Olivia on the Record: A Radical Experiment in Women's Music

Olivia on the Record: A Radical Experiment in Women's Music

by Ginny Z Berson

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Overview

The burgeoning lesbian and feminist movements of the '70s and '80s created an impetus to form more independent and equitable social and cultural institutions—bookstores, publishers, health clinics, and more—to support the unprecedented surge in women's arts of all kinds. Olivia Records was at the forefront of these models, not only recording and distributing women's music but also creating important new social spaces for previously isolated women and lesbians through concerts and festivals. Ginny Z. Berson, one of Olivia's founding members and visionaries, kept copious records during those heady days—days also fraught with contradictions, conflicts, and economic pitfalls. With great honesty, Berson offers her personal take on what those times were like, revisiting the excitement and the hardships of creating a fair and equitable lesbian-feminist business model—one that had no precedent.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781939904379
Publisher: Aunt Lute Books
Publication date: 11/16/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 260
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Ginny Z Berson is a long-time political activist driven by a longing for justice. She was a member of The Furies-- a radical lesbian feminist separatist collective in Washington, D.C. that lived and worked collectively to develop lesbian feminist political thought and philosophy. They produced a mostly monthly newspaper, The Furies, that was distributed nationally and had a significant impact on women’s groups all over the U.S. Ginny was a regular contributor and member of the editorial staff. After The Furies broke up, Ginny pulled together a group of women in D.C. to begin visioning and planning what would become Olivia Records, the national women’s record company. She and her partner, the musician Meg Christian, were the initial driving force getting Olivia off the ground. Ginny stayed at Olivia for seven plus years, and during that time the Olivia collective produced records by Meg, Cris Williamson, BeBe K’Roche, Linda Tillery, Teresa Trull, Mary Watkins, a poetry album by Pat Parker and Judy Grahn, and Lesbian Concentrate—a “lesbianthology” in response to a rising wave of homophobia. After leaving Olivia in 1980, Ginny worked for many years in community radio---at KPFA-FM, Pacifica Radio, and the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. She now works as Director of Outreach for World Trust Educational Services, an anti-racist educational organization that produces documentary films, curricula, workshops and trainings. She also does racial equity work in her neighborhood as part of Neighbors for Racial Justice.

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