Austin cultural collective Human Influence hosted a celebration of local female artistry and business at Cheer Up Charlies in Raise Her Voice on Thursday, Feb 23.
By Onaje McDowelle
The Raise Her Voice concert series was created as a platform to showcase rising female artists in the Austin area. From humble beginnings, the series has become a well-known event for female artists to perform in front of a warm audience, full of supportive fans and those interested in seeking out new talent.
Unlike past events, this installment of Raise Her Voice featured artists from not only the Austin area but all across Texas. Singer-songwriter Erva Carter made a three-hour drive from Houston to be there during her set. Based on the smile that gleamed from her face as she sang to an intimate and engaged crowd, the trip was well worth it. A fan yelled “don’t leave us, we love you!” as Carter wrapped up her set with a special unreleased track.
In addition to Carter, artists Vonne, Sheila, Upper Reality and DJ Breezah radiated the stage to create the perfect celebration of female energy. Raise Her Voice felt like a gathering of lifelong friends in a living room where the soundtrack of choice was a fusion of Lauryn Hill and Beyonce.
“The atmosphere was so loving and encouraging,” concert-goer Mckenna Murphy says. “I felt so much support, as a woman, and even though I’m not an artist myself, I felt proud to be there watching and supporting them.”
Female business owners were also represented at the pop up style set up in Cheer Up’s backyard. Under string lights and cool evening air, local businesses including Road Side Rose Trading Co. and others sold handcrafted jewelry, pins, buttons, and shirts to grateful patrons. The event took place in the spirit of empowering women in all of their pursuits, from art and music to entrepreneurship.
All proceeds on the night were donated to Casa Marianella, an emergency shelter home for immigrant mothers and their children who have escaped domestic violence.