Nikki Giovanni, Elaine Welteroth to headline Women Of The World Festival

The Apollo Theater’s fifth bi-annual event will also feature Aunjanue Ellis, Bevy Smith, Harriette Cole, and Dionne Farris.

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The Apollo Theater announced the fifth bi-annual Women Of The World Festival with headliners including author and activist Nikki Giovanni and media professional Elaine Welteroth.

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The international festival will take place virtually this year and aims to elevate the voices, experiences, and truth of women spanning all ages. From Saturday, March 20 to Sunday, March 21, participants will engage with each other through the digital event under the theme “Black Women Transcending!” according to the press release.

Attendees will have access to music, film, workshops, conversations, panels, and performances through the two-day program.

The WOW festival was launched by Jude Kelly, CBE, at Southbank Centre London in 2010. Since its inception, the WOW Foundation has reached over 2 million people worldwide with programs such as the aforementioned event. There are now over 60 festivals on 5 continents.

Nikki Giovanni Elaine Welteroth
Nikki Giovanni Photo by Larry French/Getty Images Elaine Welteroth (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Webby Awards)

The festival will also include a Live Wire conversation, Hazel Scott: The Darling of Café Society, as part of the Apollo Theater’s popular series that recognizes pivotal figures important to its legacy.

Karen Chilton, the author of Hazel Scott: The Pioneering Journey of a Jazz Pianist, will lead this celebration of Scott along with special guests Damien Sneed and Camille Thurman.

Generation Z will be amplified during the WOW: Teen Summit, which will dissect gender politics and how it impacts girls and young women of color, according to the provided release. Reporter and producer Kay Angrum will moderate the panel discussion with community activists Akia S. CallumMalaysia Freeman, and Hebh Jamal.

As for the adults, alongside Welterorth and Giovanni, headliners enlisted for the upcoming WOW festival are HBO’s Lovecraft Country award-winning actress Aunjanue Ellis, host of SiriusXM’s “Bevelations,” media personality and author Bevy Smith, author Harriette Cole, and political and women’s rights activist Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu. 

Performers booked for the virtual stage include Adeline, and Dionne Farris, with more to be announced.

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HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 11: Actress Aunjanue Ellis speaks onstage during FYC Event For Netflix’s ‘When They See Us’ panel at Paramount Theater on the Paramount Studios lot on August 11, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images)

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During the end of 2020, Welteroth was named the new co-host of CBS’s The TalktheGrio reported she and fitness instructor Amanda Kloots would replace singer Marie Osmond and rapper Eve on the daytime panel. 

“I am beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to join the phenomenal women of The Talk,” Welteroth said according to the report. “They have each made me feel right at home alongside them on this incredible platform that cultivates connection, kindness and understanding when we all need it most. I look forward to learning from them and lending my perspective to conversations that build bridges in this singular time in our world.”

Elaine Weleroth & Nikki Giovanni

The Festival will close with Apollo Film Presents: ImageNation’s Cocktails & Sol Cinema, showcasing short films by women from around the world in genres ranging from speculative fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, and folklore.

Additional details and a complete WOW Festival line-up will be announced at a later date.

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