The Downtown Eastside Women’s Writing Group (DTES WWG) was an urban ink/Firehall Arts Centre/DTES Women’s centre initiative under the Direction of Urban Ink Associate Artist Rosemary Georgeson.
In 2002 the DTES WWG created Rare Earth Arias, an earthly meeting of words, dresses, electrical conductivity and the celebration of the rare voice featuring the commissioned word arias of six members of the DTES WWG: Wendy Chew, Rosemary Georgeson, Leith Harris, Sharon Jo Jelden, Ruth Matemotija Barnett, and Muriel Williams. Premiere at the Firehall Arts Centre under the Artistic Direction of Marie Clements and Maiko Bae Yamamoto, and directed by Mercedes Baines, Rachel Ditor, Kathleen Flaherty, Lorena Gale, Sophie Merasty and Adrienne Wong, Rare Earth Arias was performed by Patti Allen, Patricia Collins, Tasha Faye Evans, Patricia Idelette, Suzie Payne and Vera Wong with the operatic stylings of Katherine Harris. Set and costume design by Barbara Clayden, lighting design by James Proudfoot and stage management by David Kerr.
“… this show displays a rare ambition… It is sometimes baffling, occasionally crude and intermittently beautiful.” – The Georgia Straight
Rituals of Rock is an anthology of poems also from The Downtown Eastside Women’s Writing Group that marks their second year of weekly writing workshops and weekly dessert. Rituals of Rock follows their first publication entitled No Supper Tonight – scapes of the Downtown Eastside. This new book is the continuation of the group’s will to write books that are real, humorous, bold and passionate – words of character that describe the women that write them. In part, Rituals of Rock is a tribute to every woman who knows a thing or two about being a woman, and being a rock.
In May 2009 the DTES WWG created VANISHING: Letters from the Downtown Eastside which premiered at the BC Buds festival. It was a story of the inner voice that guides and defines ‘the safe place inside’ told through visuals, music and the written word.
In Nov 2009 the DTES WWG collaborated with Raven Spirit Dance, Aboriginal storyteller Quelemia Sparrow, and renowned indigenous cellist Cris Derksen in the creation and performance of VANISHING PT2: Dreamcatcher at the Firehall Arts Centre.