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The first-ever Femme Fest, an aptly named celebration of women from all walks of life, hits Houston on Saturday, Dec. 5 at the soon-to-open Axelrad Beer Garden at the corner of Alabama and Almeda where Midtown meets the Third Ward. Creative Women Unites sponsors the event in collaboration with Raiz of Planned Parenthood. Montana Thames, who has helped to organize both Houston Femme Fest and Raiz, recognizes that an event like this has been a long time coming in Houston.

“Lady Fest and Femme Fest are really similar, and we just wanted to kind of copy that here in Houston,” Thames said, noting the yearly women’s celebration in her native Southern California.

Despite the recent timing of the shut down of HERO and the defunding of Planned Parenthood, Thames said the timing is coincidence as plans for Femme Fest began earlier this past summer.

Thames spoke with many who felt somewhat defeated due to the HERO result and Planned Parenthood’s funding cut by the Texas government.

“Originally, it wasn’t timed politically at all,” Thames said. “Though we really need it right now, especially at this time in Houston.”

Femme Fest, while empowering women in Houston, is also about the promotion of, and healing through, art. The event celebrates transfolk, gender-fluid, cis, and LGBTQ members of Houston’s community through musical acts, spoken word and visual arts. Thames adds that the performances and the artistic expressions at the festival will showcase the vitality and drive, despite the “constant let downs.”

Organizations such as Planned Parenthood will be available to provide resources like HIV testing.

Dec 5. 4. Axelrad Beer Garden, 1517 Alabama St. facebook.com/raizofplannedparenthood 

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