Urgent Museum Notice

International Women’s Day Festival 2023

A landscape photograph featuring a field of tall green grass surrounded by leafy trees and a grey sky. A large group of people of varying ages traverse the field on foot. In the background the people form two lines, and a smaller group is congregated in the foreground.
Join NMWA on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, for a virtual festival to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Throughout the day, museum staff, artists, musicians, and bartenders will host online programs highlighting women in the visual and performing arts.

Festival Events

A woman stands outdoors, dressed in black workout gear and head covering. She smiles at the viewer with her arms crossed and right foot resting on a soccer ball.
Lina Geoushy, Sistrum, Menna, Cairo, Egypt, 2019; Digital photograph; Courtesy of the artist

11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Conversation with a Curator

Associate Curator Orin Zahra has her finger on the pulse of the global arts scene, as she keeps in touch with women artists from around the world. She will be joined by London- and Cairo-based social documentary photographer, Lina Geoushy for a lively conversation.

Using her background in communications and psychology, Geoushy focuses on women’s empowerment, critically re-examining the prevailing powers of patriarchy. Among the works that Geoushy will discuss in this conversation is Cleopatras Scoring Change (2021). This series documents the daily lives of young women athletes disrupting gendered stereotypes of sporting culture in Egypt, commissioned by the British Journal of Photography and the Malala Fund as part of their Against All Odds initiative.

Nine medium-skinned women pose together wearing matching red sweatshirts with "Be'la Dona" printed on them in black and white letters.
Photo courtesy of Be’la Dona

12 p.m. to 1 p.m

The Tea: Be’la Dona

NMWA champions women in the performing arts through our concert series, The Tea. This International Women’s Day, we are proud to welcome Washington, D.C.’s own Be’la Dona Band. As a prominent women-only Go-Go band, Be’la Dona Band combines funk, jazz, R&B, and rock in high-energy performances that command audiences and mesh the raw talents of their seasoned band members. Not only are the women of Be’la Dona Band talented musicians, they are also civic leaders and activists, businesswomen, educators, and mentors.

Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Mary Jane Russell in Dior Dress, Paris, 1950; Gelatin silver print, 14 x 11 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Helen Cumming Ziegler; © 1989 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents Photograph by Louise Dahl-Wolfe

5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Staff Chat: Never Have I Ever

Join us after hours as the evening portion of the festival starts with an art-lover-focused (and family-friendly version) of the popular party game “Never Have I Ever.” Have you ever cried in front of an artwork? Blown your budget on art-making supplies? Worried that you may know more about pop culture than visual art? All will be revealed in this conversation exploring some of the passions and challenges, including a couple of embarrassing moments, that define the museum staff’s work with great art and artists.

NMWA’s Director of Education and Interpretation Deborah Gaston and Deputy Director for Art, Programs, and Public Engagement/Chief Curator Katie Wat (coworkers and friends for more than two decades) lead the conversation. The dialogue will open up for all to share their experiences as an art lovers, too.

This live program was not recorded.

A bar with a line of five colorful cocktails in various shaped glasses.
Photo credit: M.S. Meeuwesen

6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Demo: The Art of Cocktails

Creating the perfect cocktail is an art. Join us for a cocktail class as three local mixologists, AJ Johnson, Denaya Jones, and Shelly Caviness, teach you to create unique cocktails based on a woman artist whose work inspires them.

Denaya Jones’s 10-year career with the Black-owned catering and event company, Charlene’s Kitchen, evolved into a true passion for hospitality, cocktails, and spirits. She established Deestilled, is the director of operations for craft spirits retailer Seelbach’s, creates content for Chocolate City’s Best, and is a member of Fred Minnick’s American Spirits Counsel of Tasters. Jones has competed in and won multiple cocktail competitions, including Chocolate City’s Best (2018) and the Grey Goose Express Your Cocktail Challenge.

AJ Johnson has been part of the DMV restaurant scene for years and currently serves as the Bar Director for the Serenata/Zumo cocktail bar in La Cosecha. She is a co-founder of DMV Black Restaurant Week. Her forthcoming book, White Plates, Black Faces, tells the stories of people of color in the restaurant industry.

Shelly Caviness opened the second largest whiskey bar, Crimson Whiskey Bar, in D.C. In 2020 she and her partner started a YouTube channel, “The Bottoms Up,” which showcased her love for flavors and bar techniques. As the Wine & Beverage Director of D.C.’s first Black-owned speakeasy, Out of Office at Manifest, she built a menu based on the stories and travels of Black people. Her Creole culture inspires her cocktails to tell a story.

Featured Cocktails & Mocktails

Flora’s Street Blues Cocktail Ingredients  

  • 1.5 oz Banhez mezcal 
  • 1oz jalapeño-infused pineapple juice
  • 0.5 oz yuzu purée (Japanese citrus) 
  • 0.5 oz smoked rosemary syrup  
  • 2 dashes Scrappy’s firewater bitters 
  • 2 dashes Scrappy’s lavender bitters 
  • Garnish: smoked rosemary spring (smoked with a hand torch) 

Flora’s Street Blues Mocktail Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz pineapple juice 
  • 0.5 oz lemon juice 
  • 0.25 oz simple syrup (add more for sweetness) 
  • 3 sliced jalapeños (seeds removed or with 2 to 3 seeds in cocktail for a spicier version) 
  • Garnish: lemon expression (“zest and peel” approach) 

Unraveling Cocktail Ingredients 

  • 1.5 oz Sankofa gin (Black-owned and local option, but any London-dry style gin will work) 
  • 0.75 oz lemon-rosemary simple syrup 
  • 0.75 oz lime juice 
  • 1 egg white 

Unraveling Mocktail Ingredients 

  • 1.5 oz Seedlip Grove 42 
  • 0.75 oz lemon-rosemary simple syrup
  • 0.75 oz lime juice 
  • 1 egg white 
  • Float: Martini & Rossi Non-alcoholic Vibrante spirit and a few drops of blue food coloring

Triple C’s Cocktail Ingredients  

  • 1.5 oz Courage & Conviction American Single Malt whiskey 
  • 0.5 oz lavender syrup  
  • 0.5 oz Amaro Y Arroyo Amaro liqueur 
  • 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice  
  • 2 dashes Angostura cocoa bitters 
  • Fresh or dehydrated lemon wheel 

Triple C’s Mocktail Ingredients 

  • 1 oz lemon juice  
  • 1 oz lavender syrup  
  • 0.5 oz filtered water  
  • 5 dashes cocoa bitters  
  • 1 to 2 lemon wheels