Friday, March 23, 2012

2012 Fifth Annual Santa Barbara Women's Festival
March 9-10, 2012
Honorary Chair & Executive Director; Tracy Beard
Founder and Producer; Patty DeDominic
Co-Founder; Mary Schnack (This 5th Annual Festival was dedicated in her memory)
Master of Ceremonies; Mignonne Profant
*And many, many other men and women who have worked throughout the year to help make this festival happen!

This was my second year photographing the Women's Festival and it was by far my favorite year. Dynamic speakers Kathy Ireland (who graced this month's cover of Forbes Magazine) and Keynote Speaker Lynda Weinman (of took the stage sharing their life experiences and lessons along the way about being balanced, strong women in touch with living their passions. Local vocal sensation Lois Mahalia sang a tribute during the V.I.P. reception followed by a small but mighty troupe of Girls,Inc. singers who absolutely charmed California Congresswoman Lois Capps who was sitting in the front row for the performance.

Saturday's festival featured dozens of vendors offering health products, consultations, non-profit information, chocolates, glitzy clothing and accessories (b/c what would a women's fest be without things that sparkle and shine?!) as well as a section devoted to local artists (a few of whom donated to the Women's Festival). The afternoon was absolutely gorgeous and the setting was sublime...overlooking Santa Barbara's pride and joy....the Pacific Ocean and outlying Channel Islands. Round table discussions featuring local authors, entrepreneurs, healters, and coaches were held in the afternoon overlooking the whole ocean.

Not that I'm personally biased of the highlights this year, in my opinion, were the dance performances held throughout Saturday afternoon. The Djun Djun Mamas led by Lisa Beck ROCKED THE STAGE...with their thunderous drumming, dancing and singing (yes, I'm a proud member and was seen periodically running around with both my camera and my drumsticks throughout the afternoon). Among several singers and groups were Hip Blessings who drew a crowd with their Middle Eastern choreographies as well as World Dance Workout led by Janet Reineck whose dancers' enthusiasm was infectious! Two Chumash groups performed as well as the frame drumming and dance troupe Gaia led by local goddess Kris Oster. Unfortunately, I missed Jo Williams' early morning "Wake Up!" but know it was fabulous b/c everything she does usually is!

A HUGE thank you to all of you who helped to support the Women's Festival this year either through your donations, your volunteer efforts, involvement as a vendor or performer, or as a guest coming to just enjoy the events. I'm also grateful to Patty DeDominic and everyone on the Board of Directors for including me as their photographer again this year!

I hope that word continues to spread with each year of the festival....and that it only draws in more and more amazing men and women to join in the celebration.

Enjoy the slideshow and feel free to share the link to your friends and other men and women who were involved or who would like to be involved in the Women's Festival next year!

*If the music doesn't come on when you click on "play" then refresh your page and start the slideshow again.

**A special thank you to Lisa Beck's father, Jim Beck, who was able to take my camera for our Djun Djun Mamas performance and get some great shots of our group in action! Difficult to clone myself and do both at the same time...maybe next year. ;)