Arts + Lit Lab to host a Nasty Women Reading benefiting Planned Parenthood

The Arts + Literature Laboratory will be hosting a “Nasty Women Reading” in celebration of Women’s History Month on Saturday with all donations benefiting Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

Seven different writers from Madison, Milwaukee and Athens, Georgia, will read their work at the March 18 event while exploring what it means to be a “nasty woman.”

“We had wanted to do an event for Women’s History Month,” said Rita Mae Reese from Arts + Literature Laboratory and a co-organizer of the event. “We wanted to plan an event that will spread hope, inspiration and solidarity.” 

Planned Parenthood offers a plethora of health services: birth control, STD testing and treatment, well woman exams, cancer screenings, honest sex education and safe, legal abortion care.

“There is already extremely limited healthcare access in Wisconsin. Planned Parenthood serves all patients who come through our doors, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Iris Riis, the media relations specialist from Planned Parenthood Wisconsin, via email.

Reese was a co-organizer of January’s Writers Resist event, and the event’s energy and enthusiasm inspired her.

“We are hoping [the Nasty Women Reading] will feel like Writers Resist… Going from feeling despair and alienation to a feeling of hope and community and solidarity,” Reese said.

Events like Writers Resist and the Nasty Women Reading are part of a network of experiences that make connection and support feel tangible, Reese said.

“The things writers create are not just made up in a vacuum; they are important and affect our lives,” Reese said. “Women matter and women’s voices matter.” 

The Nasty Women Reading is one example among many of increased support for Planned Parenthood in recent months, according to Riis, who has seen an outpouring of support since the presidential election.

In Madison and across the state of Wisconsin, there has been increased donations, volunteering and organized events all dedicated to supporting Planned Parenthood, Riis said.

“Our supporters are really fired up. We’ve had so many people who considered themselves silent supporters of Planned Parenthood start to become more vocal,” Riis said. “We know there is a long, hard fight ahead, but we’re going to do everything can to make sure our patients have access to the high-quality, affordable health care at Planned Parenthood. With the ongoing support of our community, our doors will stay open.” 

The Nasty Women Reading will take place Saturday  at 8 p.m. at the Arts + Literature Laboratory, located at 2021 Winnebago Street in Madison. Proceeds from merchandise and any other donations will all go to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)