Women in the Arts event presents work of UT women

Jenan Taha

The Texas Women’s Council showcased the work of female students in the fields of film, photography, theater and more at the Union on Sunday.

The event, Women in the Arts, was held to bring together various women’s groups on campus. 

“I feel like there’s an underrepresentation of women in a lot of these fields, and I thought it would be a good way to start a conversation with something everyone can really connect to,” Lauren Schneider, event coordinator and neuroscience sophomore, said. “We want to facilitate conversations surrounding gender equality.”

The event included a student photography display, a faculty guest speaker and performances by a cappella group Beauties and the Beat and comedy group Gigglepants Improv. 

Advertising senior Lauren Joy McLean, member of Beauties and the Beat, said that she and many other women in the field of theater or other arts are often judged differently than men. 

“They’ll focus not on the product or the craft that you put in the world, but your appearance,” McLean said. “That is something that you have to deal with when you’re a woman in the arts.” 

McLean said she appreciated the council’s efforts to bring together and encourage communication among women from around campus. 

“The positive thing about being a woman in the arts is that we also can be really supportive of each other,” McLean said. 

English senior Kate Dannenmaier, who enjoys film and photography, put together a photo series for the event that was inspired by her personal struggles. 

“I’m someone who has battled with bipolar disorder, I’m queer, I’ve experienced sexual abuse, so I’ve got a whole lot of things going on in my mind,” Dannenmaier said. “The photos altogether talk about how I feel when I am at my worst, and then also how I feel when I’m at my best.”   

The photos include her best friend and have text from Dannenmaier’s diaries photoshopped onto them. 

“I’ve really been wanting to show my work, and I’m really excited that someone outside of my friends can see it,” Dannenmaier said.  “It was this way to express this weird painful thing but in a way that made me feel really good.”

Dannenmaier said it’s important to make connections with other women in the arts. 

“I think the communities that women foster with each other are something that we should really celebrate, and they’re how I was able to make my work,” Dannenmaier said.