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Lady Luck

Women bring arts and activism to Denver

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Remember when the word "lady" used to refer to a quiet, sweet, well-mannered young woman? Well, for five days next week, that word will be redefined in Denver as Ladyfest Out West urges women to express themselves, become activists and get involved with their communities.

The five-day benefit festival, which started in Olympia, Wash., in 2000 and has spawned dozens of similarly spirited events around the United States, Europe and Asia, will include performances by activists who stand at the forefront of just about every liberal cause you can think of. Highlights include more than 10 independent films, a visual art and experimental music showcase, and workshops on diverse topics like bike maintenance, soap making, reproductive rights, "How to Be a Raging Granny," video DJing, and activism. All proceeds will benefit the Rape Assistance and Awareness Program.

Each day ends with an evening performance with lineups like Leslie Feinberg, legendary queer activist, followed by Denver panty-punks Hemi Cuda, and many more mind-boggling bohemian blends.

The last event of Ladyfest Out West will take place after Pridefest Denver, the second-largest gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered pride festival in the United States, and the party will include the All Girl Summer Fun Band as well as the Thermals, the Butchies, and Scream Club. Other performances will include Vox Feminista, Jen Turrel, Breathless, Rachel Jacobs, Mystic, Erika Lopez, and the Teen Tragedies.

Before you start to worry that you won't have enough piercings or patches on your messenger bag to attend this event, remember that Ladyfest is sponsored entirely by civic-minded volunteers who comprise past, present and future ladies, as well as feminist boys and children.

Free child care and ASL translation services will be offered, and all venues are wheelchair accessible. For more information or to purchase a pass for the entire festival, visit www.ladyfestoutwest.org.

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