“In fully accepting your creative power, you honor and respect your soul and remind others to do the same.” ~Sonia Choquette
Creative drive, empowerment and advocacy is clearly emanated through the souls of many women. But in recent years, we’ve seen a decline in these attributes among today’s youth and The Girl’s Guide to Swagger is on a mission to make sure we don’t continue down this path. When those strengths are not drawn upon, women as a whole lose out. Fortunately, we all can nurture each other so that this doesn’t happen. Ashley Marinaccio shows us how we can as she works to cultivate these important attributes through the girls and women involved in Girl Be Heard, a theater collective that uses acting to empower young women ages 12 through 21 to become brave, confident, socially conscious leaders while exploring their own lives.
Girl Be Heard was founded four years ago by Marinaccio, who is the now Artistic Director. She is an activist and artist and her work has been seen in many venues across the country such as global TED conferences, The White House, United Nations, and on tour across the United States. She holds a M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a Bachelor’s of the Arts in theatre directing and sociology/anthropology with minors in women/gender and Middle Eastern from Pace University.Marinaccio’s enjoys utilizing theatre for peace building, healing, and empowerment and her vast background led her to be the most suitable person to begin this organization back at the Estrogenius Theatre Festival in 2008, where she was asked to write a play for teenage girls performing at the festival. But instead, she changed things up a bit by having the girls write and act out the plays themselves.“It was apparent that I should not be writing this for them (the plays girls were performing). They needed to be empowered to write it themselves. So we had each of the girls get into discussions.