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This fall Colby College in Waterville will celebrate “Women in the Arts” as the host of the 16th Annual Maine Women’s Studies Conference and with a Colby College Museum of Art exhibit and a fall lecture series. All of the events are open to the public, and the art exhibit and lecture series are free of charge.

The Saturday, November 3, Maine Women’s Studies Conference: Women in the Arts will feature two keynote speakers. Québec poet, novelist and essayist Nicole Brossard is the author of more than 35 books and spent the summer as artist-in-residence at the Studio du Québec in New York City. Salem Mekuria is an independent filmmaker from Ethiopia and now a professor of film and video at Wellesley College.

The Maine Women’s Studies Conference will include more than 30 sessions, workshops and performances throughout the day. The fee for the conference is $20 before October 26, $25 after that or at the door, and $10 (in either case) for students. Registration is limited and includes lunch, refreshments and a reception.

In conjunction with the conference the Colby College Museum of Art will present an exhibit of the work of approximately 50 Maine women artists, “Maine Women’s Art.” An artists’ reception will take place the afternoon of November 3 to close the conference. Several women’s a cappella singing groups, including the award-winning Adelines from Waterville High School, will perform. The exhibit will remain on view at the museum through the end of December.

The “Women in the Arts” theme will continue with the fall Women’s Studies Colloquia lecture series. All of the colloquia events are free of charge and open to the public. On Thursday, September 20, at 4 p.m. Véronique Plesch, associate professor of art, will present “Women, Food, Art” in the Pugh Center of Cotter Union.

On Thursday, October 4, at 4 p.m. Ann Timmons will present Off the Wall, a one-woman show of the life of writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The performance will be held in Strider Theater of Runnals Building.

On Thursday, October 25, at 4:30 p.m. native Maine poet Pat Ranzoni will present “Making Water, Making Up Our Minds, Am I Your Sister? Poems and Stories of Comfort and Discomfort from Outback Maine.” The reading will be in the Whitney Room of Roberts Building.

On Thursday, November 15, at 4 p.m. Gail Spaien, faculty fellow in art, will present a panel discussion on women in the arts at the Colby Museum of Art.

For more information on the conference or lecture series contact Elizabeth Leonard, associate director of Women’s Studies, at 207-872-3273 or edleonar@colby.edu.