Friday, March 16, 2012

Celebrate "Herstory" This Weekend in Belleville

Posted By on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Kim Massie, TOCO's Woman of the Year, performs at LouFest in 2010. - JASON STOFF
  • Jason Stoff
  • Kim Massie, TOCO's Woman of the Year, performs at LouFest in 2010.

March is not just a time for tournaments and brackets of all kinds -- it's also Women's History Month. This weekend Tapestry of Community Offerings (TOCO), a nonprofit in Belleville, will be holding its eighth annual Herstory Weekend at the Ground Floor Club. Which, as it happens, has less to do with stories (even hers) and more to do with celebrating and supporting women. There will also be music and, yes!, burlesque.

"All our acts feature or honor women," says Kim Vrooman, the event chair. "One year we even had a drag show."

This year, TOCO will present St. Louis diva Kim Massie with its first Woman of the Year award. It will also present two $1,000 college scholarships to a pair of deserving single parents. (Massie, Vrooman notes, is also a single parent.)

In addition to Massie, performers will include Ellen the Felon, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes, Maid*Rite and the Michelle Mynx Polesque Dancers. (Mynx was previously part of the aeriel burlesque duo Gravity Plays Favorites.)

"All the money TOCO makes goes to families and children in need," says Vrooman.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to do their own bit for the women of the community: Beautiful Lengths will be there, cutting hair to donate to cancer survivors. Participants can raise some extra money for the cause by arranging for friends and neighbors to sponsor them by the inch.

But most of all, the weekend will celebrate women. "I'm not going to say women are better or smarter," says Vrooman, "but women are equal and deserve to honored and spotlighted."

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