• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

‘Voices HEaRd’ returns to Woodford Theatre this weekend

Artists from across Kentucky will come to Woodford Theatre to share their stories and talents during “Voices HEaRd” on Saturday night, Feb. 24, with performances beginning at 8.

Voices HEaRd 2018 greatly expands on last year’s inaugural celebration of the female voice with a full weekend of performances and events featuring 110 artists.

The main stage performance will showcase the original work of more than 20 groups and artists, including Agape Theatre, The Broad Brigade and six dance companies.

“If you give artists a platform to share their art on topics they really believe in, they’ll be happy to come,” said Voices HEaRd director Vanessa Becker Weig. She said men and women of all ages will have their Voices HEaRd this weekend to help empower young women who participate in The Girl Project, a girls-meets-activism educational initiative based at the Woodford Theatre.

Guest artist Colton Ryan, an actor from Central Kentucky, will appear – via video – to introduce his #MeToo piece featuring men and women of all ages. “We try to explore all different perspectives and relationships because everybody has a lot that they have to say. There are a lot of different perspectives,” said Weig, also Woodford Theatre’s education director.

“We have several pieces that are pretty hard-hitting about what it is like to be a female. And at the same time,” she continued, “we have several pieces where we’re really trying to bring everybody together.”

The Girl Project and Step By Step, a mentoring ministry for young single mothers, age 14 to 24, will benefit from ticket sales to the Woodford Theatre performance and other activities, including a two-hour Bodies Heard workshop on Saturday morning and a screening of a documentary about The Girl Project’s collaboration with Step by Step at 2 on Saturday afternoon. “That’s really exciting,” said Weig of the documentary. “I haven’t even seen it yet – and I’m in it. So I’m excited and scared,” she joked.

Reflecting on the origins of Voices HEaRd, Weig said, “I wanted the girls in The Girl Project,” which she co-founded with Ellie Clark, “to feel supported by the community at large. But I also wanted artists to come together.

“And that’s what’s happening. And it’s really exciting.” She said proceeds from last year’s Voices HEaRd provided three scholarships for girls to participate in The Girl Project this year.

For a rundown on this weekend’s performances and events in Versailles and Lexington, visit woodfordtheatre.com, where advance tickets and more information may also be found.

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