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In November Colby College in Waterville will celebrate “Women in the Arts” as the host of the 16th Annual Maine Women’s Studies Conference. A Colby College Museum of Art exhibit, “Maine Women in the Visual Arts,” will be mounted in conjunction with the conference. All of the events are open to the public, and the art exhibit is 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, most recently a book of poetry on the clash between nature and technology. Salem Mekuria is an independent filmmaker from Ethiopia and now a professor of film and video at Wellesley College. Her most recent work is “Ye Wonz Maibel,” a 61-minute documentary that won awards from the national Black Programming Consortium among others.

The conference will include more than 30 sessions, workshops and performances throughout the day, including: “Science, Sexism and Satire: An Artist’s View;” “The Thin Line,” a one-woman play about eating disorders by Cathy Plourde; “Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn: Sibling Revelry and Rivalry,” a reading of the artists’ correspondence and a performance of their music; and a screening of the film “5 Girls” about girls and adolescence. 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 51 Maine women artists, “Maine Women in the Visual Arts.” An artists’ reception will take place at 4:30 p.m. on November 3 to open the exhibit. 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.

For more information on the conference contact Elizabeth Leonard, associate director of Women’s Studies, at 207-872-3273 or [email protected].