Grrl Fair Rocks Downtown Santa Ana

For one night, a historical building in downtown Santa Ana went under a transformation to celebrate the “other” F-word: feminism.

On March 12, the Santora Arts Building in Santa Ana became occupied by local musical acts, art showcases and workshops that included candid discussions about politics, sexuality and women’s rights.

Local residents came out of the shadows of Orange County to support female empowerment. The crowd was diverse and included men, women, young and older generations alike to view a showcase of women’s liberation through music and art.

This was the 10th year for the Grrl Fair. Last year, the all-volunteer grassroots event was shut down from its original location due to permit issues. A scaled down event was held at the Calacas On 4th store in Santa Ana.

This year the organizers of the Fair worked it out with the City to hold their free annual fest as planned.

The all-ages event followed International Women’s Day, which has been observed since the early 1900’s in the U.S.

According to the Grrl Fair Facebook page, the event “rides on the neo-wave of the 1990’s Riot Grrrl Movement.”

The Riot Grrrl Movement was an underground feminist punk movement that came out of Seattle and Portland music scenes in the 1990’s. It evolved into a subculture that included women creating their own publications (called “zines”) art, grassroots political action, activism and advocate organizations. The movement also made the idea of Do It Yourself (DIY) arts and crafts popular among youth.

The Grrl Fair page states the event is about “finding a political voice [for] anger about society’s treatment of women.” Key issues include “domestic abuse, rape, sexuality, the need for safer streets, abortion rights and equal pay.”

The overall political vibe showed a spark of punk rebellion behind the Orange Curtain. The eclectic mix of bands included indie, punk and acoustic Mexican American contemporary ensembles. The main stage featured local musicians Bella Novela and My Machete. In true punk rock fashion, other bands performed in art gallery spaces that held tightly packed audiences.

Video can be seen below of some of the highlights of the musical acts.

Also posted on the Orange Juice Blog

Amber Stephens