Since the start of this decade, Gatas y Vatas has been bringing original, solo music written and performed by women, transgender and nonbinary performers to stages in New Mexico. The initial goal of Gatas y Vatas: To find women who made art and music and ask them to bring something to the stage alone, entirely in control of the presentation of themselves and their ideas.
But we're shaking things up this year and welcoming some collaborations. Our intersectional group of organizers also invites participants to consider linking performance and protest—aimed at anything.
Gatas y Vatas 2017 will happen over three days in Albuquerque (at Fusion Forum) and Santa Fe (at Ghost warehouse). Video and installation artists will exhibit their work at the festival, along with visual artists, and crafters and makers of wearable art. Community organizations will table the event. People from all over New Mexico and elsewhere in the country will take the stage. In the weeks leading up to the event, we're also hosting all kinds of showcases.
Over time, the fest itself has become generative. Audience members one year often become participants the next. And performers work for months building into a dream or a distant vision of what a set could be like. Fest veterans know that part of it is pushing yourself a little further outside your comfort zone at every Gatas y Vatas.
It’s a huge party. Anything goes, and anything can happen.
The fest aims to close the on-stage gender gap by making space for new people to climb into the spotlight. We’ve seen Gatas y Vatas give rise to many new performers who went on to continue playing year-round, booking shows, starting bands and going on tour.
GyV has also sparked a series of compilation albums, companion zines, art shows, benefit parties and workshops.
The people who organize the festival are volunteers, and all funding goes toward basics like venue fees, materials for merchandise (handmade by us!), and paying performers.