Hello, Cyberspace. I’m Jan Lisa Huttner, the “mastermind” behind the SWAN concept.
Today is the last Saturday of March, and I am thrilled to be celebrating 15 years of continuous SWAN Day programming with all of you – ensuring that Women’s History Month ends once again this year with a tribute to women artists regardless of mode and media.
The acronym SWAN stands for “Support Women Artists Now.”
SWANs – women in the audience – including the women in every audience who are artists themselves – play a vital cultural role. Without women in the audience to support them, the visions and voices of women artists will never achieve equal representation.
By providing feedback and encouragement, women increase both attention to and revenue for other women. The power of women’s voices thereby grows exponentially from the perspectives of those producing art, as well as those participating in and responding to the art produced.
“Support Women Artists Now” is all about women in audiences – audiences which typically include women who are artists themselves.
SWAN asks us to engage:
- How do we influence our local and global communities?
- Which conversations do we start, and with whom?
- What power do we exercise by purchasing tickets and casting votes?
- How much energy can we generate every time we put our hands together and clap?
Thinking of ourselves as swans – beautiful, devoted, fierce, and strong – reminds us of the impact we can make though our cultural consumption and personal engagement.
And, indeed, I have seen this happen! In these past 15 years, SWANs have shown distributors and suppliers that we want more work by women artists, and, we have, in fact, increased the flow of resources to more women artists across all physical and digital spaces.
This has been a year of transition. We now have a new name and a new logo. The past is prologue and the future is ours.
Happy SWAN Day!
Follow this link to our 12/10/21 press release announcing our transition to International SWANs.
The Featured Photo at the top of this post was taken by my husband (Richard Bayard Miller) on March 1, 2020.
NYC members of the FF2 Media team were at the Athena Film Festival at Barnard College. Little did we know, at the moment this photo was taken, that this would be our last major event prior to the COVID lockdown (which began less than two weeks later).
Little did we know that we would not be celebrating SWAN Day together at NYC’s School of the Visual Arts in 2020, as we had for the past seven SWAN Days (meaning every year since my move from Chicago to Brooklyn in 2012).
Little did we know that NYC’s major SWAN Day event – sponsored by NYWIFT (New York Women in Film & Television) in collaboration with a multitude of partners – would be virtual not just in 2020, but also in 2021.
Who could have imaged, on 3/1/20, that we would still be celebrating SWAN Day virtually this year in 2022?
Nevertheless, even though many of the 2020 team members in this photo have moved away and/or moved on, even though many new team members are now on board, even though we are still meeting virtually rather than face-to-face, our commitment to women artists has not wavered.