Calliope Feminist Choir announces first Ohio Arts Council Sustainability grant; open rehearsal for 2023-2024 season

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ATHENS, Ohio – Calliope Feminist Choir has just announced the receipt of its first Sustainability award from the Ohio Arts Council. This will be Calliope’s third OAC grant and the first to provide operational support.

It will provide significant support for Calliope’s 2023-24 season and subsequent three years, made possible by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.

The logo for Calliope Feminist Choir, which has text reading with the name of the choir in mostly purple and yellow script.

“We are honored and grateful for this recognition,’” shared Debra Spangler, Calliope Artistic Director. “It will strengthen our mission ‘to honor and promote peace, justice, equity, and right relationship with the earth and to inspire action through song,’ allowing us to grow musically and expand our connections through workshops, collaborations with local musicians, and local performances in the community.”

With these funds, Calliope looks forward to strengthening its community collaborations. The choir has also provided details regarding their upcoming programming: Calliope will hold fall and spring concerts, each with a Friday evening and Saturday matinee performance, Nov. 17-18, 2023, and May 10-11, 2024. Additional activities planned for this fall include singing for the women at the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail (SEORJ) and participating in a community benefit concert for Ukraine.

“When we sing for the women in SEORJ, we never know how our music will be received,” said Dianne Bouvier, Calliope Steering Committee president. “Watching these young women’s eyes alight as they connect with our lyrics and find meaning in songs of empowerment and hope is transformative for us as musicians. And hearing them join us on sing-a-longs reminds us of our common bond. We are grateful to the Ohio Arts Council for continuing to support us as we share our music at the regional jail and other venues around the community.”

Calliope welcomes new singers to an open rehearsal, Monday evening, August 28. Interested soprano and alto singers should contact Debra Spangler, Calliope’s artistic director, at or through for further details. Free childcare can be available if requested ahead.