written by Anna Bird

March is all about the ladies. For starters, it’s Women’s History Month, and March 8 is International Women’s Day, which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Throughout the month, events around the state will bring together and celebrate Oregon women. Two events kicking off the month are the Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival, or POWFest, and the Muse Conference in Bend—both broaden the conversation to a global level.

Portland Oregon Women’s Festival

Catherine Hardwicke, director of Twilight

The ninth-annual POWFest is the only Portland festival devoted exclusively to showcasing films made by women directors from around the world. For three days, you can watch narrative and documentary features, along with short films, and attend the corresponding panel discussions and educational workshops. The mission of this festival also includes empowerment of and support for Oregon women in film by creating networking opportunities and mentoring the next generation of filmmakers with POWGirls.

This year’s guest of honor is Catherine Hardwicke, an award-winning director famous for her adaptation of Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight—the blockbuster franchise about vampire romance in the Pacific Northwest. Hardwicke has also been a vocal presence in the ACLU and Equal Opportunity Commission’s investigation of gender bias and pay-gap in Hollywood. The festival will be held at Hollywood Theatre, March 3-6. If you can’t make it to the festival, check out POWFest Monthly—year-round screenings held on the fourth Monday of every month at Clinton Street Theater.

For tickets and more info, go to powfest.com

Muse Conference

photo by Abacus Photography

1859 has told the stories of the filmmaking genius of Melissa Lowery and the cultural pride of Acosia Red Elk. This weekend, both Lowery and Red Elk will present at the Muse Conference in Bend. World Muse started in Bend seven years ago as an in-school program for teen girls that promoted mindfulness, creativity, self-expression and self-worth. “Through my work with teens,” said founder Amanda Stuermer, “I realized a need for this to be intergenerational work. The young women I worked with needed role models and mentors.” This idea led to the launching of the Muse Conference four years ago “as a way to encourage our entire community, local and expanded, to support and celebrate the enormous potential of women and girls to be catalysts for change,” said Stuermer.

The annual MUSE Conference brings women and teens together for a weekend of presentations from inspiring artists, creators, activists, entrepreneurs, and leaders from around the world. A salon series covers panel topics such as: creativity, motherhood, the status of women and girls in Oregon, startups, and media. The MUSE 5K walk/run, a community yoga class, an art walk and a teen photo exhibit will get attendees moving and talking.

For more information, go to theworldmuse.org

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