the 2019 Festival. From May 11-July 7, Overture’s Playhouse Gallery will house “Women Against Hate United by Love,” a collaborative, traveling art exhibition and multi-step “anti-hate” campaign united against bigotry, intolerance and racism, created by J. Leigh Garcia, Rachael Griffin and Kelly Parks Snider. A gallery reception on Wednesday, June 5 serves as LunART’s opening event, in which Snider will give a talk about the exhibit and her use of art to educate communities about targeted issues in the hopes of shaking up the status quo. This engaging and thought-provoking exhibit is meant to provide a meaningful and hopeful community experience for all who attend.


In collaboration with Studio 84 and ArtWorking, two nonprofit art studios specializing in the creative development of people with disabilities, the final Gala concert at First Unitarian Society on Saturday, June 8 will showcase 40 artworks. This exhibit will feature 20 women artists whose works will be displayed, flanking the Atrium Auditorium stage as well as in the lobby.


LunART’s 2019 call for scores was open to women composers of all ages and nationalities, and received an impressive 98 applicants from around the globe. Scores were evaluated by a committee of 17 LunART Festival musicians and directors, and three works were selected to be performed at each of the Gala concerts. The winning composers are Eunike Tanzil, Edna Alejandra Longoria and Kirsten Volness, and all three will be in attendance at the festival.


The “From Page to Stage: Emerging Composers” educational program also returns, bringing six composers to Madison to work with Coleman. During the festival she will mentor participants in developing practical skills to express their creative ideas, cultivate relationships with performers and master the art of collaboration. The program culminates with a free concert featuring their music on Saturday, June 8 at 2 p.m. in the Capitol Lakes Grand Hall.


On Friday, June 7 at Overture Center in Promenade Hall, Meaghan Heinrich presents her pre-concert lecture, “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman,” which explores what it means to be a woman artist in the 21st century, and how women’s experiences shape their artistic expressions. Following the Friday gala concert is “Holding Court,” this season’s Starry Night event at Robinia Courtyard. This all-women comedy show features Midwestern comics Vanessa Tortolano, Chastity Washington, Vickie Lynn, Samara Suomi and Cynthia Marie who are blazing a trail of funny that will leave you gasping in their wake.


“The Multi-faceted Artist” panel discussion is for anyone interested in the ongoing trend and need for artists to wear multiple hats to succeed and thrive. Coleman (composer & flutist) and Dr. DiRaimondo (psychiatrist & aerial dancer) serve as panelists along with Katrin Talbot (violist, poet & photographer), and will lead the discussion on Saturday, June 8 at the Madison Public Library Bubbler Room.


The festival wraps up on Sunday, June 9 at 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. at Common Ground in Middleton with “Mooning Around” poetry reading and artist mixer, featuring a performance of "One for Mileva Maric (Einstein)" by Andrea Musher, with special guests Sarah Whelan and Jackie Bradley, and poetry readings by The Line-Breakers: Andrea Potos, Eve Robillard, Rosemary Zurlo-Cuva & Katrin Talbot. Everyone is welcome to come enjoy their morning coffee and pastries while making creative connections with other artists.


LunART Festival is supported by Dane Arts, Madison Arts Commission, Wisconsin Arts Board and Open Meadows Foundation, and won first place at the 2018 National Flute Association C.R.E.A.T.E. Project Competition and second prize at the 2018 UW Arts Business Competition.