Festival Highlighting Women and LGBTQ+ In Indianapolis

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“That’s What She Said” is a new monthly event, as well as summer music festival, being hosted at Square Cat Vinyl in Fountain Square. These events focus on showcasing the talented women in the community, educating women of all demographics and empowering the women of Indianapolis to have a voice that demands equality. The organizers of these events hope to bring women from the community together to educate them on the resources available to them in a fun and exciting way!

Jen Roberts, a barista and bartender at Square Cat, member of the band Veseria and newly titled event planner came up with the idea of “That’s What She Said” (TWSS) this past January. Roberts also originated the ideas for other relatively new events at Square Cat like the monthly band jam, the fourth Tuesday songwriter showcase, and Catnip (Square Cat’s new “vintage” drag night).

Roberts’ idea started with the TWSS festival, modeling it after festivals Square Cat has thrown in the past, this idea was followed by having monthly events to make their efforts of women equality a continual voice in the community. Roberts said that the idea of the ever so fitting name “Thats What She Said” came from “The combination of trying to title the event based on there being speakers involved and having recently bought an awesome print from Bonnie Fillenwarth’s series titled ’That's What She Said’ kind of produced a mini mind-splosion all at once one evening,” Roberts explained via email.

With their efforts of Roberts, her “right-hand lady” Jackie Martinez and board members Miranda Thomas and Carrie Ortwein, they hope to see these the series and festival bring together not only the women, but “our whole community (men, kids, LGBTQIA+ beauties, etc.) to embrace that women's rights affect everyone and that together, we can make change happen so much faster and more efficiently than if women are trying to fight on their own.”

Being in the band Veseria, and performing solo, has provided Roberts with years of experience, networking, and resources allowing finding the talent for the series and festival to come fairly easy. She has been “the final say girl as well as the bookie for the talent,” and with a combination of her own contacts and individuals reaching out in interest she has been able to almost completely book the monthly series musical talent through September.

Roberts’ resources has also allowed her to successfully book a majority of the musical talent for the TWSS festival. Spread out between two stages, indoor and outdoor, as of now there is expected to be 22+ solo artist and bands performing at the festival, all women or individuals of the LGBTQIA+ communities. The festival will also feature displays of 6+ local visual artist and their pieces and booths showcasing the organizations that focus their efforts on helping women and individuals in need of our community. Roberts said that the organizations at the festival will include “Planned Parenthood, Prevail, Girls Rock Indy, Community Food Project and hopefully many more!” Ticket prices for the festival will be a donation of your choosing and a portion of the ticket price will be donated to the organizations present.

Hoping to open the doors of the series and festival even more, Roberts has recently filed for non-profit status. Not only will this help make the events bigger and better, but will hopefully allow the organizers to put together job fairs and ladies nights out events in the future. Being such a crucial part of the organization and planning of this event has already made a positive and moving impact on Roberts who stated “just the planning of this fest and the monthly series has boosted my love and pride for my own femininity and has sparked this fire for wanting to help other women feel the same.”

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