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During Women’s History Month, Penn Museum’s CultureFest! Celebrates Women Artists and Creatives

January 26, 2024

Jill DiSanto, Public Relations Director


Women in South Asian garb performing.
Three Aksha is a Philadelphia-based dance company that preserves and promotes Indian culture through classical Indian Bharatanatyam. Photo: Three Aksha.

PHILADELPHIA, January 26, 2024—To kick off Women’s History Month, the Penn Museum will honor the artistic power of women from around the world with its second annual CultureFest! Celebration of Women Artists, on Saturday, March 9, 2024 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

In partnership with The Clay Studio, this daylong festival will feature live music and dance performances, hands-on workshops, pottery wheel demonstrations, storytelling, make-and-take art activities, plus a marketplace showcasing ceramics from women artists.

“We are so thrilled to be able to highlight the work of contemporary, Philadelphia-based women artists working in clay and to share our love of clay with the community,” says Josie Bockelman, Deputy Director of The Clay Studio, located at 1425 N. American Street.

Spotlighting the creative breadth of movers and shakers across cultures and communities, the lineup of events includes:

Live performances

  • Women’s Sekere Ensemble
    Founded by Omomola Iyabunmi in 1988, these percussionists are dedicated to making West African traditional music a resource for communities
  • Sattriya Dance Company
    Originating from the Vaishnav monasteries of Assam, India, this 500-year-old dance— originally only performed by men—is now used as an agent of change to spread messages of peace, equality, love, and universal brotherhood.
  • Three Aksha
    Through classical Indian Bharatanatyam dance choreography, this Philadelphia-based dance company preserves and promotes Indian culture.

Hands-on workshops

  • The Clay Studio’s live pottery wheel demonstrations and art-making activities, including how to make prints and simple clay pots under the guidance of teaching artists
  • Drum Workshop with Karen Smith, who aims to “create spaces where other artists can join a spirit of trust and improvisation.” She adds her “drum is a spiritual connection to the African ancestors and the world around” her.


“In its over 40-year history at the Penn Museum, CultureFest! has always been co-created with communities to celebrate diverse cultures around the world,” says Merle-Smith Director of Learning and Community Engagement Jennifer Brehm. “Our March theme ‘Celebration of Women Artists’ offers another opportunity to amplify the voices and works of multi-cultural creative practitioners whose stories are often untold. As we highlight the numerous incredible contributions of women over time, we welcome everyone to celebrate these achievements through hands-on activities, workshops, and performances for all ages.”

The entire lineup for CultureFest! Celebration of Women Artists can be found here.


About the Penn Museum
The Penn Museum’s mission is to be a center for inquiry and the ongoing exploration of humanity for our University of Pennsylvania, regional, national, and global communities, following ethical standards and practices.

Through conducting research, stewarding collections, creating learning opportunities, sharing stories, and creating experiences that expand access to archaeology and anthropology, the Museum builds empathy and connections across diverse cultures

The Penn Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm. It is open until 8:00 pm on first Wednesdays of the month. The Café is open Tuesday-Thursday, 9:00 am-3:00 pm and Friday and Saturday, 10:00 am-3:00 pm. On Sundays, the Café is open 10:30 am-2:30 pm. For information, visit, call 215.898.4000, or follow @PennMuseum on social media.

Hero image is available for download here