LAB presents "Celebrating Queens Women Artists," curated by Joan Willette. A tribute to the Queens-based women artists in public service, technology, business and community development programs, this event celebrates women's creative voices for social justice in their lives and communities. "Celebrating Queens Women Artists" will feature a dynamic presentation of multi-genre performances. There will be a diverse group of 13 female artists, featuring music, poetry, dance and film performances. 

Joan Becht Willette aka "The Enchanted Goddess" is a Literary Artist/Educator, the creatrix of "The Enchanted Goddess Project: A Literary Creative Arts Community," and 2018 SU-CASA Artist-in-Residence.

"Celebrating Queens Women Artists" will include artist leader presentations, an artist leader literary performance, a Visual Art gallery, an author table with book signings, and a free raffle and refreshments. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the performing artists and artist leaders about their creative process. Register below.

Friday, March 23rd, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Queens Council on the Arts
37-11 35th Ave, Entrance on 37th St
Astoria, NY 11101

Admission: $10

QCA Members enter code: 2018QueensWomen
To become a QCA Member click HERE



Artist Leader Keynote Speakers: Wendy Angulo: Founder of "Wendy Angulo Productions" and Bridget Bartolino: Founder of "The Five Boro Story Project"

Artist Leader Performance: Audrey Dimola: Poet/Artist/Performer and the Director of Public Programs at Socrates Sculpture Park

Writers: Joan Becht Willette, Audrey Dimola, Lucy Torres, Jennifer Harmon, Diana Benigno and Sikeea Graham.

Musicians: May Madarang and the "Mother Tongue" band

Dance Performers: Caitlyn Casson, Diana Benigno

Visual Artists: Maria Cora Fernandez, Tania Jeudy, Sikeea Graham, Sanyutka Malla Thakuri

Videography: Empyre Productions


Joan Becht Willette aka The Enchanted Goddess, is a writer, educator, curator/host and the creatrix of "The Enchanted Goddess Project: A Literary Creative Arts Series" which hosts creative workshops and performances. 

Some of her has been published in the Newtown Literary Journal, Siren magazine, Silver Birch Press and "These Winter Months" anthology. She was also featured in NYC Poetry Festival, Queens Lit Fest and on QPTV's telecasts: "The World of Arts", "The ArtistSpace" and "Power Women of Queens." 

Joan has also curated/hosted several "Celebrating Queens Women Artists" performances at QCA. She has been featured in local newspapers, NY1 and the "Huffington Post."  Joan is currently writing her first book, "The Enchanted Goddess of Queens." She has just been awarded an Artist Residency with a "SU-CASA Grant Award 2018" from the Queens Council on the Arts. Her website is:


Bridget Bartolino is a socially engaged artist and educator who uses story-sharing to strengthen community connections. Inspired by her love for New York City, her belief in the power of storytelling as a tool for social justice, and her frustration with the lack of cultural programming in areas like her home neighborhood in South Richmond Hill, Queens, Bridget launched the Five Boro Story Project in 2013. 

Under the Five Boro Story Project, she produces community storytelling events that bring New Yorkers together through sharing true stories and art inspired by our neighborhoods. Her creative process involves working with community members, organizers, activists, and artists to collaboratively create tributes to the people and places that make up our homes. 

Bridget holds a Masters in Community Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College, and was a 2013 Create Change Fellow and 2014 Commissioned Artist with The Laundromat Project, a 2015-16 Creative Community Fellow with National Arts Strategies, and an artist in residence with More Art’s Engaging Artists 2016 Housing Justice Residency.


Lucy Torres is a writer and artist based in NYC and author of The Taste of Broken, an autobiographical poetry book on illness turned NYC experimental art show. Lucy is a LaGuardia Performing Arts Center LAB 101 Grantee and has featured at the Inspired Word Series, Queens Literary Festival, International Women’s Artist Salon and Local Project. Lucy is an unwavering women’s rights activist, fighter of self-love and advocate for gender/racial/ability/class/age/body size equality.You can find her at and on FB.



Celebrated for her dynamic presence on stage and on the page, Queens native Audrey Dimola is a poet, performer, curator, local arts advocate, community organizer, and lifelong artist. She is also Director of Public Programs at her beloved Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. A crusader for culture in her hometown borough for over a decade, Audrey has been widely recognized for her work in its artistic/literary communities by presenting a unique circuit of events and creative opportunities. She is the author of three poetry and prose collections including her latest "WILDLIGHT" (released 3/20/18), has been featured on NY1 TV and Queens Public TV, curated shows for LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, the Historic House Trust, and Queens Museum, and performed at venues around NYC including Queens Council on the Arts, Bowery Poetry Club, Brooklyn Museum, and the NYC Poetry Festival. Audrey speaks at conferences, festivals, and schools from elementary to college; holds and facilitates safe space for ceremony and the arts; and continues to actively perform and curate independently. LIVE YOUR LEGEND!


Sanyutka Malla Thakuri
It has always been my dream and passion to become a photographer. When I came to theUnited States, I took classes in Manhattan, New York to fulfill this dream.

I love to hep and inspire people by creating priceless, timeless memories of their lives, through my photography. My photography focuses on portraits, kids, families, models and fashion. I capture each moment with emotion blended with honesty, emotion and sincerity. Sanyutka


Tania Jeudy-Doykin (Filmmaker/Producer) the founder of Genix Productions. She is a producer for the Filipino-American news magazine, “I Am Pinoy, Proud Ako”.   She has also worked in conjunction with Empyre Productions on the docu-series, “Artist Space”. Recently, Tania serve as a judge for the, movies4movies Film Festival in Dobbs Ferry, NY.


