She Rocks: Denton Highlights Female Acts at 2nd Annual Festival

Kitty Holt from The Red Death at last year's She-RockEXPAND
Kitty Holt from The Red Death at last year's She-Rock
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They say girls run the world, and anyone who spends time exploring the entertainment scene throughout North Texas will especially appreciate that sentiment. We’ve got talented ladies in spades around here, so it was about time an event highlighting all-female or female-fronted acts came around. Last year, the Denton-based nonprofit Friends With Benefits conceived such an event, called She-Rock, and raised $4,000 for American Women’s Veterans of Denton.

This year, this first-of-its-kind event is back and bigger than before with 25 bands and artists performing on three stages over two days at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios in Denton. Slated to benefit Girls Rock Dallas and the Denton Music and Arts Collaborative, She-Rock is also a celebration of International Women’s Day and kicks off March 6.

“It’s insane the amount of female talent we have around here,” says Mindy Arendt, president of Friends With Benefits. She founded the nonprofit in 2013, and has helped raise money for numerous charities since. Board members choose different beneficiaries each year, depending on the needs of the community. Arendt says they chose Girls Rock Dallas because it’s a “great organization that encourages girls to express themselves musically.” She says DMAC was also an obvious choice as a beneficiary as they recently announced a new program, You Are Here, with art collective Spiderweb Salon to help local artists get mental health care.

And Arendt's love for She-Rock is apparent as she excitedly exclaims “Pussy power, let’s go!” during our interview at Denton’s Harvest House. But she's quick to say that you don’t have to have a pussy to be involved. She-Rock welcomes anyone who identifies as female, and features work from different ethnicities, transgender people and the LGBTQ community. Arendt, who is also an art director by day and vice president and director of marketing for the Denton-based film, photo and music festival Thin Line Fest, even designed She-Rock’s logo — a Wonder Woman-type figure with purple skin and the transgender emblem on her crown — to be trans inclusive.

Danielle Longueville is a longtime volunteer for Friends With Benefits who will host the “speakeasy” stage at Gloves on the second night of the event, which will feature local femme comedy show Claws Out Comedy, as well as local artists Emma Ricks and Lizzie Trumbore, among others.

“It’s important to raise awareness within all art mediums that art and entertainment isn't just stuff produced by white men,” Longueville says. “What I want to see more of is more diverse lineups that are queer-centric, or more centralized around art and music and entertainment, that lives outside of the mainstream.”

Drummer and vocalist for Helium Queens, Chelsey Danielle, says she's excited to play She-Rock for the second time. Last year she played the event with her other band, Pearl Earl. "I think it is good to have female-centered events like this because you get a chance to see other women making music in the community," she says. "Whereas, if it was just a regular show, you may not get a chance to see a female musician play at all." The bill also includes pop act Jessie Frye, singer songwriter Claire Morales, alt-pop act Lorelei K and several others.

She-Rock takes place at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios March 6-7. Presale tickets are $10 for one day or $15 for both days.

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