About the Project

The Heady Heart Project addresses the raced, classed and gendered reception of challenging, multidimensional women singer-songwriters (composer-vocalists) whose art is often not considered commercially viable. Artists whose work challenges dichotomies between thinking and feeling, nature and culture, savagery and civilization, degeneracy and purity, femininity and masculinity, self and “other.” Artists who create work that is as emotional as it is intellectual. Who feel with their heads and think with their hearts. Who have heady hearts.

The Project harnesses the collective energy of fans to create alternative support structures to sustain women’s art. It operates on three core principles:

Multiracial Critique
A project celebrating multidimensional women artists would be reprehensible if all of the artists were White, as this would imply that only White women are complex enough to be considered fully human. This project requires an inclusion of women of color that moves beyond tokenism. But the Heady Heart Project’s multiracial approach is about more than just diverse representation. A genuinely multiracial critique alters a project’s content and direction, and not just its demographics. For the Heady Heart Project, this means recognizing that the music industry’s reception of women artists is as raced and classed as it is gendered. There are racialized expectations of what kind of music both White women and women of color can or will produce. To offer one example, Black women have often been cast as entertainers and divas rather than songwriters and composers – as cultural products rather than producers of culture. The Heady Heart Project is grounded in a critique of how race, class, gender and sexuality shape the music industry’s reception of multidimensional women artists.

A Revolution in Aesthetics
Many existing women’s music festivals are focused primarily on artists. Their first priority is to present women artists to the public. The Heady Heart Project is equally focused on the content and character of women’s art, recognizing that allegedly objective critical terms (ie “precious,” “strident” or “inaccessible”) often reinforce existing social hierarchies. The women of the Heady Heart Project create complex art that challenges reductive commercial “genres.” The music itself is revolutionary.

Conscious Fandom

These days, most people passively receive, rather than actively produce, popular culture. The Heady Heart Project will activate the collective energy of fans to make women’s art more sustainable. For overextended women artists, it is nearly impossible to function as artists, activists and business people simultaneously. Audiences who value challenging work must begin to shoulder some of this burden. The ultimate goal of the Heady Heart Project is to mobilize fans to create alternative structures to support and nurture struggling artists. This work can take many forms. Fans can help fund artists’ new recordings. Professionals (ie engineers, designers, lawyers, marketing and public relations specialists) can donate their services toward artists’ development. Individuals can disseminate women’s art within their communities by planning concerts and/or listening parties, or simply by purchasing women’s recordings for friends and loved ones. The Heady Heart Project is directed toward creating dynamic communities that value multi-dimensional women artists.

The Heady Heart Project is beginning with regular artist profiles in the online magazine Fluxcore. These articles will also provide suggestions for ways fans can take action to assist artists.

The Heady Heart Project is an initiative begun by a fan with the intention of involving other fans. Although artists may become involved in this Project, the official “authorization” of the artists profiled and/or supported should not be assumed.

Throughout this project, please forward any stories, suggestions, and ideas to timjy@sbcglobal.net. The Heady Heart Project is a movement being built from the ground up. Your stories will shape what directions this project takes moving forward.

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One Response to “About the Project”

  1. Excellent! What an incredibly comprehensive, well thought-out endeavor. I can’t wait to see how this project takes seed and grows into something great.

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