Photo by Raven Adams
Dear #WomenCrush Music Community,
As most of you know, over the last three years, our mission has been to connect, educate, and inspire women songwriters. We’ve hosted over two hundred showcases, educational workshops, and networking events across sixteen North American cities and created a community of over five thousand individuals who want to see more rising women songwriters topping the charts and headlining at their favorite festivals.
For the last six months, the #WomenCrush Music team has spent countless hours brainstorming and strategizing changes for 2020. We’ve analyzed our programming, checked in with our advisors and volunteers, and surveyed artists to see what they really need to be able to continue making waves in their careers. The results helped us decide the way to move forward is to actually go back to how we started - we have to go back to our roots.
I started #WCM by hosting regularly scheduled events for fellow women songwriters and I did it for one reason, and one reason only - to make friends. I was in a new city and had trouble finding a community so I decided to build one of my own. Through this local community, we were all able to share resources (producers, bandmates, etc.), find openers for our shows, co-writers, and have a support system who would go to each other’s gigs. Large promoters and media quickly caught on, volunteers gravitated towards the mission and wanted to help. Everyone could feel how important this sense of community was.
2020 has been an incredibly intense year - personally, I went through endometriosis surgery, a traumatic car accident which left me with several pelvic and spinal fractures and now, along with everyone else in the world, finding my way through this global health pandemic of COVID-19. I’ve been stuck home for about 6 weeks now, and my support system has been essential to me not absolutely losing my mind during this time. Social distancing has not meant isolation - it’s meant engaging with my tribe more than ever.
The month of March is not only International Women’s Month, but it is also when we celebrate #WomenCrush Music’s humble beginnings. Our industry has evolved since 2017, but the need for us to band together to amplify our voices and presence in this industry has not. Since the start of COVID-19, I see countless posts of “virtual hangouts” and more and more “women in music” Facebook groups being created. Now more than ever, artists are looking to be seen, they want to be heard, and they want to be understood.
I am beyond grateful to say that March 2020 marks year 3 for us, and it’s going to be different. Our mission is slightly shifting to simply creating opportunities for women songwriters through community - because at the end of the day that community, that sense of belonging, is what will keep us all going. We'll be putting our focus on the needs of our community first so that we can truly make a difference in this still male-dominated industry with our programming. In 2020-2021, we are looking to bring our programming to new cities by partnering with university music programs, launch campaigns with publishers and distributors, and more.
While all events and other initiatives will be on hold until the Fall, we hope to be able to connect with you all through our social media and bring you new music, news, and opportunities through our blog, The Crush and our Facebook Groups (#WCM Southwest, #WCM Southeast, #WCM Rocky Mountains,#WCM Northeast,#WCM Midwest and #WCM West Coast) and our monthly newsletter.
It’s been an amazing journey thus far leading #WomenCrush Music, and I thank you all for your continued support. I’d also like to take this time to ask - how can we better support you? (Seriously, don’t be shy.) Please let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I always love hearing from our community so don’t be afraid to shoot me a message if you want to collaborate, learn more about how to get involved or just say hey.
Until next time - and stay safe out there!
Ashley K. Stoyanov :)
Founder/CEO of #WomenCrush Music
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