Local musician Cathy DiToro of the bands Party Like It’s, So Fetch, and The Legwarmers made it a point to feature female musicians, bands, and singer/songwriters at an event she curated called “Ladies Night” at Tortoise and Hare since 2015. For over two years, she provided a space where women in music felt supported and had the opportunity to get their work out to an attentive audience.
Recently, DiToro and her friends Brittny Mayo and Jake Charow took this concept further and had an idea to create something bigger to continue the encouragement of female musicians in the nation’s capital.
“I need to showcase these women more!” DiToro said. “How can I raise awareness for the female music community?”
Thus, Project HERA was born in the summer of 2017 via a festival at the State Theatre with its namesake from the matriarch of the Greek gods. This organization is a not-for-profit focused on being a resource for women in music of all ages that began with two music festivals comprised of all female musicians and female-led bands.
DiToro said, “We’re such a minority with few resources in DC, so it’s beneficial for all of us the more we get together.”
In addition to being that resource, DiToro, Mayo, and Charow also plan to use Project HERA to provide a platform to bridge younger, emerging artists to more experienced women in the industry. These three musical musketeers want to continue to improve by going from a music-centered organization into a broader focus on women in the arts.
“I’m a big picture kind of person,” DiToro explained. “In my mind, I already see Gwen Stefani booked to attend our all-female version of Bonaroo!”
However, until then, in 2018 followers will see one big summer festival, a smaller fall event, and various smaller events throughout the year such as their monthly networking event at 7 Drum City in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Concurrently, Project HERA will make inroads into becoming a sponsor of local community music events beginning with a co-sponsorship of the Girls Rock Drum Festival 7 Drum City in March.
“We want to be non-political, positive, and focused on the future of girls and music. We are genuinely here for the sake of the art. Women supporting women,” DiToro said.
Collaboration is a major Project HERA hallmark and DiToro is looking for all the productive ways to get the word out to the city and beyond. This means if you are a female musician or band looking to get involved, or another organization finding more ways to support women in the arts, DiToro, Mayo, and Charow are looking for you to reach out!
How? You ask.
Easy: Check out their website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Finally, here is a video that tells you a bit more about the organization and highlights some of their work from last year.
With that, we hope that you – whatever your gender – get involved with Project HERA because we all know #TheFutureIsFemale.