Femina Potens Art Gallery
Femina Potens (Latin: 'Powerful Woman') is a non-profit art gallery and performance art space located in San Francisco, California dedicated to the advancement of female artists. Founded in 2001 by artistic director Madison Young, she recognized the need for greater visibility of women and transgender artists and set out to create the space with no financial backing for the project.
Femina Potens was originally a theater company dedicated to producing original works by local women playwrights, actors, and directors. Formed in Cincinnati, OH. by Artistic Director Madison Young, she soon made her way out to the west coast to San Francisco in summer of 2001 to perform with Woman's Will - the bay area's all women Shakespeare theater company.
By December 2001, Madison had decided to start a women's art space and found Femina Potens first home - a garage in the Upper Haight 625½ Shrader. By July 2002 Madison moved Femina Potens to a large warehouse space in Bayview-Hunters Point where they featured such artists as Angela Regas, Mari Schaal, Michelle Tea, Aphrodites Hymen, Dumbwaiter, The Reputation, Blevin Blechdom, along with open mic poetry events and anarchist crochet circles.
In 2003 Femina Potens then moved to its 800 sq ft (74 m2) gallery space in the San Francisco Mission district where the gallery started to flourish. In May 2003 Femina Potens found a fiscal sponsor (SF Media Archive) and in November 2004 changed its fiscal sponsorship to Queer Cultural Center and through them have received non-profit status. In the past 4 years Femina Potens has produced nearly 300 art and cultural events for the LGBTQ, women, trans, queer and kink communities in San Francisco. Producing monthly spoken word open mic events, queer film screenings, music and dance events, and month visual art openings. Femina Potens has been recognized for its work in the community by Bitch Magazine, Curve Magazine, MTV's LOGO, Herbivore Magazine, Japan's FOIL Magazine, HERE TV, QTV, San Francisco Guardian, SF Weekly, SF Chronicle, London's Skin Two Magazine and more.
In 2007 Femina Potens moved into a 1,300 sq ft (120 m2) store front space in the Castro District that had been inhabited for 25 years by Image Leather - a landmark in the Castro neighborhood and the leather subculture. Located at 2199 Market St. San Francisco CA 94114 one block from the Church MUNI Station. Tenure there was short, and they now reside at 3435 Cesar Chavez St. in San Francisco.
Notable artists and events
Femina Potens has worked to bring the best women and transgender artists to the community, coupling world-renowned visual and performing artists with talented new emerging artists. These multi-generational performances and exhibitions encourage to artists to thrive while well-established artists and heroines stand on the same stage or placed on the same wall acting as mentors for fledgling artists.
Femina Potens has had the honor of presenting such artists as Judith Halberstam, Annie Sprinkle, Michelle Tea, Carol Queen, Diane Diprima, Charlie Anders, Thea Hillman, Lynne Breedlove, Nina Hartley, and collaborating with organizations such as Ladyfest Bayarea, Fresh Meat Productions, United Genders of the Universe, BAVAC, Sex Workers Film and Art Festival, The Center for Sex and Culture.
Femina Potens Exhibition Series is sponsored by the Zellerbach Foundation and our Best of the Bay winning spoken word and open mic series is sponsored by the San Francisco Arts Commission and APOCHE. Femina Potens non profit fiscal sponsor is the Queer Cultural Center.
- Information obtained from Madison Young through http://www.feminapotens.org.