Rock & Rouge women's music, food festival set for Saturday

June 29, 2018 - 2:26 pm

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans this weekend is hosting a music and food festival aimed at elevating and uplifting women.

Rock & Rouge is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, come rain or shine, at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint.

The festival was supposed to be held last weekend, but was rescheduled due to the weather.

Festival founder Lani Ramos said the free event will host two music stages with several performances scheduled, including sets by Irma Thomas, Lynn Drury, and Ramos, who performs as Big Pearl with her band, the Fugitives of Funk.

"This all started with the women's march last year," Ramos said. "It grew out of the idea of figuring out the next step post-march. I was really tired of seeing fests being played by a majority of men. We want to be in the front, at the helm of what we do."

There also will be panel discussions on Mardi Gras Indian queens and women working in STEM fields, politics and the music industry. Speakers include Big Queen Laurita Dollis of the Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indian tribe. At least two New Orleans City Councilwomen are scheduled to participate.

Ramos said the event's goal is to raise awareness about women's rights and the women's movement, and to introduce young girls to education pathways in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math. "We want to let them know that they can be and do anything," she said.

A tent for girls, ages 8-15, will be set up for STEM workshops by Electric Girls founder Flor Serna, she said. There also will be a men's "Dugout" featuring cigars and horseshoes.

Ramos said plans are in the works to produce the festival annually.

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