Womxn 2 Womxn is back after a three-year hiatus


Womxn2Womxn organizers Chelsey Ramirez Hernandez and Sam Lezcano pose together in front of the Womxn2Womxn sign at the Sun Stereo Warehouse in Downtown Fresno on Saturday, January 29, 2023. (Carlos Rene Castro/ The Collegian)

By Carlos Rene Castro, Multimedia Reporter

After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Womxn 2 Womxn is back with a lineup of artists, vendors and live performers.

On Jan. 28, DulceUpFront Labs and Royal Jelly Collective, which are local multimedia art collectives, hosted the highly anticipated event, celebrating women and non-binary artists, at the Sun Stereo Warehouse in Downtown Fresno.

The return of Womxn 2 Womxn had 209 attendees and art enthusiasts supporting artistic talents.

“The concept that they do in Womxn 2 Womxn is really unique, something they really needed here,” said Samuel Contreras, an adjunct professor at Fresno State and member of DulceUpFront. “Especially the Central Valley, which doesn’t really focus on women’s empowerment.”

Eccentric artist FresLoCA, Lauren Robles-Lum, interacts with an attendee at the Womxn2Womxn event. (Carlos Rene Castro/The Collegian) 

Seven vendors had booths set along the edge of the wall in the long, open hall of the Sun Stereo Warehouse. From hand-poured soy candles by Scented Forever to sustainably sourced insects and skeletal remains of animals by Potted Things & Oddities, attendees had a handful of exciting artwork to observe.

Common Vampire Zine, a newly created organization that encourages collaboration, had a table filled with past issues alongside prints and pins for purchase.

The project’s first issue, “The Daddy Issue,” depicts people’s relationships with their parents through writing, photography, and visual arts.

“I think that everybody is creative, and we don’t always get the opportunities to create things, but everybody’s capable,” Linda Garcia, owner and editor of Common Vampire Zine, said,

Garcia, an academic counselor at Clovis Community College, seeks photographers, writers and artists from the Valley for submissions that discuss a range of topics set on a common theme. If an artist or writer is interested in submitting their work, they can email their work to the Common Vampire email before the established deadline.

A collection of zines by Common Vampire Magazine. (Carlos Rene Castro/The Collegian)

“The Cringe Issue” is the next issue for Common Vampire, whose submission deadline is on Feb. 19. The theme for this issue brings to light past uncomfortable, awkward memories that are “cringe-worthy.”

The zine will be published on Mar. 20.

Near the back of the renovated, two-story brick building, attendees enjoyed a dance performance from choreographer and dancer Gianna Renata.

Renata participated in Womxn 2 Womxn before, so she knew how to better prepare for this year’s event, planning her choreography weeks in advance.

“I’ve performed with Womxn 2 Womxn before, so I knew the general vibe and setup,” Renata said.

Renata said she received good feedback from some of the attendees..

“I had a few people come up to me afterward and tell me they thought it was beautiful,” said Renata.

Other artists and live performers filled the Sunset Storehouse Warehouse with music, including a DJ set from Lo Contreras under the name Project Lo. Contreras said the set was meant to emphasize women’s empowerment through music.

“When I was asked to do the event, I immediately knew that I wanted to use a different sound than I generally go with [electronic music],” Contreras said. “I want the sound to focus more on other women musicians.”

Contreras said a highlight of the event was seeing the support from attendees.

“It was definitely a great turnout,” said Contreras.

Installation artwork by Alison Walker. She is also a resident studio artist at Broadway Studios. (Carlos Rene Castro/The Collegian)

Printmaking artist LeeAnn DiCicco hosted a workshop where she instructed attendees on how to make linocut patch.

As to the future, DulceUpFront is ready to bring Womxn 2 Womxn multiple times throughout the years.

“This is going to be a quarterly event. Our next woman-to-a-woman event will be in April. So it’ll be Apr. 29. That’s our Spring Fling Queen event,” said Chelsea Ramirez, Womxn 2 Womxn event organizer.

Event organizers aim to inspire attendees in a creative space such as Womxn 2 Womxn.

“We want them [guests] to feel inspired,” said Ramirez. “I think [women and non-binary people should feel] empowered and just feel like they can be in this creative, safe space.”