When she isn’t stuffing her face with chocolate cake, and other desserts, Sikeea Graham is dreaming of delicious treats. Sometimes, she even takes photos of them; her work can be seen on Instagram (@hangryland). 

In addition to writing blog posts on,   Sikeea has collaborated with Mari Fernandez, founder of Empyre Productions, photographer Sanyukta Malla Thakuri, and filmmaker Tania Jeudy. 

Sikeea is also a budding health advocate; she is passionate about raising awareness for organ donor enrollment and the dire need for living donors. Even more than unlimited chocolate lava cake, Sikeea’s wish is to raise the disappointing level of organ donor enrollment in New York State. 

Please go to www.liveonny.orgtoday for more information, and to sign up to become an organ donor. 


May Madarang is a violinist, pinay "treble-maker", community organizer, and cultural worker. She’s a member of GABRIELA NY, a Filipina organization advocating for the rights and welfare of women and children, a member of the band Mother Tongue, and also organizes in the faith-based community.  Her voice was featured in after speaking at the International Women's Strike March 2017 at Washington Square Park. Her passion lies in combining both art and activism to educate, organize, and mobilize communities for change.

Through her cultural work, May has performed at the People's General Assembly, Women's Environment and Development Organization, BAYAN-USA’s 5th Congress at Catholic University, and locally at the collectively directed community art space, Silent Barn

Her recent projects include:  a performance at the benefit concert called "Uprooted, Uprising, Upsurge: Unite for PH Sovereignty , presenting a collective chant at Phos Hilaron: From the Masses Rise the Saints  exhibit, commemorating One Billion Rising: Rise & Resist Tyranny: Women Unite for Liberation  and participating in IWWD 2018 for International Working Women's Day on March 10th.


Caitlyn Casson, originally from Philadelphia, graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of South Florida, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and a minor is Psychology. She has performed repertoire by distinguished artists Bill T. Jones, Doug Varone and Talley Beatty. Casson’s desire for internationally diverse, artistic endeavors has taken her across the globe to perform and teach. 

Since 2013, she has been working as an international dance trainer with MindLeaps to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda. Most recently she performed at the Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Kigali, Rwanda. Caitlyn has performed nationally with Eleone Dance Theatre, Balasole Dance Company and DamageDance Companies. Currently, 

Caitlyn is based in NYC and dancing with Ariel Rivka Dance, Dance Entropy and Matthew Westerby Company.


Diana Benigno is a theatre artist graduating this spring from Hunter College with her Masters in Theatre.  Her performances range from acting, singing and calligraphy, to dancing and dramaturgy.  She's performed in Federico Lorca's Blood Wedding, Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, and Richard III, Shanley's Doubt, the new Trinity Comics: a web series, and many others, in NYC and on Long Island.  

She plays with puppets, loves anything involving words and their intonations, and loves to experiment with art's profound ability to heal and teach through softness, movement awareness,and play.  She also teaches yoga.


Maria Cora Fernandez is an Independent TV Director /Producer and Owner of Empyre Productions. She directs and produce shows, and cablecasts on Queens Public Television (QPTV) in Flushing, Queens. 

As a Filmmaker, she founded "ArtistSpace," a short docu web series that highlights emerging artists in Queens, providing them platform to share their story as artists, and showcase their creative works.

Maria is also a Visual Artist. She is a member of the Society of Pilipino American Artists (SPAA) in New York. She is one of the participating artists in a group Art Exhibit held recently at the Philippine Center in Manhattan, New York.

As an artist, she believes in a saying by Danny Kaye that, "Life is a great canvas. Throw all the paint you can on it." To learn more of Marias' works, visit 


Wendy Angulo is a New York City born Latina, raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Wendy is a mother, writer, lawyer and the founder of Wendy Angulo Productions, an organization whose goal is to support, encourage, and promote poetry and visual arts in the borough of Queens. Wendy, re-discovered her love for writing in the summer of 2011 after attending a spoken word event in Queens. She then joined the New York City Latina Writers Group where she has been an active member and has taken on the role as the organization’s Program Director. Wendy is an essayist who is currently working on her Memoir. She has read her work at several venues throughout New York City and has been published twice in the online journal Mom Egg Revie, also The Kenyon Revie. She is a 2016 VONA alum, a contributor of Latina Executive Magazine by Proud to be Latina, Co-Curator and Producer of LETRAS, The Latino Self-Published Book Fair; the producer of Elephant, a choreo-film created and produced entirely by women of color to fight against street harassment and the sole creator/curator and producer of Canvas of Word, an art and poetry showcase that birthed of Wendy’s desire to bring the arts back to her beloved borough of Queens and most recently the creator and editor of Lifting the Burden of Sham, a collection of essays written by women about the role of shame in their lives. Examining shame through a prism of race, sexuality, religious beliefs, mental health, infidelity, marriage, body image, gender, employment, and relationships. These powerful stories illustrate the language and impact of shame and how it can be overcome.. Wendy continues to scout for new talent, build new connections and create platforms to perpetuate the arts and strengthen the literary community in New York City. For more information, visit:


Jennifer Harmon Gersbeck grew up amongst the rose-colored deserts of New Mexico, but currently hops through puddles in her paisley galoshes down the sidewalks of Astoria, New York. Inspired by her late mother Patty, she released her first book in 2016, entitled “Celebrating Sound,” which is a compilation of her mother's poetry and essays with her own. She works at a hair salon for curly-haired folk, and dyed her locks pink for a year before trying red with orange bangs. She is now back to being blonde Hobo Harmon. Ask her about this unique nickname her mom gave her! She and her husband have three cats––the Three A-Meow-Gos––named Jupiter, Yoda, and Zach. Zach knows many secrets of the world, but no one ever asks him. Her website is:, and the Three A-Meow-Gos facebook page