Artists painted wall-sized murals of feminist icons like Dolly Parton and Amy Winehouse as people idled by, some stopping to watch for a few seconds before moving on. Nearby, an ultimate frisbee group challenged attendees to throw discs through hoops. A band — fronted by a female vocalist — played. Female beer enthusiasts sat behind a table and exposed the virtues of home brewing.
The International Women’s Day celebration at The Gateway’s Olympic Fountain showed that womanhood contains multitudes.
The event, called the Queens of Music festival, featured female-run and supportive businesses and vendors in addition to interactive art displays, and of course, live music.
“It’s 2020, the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment,” event sponsor KRCL said on its website, “a perfect reminder that women rock!”
Women, men, children and dogs filled the green space. Adults watched the musicians and browsed booths. Children ran through the fountain, aiming either to avoid the intermittent sprays of water or get hit straight-on. The dogs, for the most part, loafed.
At one popular exhibit, a red box with white space on the top, asked people to write their “Queen of Music." Attendees scrawled pop artists Lorde, Marian Hill, Hayley Williams, Madonna and dozens of others.
Salt Lake City resident Shanna Futral picked a person who she admitted wasn’t even a woman, much less a person: the Hindu deity Shiva.
“Shiva is someone who is willing to push through obstacles and let things flow, and always has their eye on the future,” Futral said.
It’s a way of thinking that’s helped her in motherhood, she said.
Futral said she came to the festival with a single father of her and his daughter, hoping to expose the girl to different experiences and some strong women role models. Futral said she herself got something out the event: an “awesome” Planned Parenthood cup and membership in the Hop Bombshells, a homebrew beer club for women.
The festival ended Saturday afternoon after a screening of “RGB,” a documentary about the life and career of United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The Gateway, KRCL Radio and The Blocks, a downtown arts and culture marketing partnership, coordinated the event.