Women Speak Volumes

Thursday 29th September

Writing on the Wall and Speaking Volumes present Women Speak Volumes, an online discussion featuring phenomenal women over 40 and hosted by Michelle Charters, Chief Executive of the Kuumba Imani Centre.


Joining us will be 3 inspirational and talented women, Vocalist, Composer, Vocal Specialist and founder of Sense of Sound Choir, Jennifer John. Screenwriter and Lecturer in Screenwriting, Margy McShane, and Multidisciplinary artist & designer, Helen Davies. They will be discussing their personal experiences of working in the arts and creative industries and key events in their lives, as well as exploring how politics, culture, socioeconomics and mental health have played a factor in their careers and offering advice on how they have honed their craft and led a successful career in a patriarchal society.

Jennifer John is an award-winning composer, vocal coach (specialising in artistic development), singer/songwriter, creative director and music mentor. As a singing lecturer she works nationally in the UK with clients including Royal Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, BIMM (Manchester) & Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.

She is the Creative Director and manager of the vocal ensemble, Sense of Sound Singers and have successfully secured collaborations with Damon Albarn, Seal, Jon Bon Jovi, David Gilmore, Paloma Faith, Blossoms, Yoko Ono, Massive Attack, Cream Classical, Rugby World Cup at Etihad Stadium 2015 and The Netball World Cup at M&S Arena in 2019 during which I was given the title of Lady Liverpool and sang at the opening and closing ceremonies.

As a vocal coach, composer and music mentor she is adept at getting amazing results for singers, bands and choirs by focusing on emotional connection through song, vocal techniques, tight harmonisation, musicality, blend and performance skills. However, her 30 years of teaching goes way beyond vocal technique as she also specialises in artist development in encouraging musicality and performance. She believes in singing for social change and diversity and inclusion are central to that ethos.

Margy McShane is a screenwriter and tutor of Screenwriting and Creative Writing. Margy has taught at Liverpool JMU and Manchester Met University and for W.E.A, Writing on the Wall, and on many community-based projects throughout Liverpool. She has facilitated a few anthologies of poetry and prose, including projects for Writing on The Wall and for SWAN Women’s Centre. Margy is currently working as writer and facilitator on The Bluecoat ‘Echoes and Origins’ project.

Helen Davies is a freelance artist with over 30 years’ experience. She works in varied art forms including costumes and props, site specific events and carnivals, lantern parades and installations, puppetry & flag making, decor, and individual commissions. She is experienced in working with children and young people in many communities and has been involved with Capitals’ and Cities of Culture both in the UK and abroad including Liverpool. Recently, she has worked as consultant for WOW with the Mandela 8 ‘Arts, Activism and Empowerment project. Helen is the founder of ‘Bigflower’ which is a company that specialises in illuminated flowers and has just completed a commission of giant Poinsettia flowers for a Lightscape trail in San Diego USA.

Michelle Charters is passionate about the promotion of diversity and equality for all. She has been active in the Community Sector for over 40 years

Michelle is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre, the founding Chair of Merseyside Black History Month Group (2003 -2009), was the first black female Trustee of Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres and is currently on the board of Trustees of National Museums Liverpool and Kindred. She is also the Chair of the ‘Eric Scott Lynch Slavery Heritage’ street plaque initiative and a Common Purpose Matrix Graduate.

Women Speak Volumes is a National project by Speaking Volumes which will create a free, online Inspiration Bank with tips and tools to help develop their creativity and gain confidence in writing and storytelling. In 2023, we’ll stage a live nationwide tour to share some of the stories that emerge and also to open up a national conversation about women over 40 and the wealth of experience that is lost when we’re made invisible.

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