Oh My Goddess! It's the First-Ever Cape Cod Goddess Festival
By: Elise Hugus, August 30, 2012
PANDORA PEOPLES - Abbie Stafford poses as the Norse goddess Freyja. The photographer has organized a two-day festival in Harwich to honor the goddess spirit.
Cape Codders have two days and myriad ways to celebrate the goddesses in their lives over Labor Day weekend, with the first-ever Cape Cod Goddess Festival at the Harwich Junior Theatre Art Center.
The brainchild of Dennis medium, herbalist and photographer Pandora Peoples, the festival is inteneded for all ages and genders “to celebrate the synergy where masculine and feminine energy unite.”
With a full load of workshops, musical and dance performances from noon to 7 PM on September 1 and 2, the festival offers a taste of the many talents and alternative healing arts on Cape Cod, says Peoples.
If you go....
Saturday & Sunday, September 1-2
Noon to 7 PMHarwich Junior Theatre Arts Center
265 Sisson Road, Harwich
$10 at the door
$3 for children ages 5-12; under 5 free
12 pm Jo & Co
12:30 pm Keith "Crying Charlieman" Taylor (blues piano)
1 pm Kathleen Healy (folk singer/songwriter)
1:30 pm Maggie Grabmeier (singer/songwriter)
2 pm Raquel the Little One - (tribal fusion dance)
2:15 pm Skye (folk dance)
2:30 pm Flamenco Dance with Zoe Van Gunten
2:45 pm Molly Parmenter (singer/songwriter)
3:30 pm Flamenco Dance Class
4 pm Boss Queens (hip hop/R&B/Soul)
5 pm Daniel Ouellette and the Shobijin (quirky rock with wall projections)
6pm-6:30pm Khadija and Troupe Isis (belly dance group)
6:30-7pm Kim Mitchell (jazz vocalist)
12 pm Sarah Burrill (rock)
1 pm Hana Kahn (singer/songwriter)
2 pm Jamie Horton (poet/playwright)
2:30 pm Diana Di Gioia (singer/songerwriter)
3 pm Yana Sorokina (Boogie Blues on piano)
3:45 pm Ashley Paige (singer/songwriter)
4:30 pm Alicia Mathewson (bluesy singer/song writerguitar)
5 pm Anahita Goddess dance
5:15 pm African dance and drumming
5:45 pm Nicolas Rideout (rap & dance elctro pop)
“It’s a wonderful celebration and sort of kaleidescope of talent, a bouquet of gifted performers here on Cape Cod,” she says. “I hope everyone can come down and inhale deeply the essence of the goddess.”
Putting women first
The idea for the festival came together as Peoples was planning a photography show in the upstairs gallery at Harwich Junior Theatre. As her vision of the show grew to include music, dance and poetry, her Nadia Schuessler (daughter of HJT artistic director Nina Schuessler) pointed out that in fact, she was organizing a full-on festival.
So what does a goddess festival entail? For Peoples, it's a celebration of female energy, whether it’s by learning Middle Eastern dance moves with Khadija and Troupe Isis or taking in an acoustic set by Molly Parmenter or viewing artwork by Shannon McDonald.
While male artists Ned Sonntag and Richard Williams and the experimental music group Daniel Ouellette & the Shobijn are also represented at the Goddess Festival, Peoples says her vision is to give women the chance to shine.
“Women have a tendency to undervalue themselves,” she says. “They’ll put creative aspects on backburner, but those are things that need to be celebrated. Cape Cod needs this festival because it’s not something people are talking about. And it should be.”
Goddess for the whole family
Having moved to Dennis a year and a half ago with her husband from Los Angeles, Peoples says the Cape is an ideal location to celebrate “goddess energy,” whether that means the natural world or one’s artistic potential.
And though Labor Day weekend comes a few weeks before the traditional pagan observance of Mabon (the fall equinox), Peoples says the festival is intended to mark the traditional end of summer on Cape Cod, as children head back to school.
So while mom takes a belly dance or hip hop dance workshop with Skye Lark’n with and dad gets a bite from the Dancing Spoon (which will serve food on site during the festival), little bro and sis can construct a fairy or gnome house out of objects found in nature under the guidance of art teacher Amanda Diehl.
Older children and adults can explore Go-ju Ryu, an empowering martial art taught by Kyla and Clayton Ellis or learn how to make healing ointments from native plants with Eliza Travisano.
“It’s a great time for everyone to relish being with each other, dipping their toes in the waters of new things they’ve never tried, such as hip hop dance,” she says. “Because it’s a festival, there’s a chance to get a little taste of talents that the whole family can pursue.”