In 2016, producers Francesca (Cessa) Betancourt and Linnea Ingalls found themselves on a 10 hour bus ride listening to podcasts about female and non-binary experiences. Cessa realized there was no significant outlet back home in the Seattle community for these stories to be told and heard. Thus, with the help of her bus mate, Linnea, the idea for she is FIERCE was created. Their inaugural event, FIRSTS, opened in November 2016.
In the past four years, there have been eleven she is FIERCE events, including collaborations with MoPOP, Shout Your Abortion, Sound Theatre Company, and Good Mourning: An Interactive Arts Festival About Grief & Loss.
WHAT WE DO
she is FIERCE is a recurring storytelling event where female identified and genderqueer individuals of all demographics can share stories from their experience that matter to them. Each event has a theme and there is an open call for submission based around that theme.
Storytellers are given the option of collaborating with a professional dancer, musician, theatre artist, or visual artist in order to help bring their narrative to life.
she is FIERCE releases podcast episodes as well as transcripts intermittently to make these stories accessible to those who cannot attend our events.
To amplify female and genderqueer stories by providing a supportive collaborative platform to their vulnerability, expression, and celebration of experience.
A world in which there are many stories that represent the female and genderqueer experience, and people of all gender and expression of gender are treated equitably and valued equally.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for inviting me to be a part of she is FIERCE. It was a profound experience. I was so moved by every single storyteller who went up and bared their souls. I feel all at once proud and humbled to have performed alongside such fierce humans [...] The sheer number of people there let night is a testament enough to how hungry we are for something like SiF. Thank you for creating an event that truly feeds us. Fight the good fight. Keep up the good work.
HOW HAVE WE SERVED?
With over a dozen events in the last four years, we have worked with over a hundred storytellers and more than 30 local artists from a huge variety of backgrounds, ages, abilities, and life experiences.
With our eye on access, we bring stories to different neighborhoods for each event. We have worked in a multitude of neighborhoods around seattle including Capitol Hill, Greenwood, and the Central Area. These stories, told both live and via podcast, have reached over a thousand audience members in Seattle and beyond.
In 2018, we began offering ASL interpretation for both storytellers and audiences. We also make a commitment to working in ADA spaces and providing large print scripts to those who do not speak ASL.
"Gratitude for this incredible group, and the opportunity to share a story alongside all of you! I was so inspired by the deep vulnerability, courage, and creativity. Thank you Cessa and Linnea, for the hard work you invest in creating this space for these stories to be told. Kudos to your fierce selves!!"
— Ruth, Storyteller
"Thank you Cessa and Linnea both so much for your time, energy, and creative talent. I am so honored to have been able to participate in such a rad project, and this experience has reminded me of the power of being vulnerable and witnessed in that vulnerability. You all have pushed me to seek out other artistic adventures."
— Emily, Storyteller