The Apollo Theater Presents Southbank Centre’s Women of the World Festival

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Lupita Nyong'o. Photo: Gage Skidmore-Flickr

Festival Highlights Include: A Tribute to Legendary Songstress and Activist Abbey Lincoln.

Starring Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, and Esperanza

Spalding. Under the Musical Direction of Terri Lyne Carrington.

WOW Teen Summit. Featuring a talk by Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe –Presented in partnership with the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. A Day of Free Panel Discussions, Interactive Workshops, and Performances Celebrating Empowerment & Activism Featuring: Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o. Three-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas. Women’s March Co-Chairs Carmen Perez & Tamika Mallory


Friday May 4th – Sunday May 7th
WHAT: Women of the World (WOW) Festival

The Apollo Theater will gather artists, activists, and leaders from around the globe for the return of the WOW - Women of the World Festival, a four-day festival presented in collaboration with the Southbank Centre London on May 4-7, 2017.

Founded in 2010 by Southbank’s Artistic Director Jude Kelly and originating at Southbank Centre, London, the international festival celebrates women and girls and promotes gender equity.  The Festival made its New York premiere at the Apollo in 2015.

Highlights of the WOW Festival include conversations with Lupita Nyong’o, Gabby Douglas and Gabourey Sidibe as well as performances by Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves and Esperanza Spalding.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Live Wire: Performance and the Politics of Style

6:30PM – Apollo Theater Soundstage

A discussion led by scholar and author Salamishah Tillet, that will explore artists who assert their own narratives of artistic and political freedom in ways at times appealing and controversial.

Apollo Comedy Club Featuring Tacarra Williams, Vernita Bostick and Kate Wolff
Hosted by Mugga

10:00PM – Apollo Theater Soundstage
WOW takes over the Apollo Comedy Club with a special all-female line-up.  Curated by Bob Sumner (producer of Def Comedy Jam, creator of LaffMobb on Aspire), the Apollo Comedy Club features the best up and coming talent in comedy today.

Friday, May 5, 2017
Jumping at the Sun: The Moth at the Women of the World Festival
7:30PM – Apollo Mainstage
Join The Moth and the Apollo for stories of conviction, humility, and voices that carry. Hosted by Detroit native Dame Wilburn, this performance features five storytellers telling true personal stories from Harlem to Africa — and beyond.

Apollo Music Café: Lindsey Webster with Opening Act Koku Gonza

10:00PM – Apollo Theater Soundstage
Lindsey Webster is an American contemporary jazz singer-songwriter whose song Fool Me Once reached number one on Billboard's Smooth Jazz Songs chart in February and March 2016. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017
WOW Teen Summit
Grrls, Pearls, Unfurl: Identity and Self Love in the Millennial Age
11:00AM – 12:30PM – Apollo Mainstage

The program will feature Gabourey Sidibe (presented in partnership with Pen World Voices) who will share her journey from Harlem to Hollywood with highlights from her irreverent and hilarious new memoir, This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare. 

Abbey Lincoln Tribute Concert

8:00PM – Apollo Mainstage
Featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater, Diane Reeves, Esperanza Spalding; and Terri Lyne Carrington, Musical Director

Under the musical direction of GRAMMY Award-winning drummer, composer, and producer Terri Lyne Carrington, an all-star line-up of vocalists including Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Esperanza Spalding will celebrate the life, music and legacy of Abbey Lincoln, presented on tour by the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.

Apollo Music Café Featuring Carmen Rodgers and Zo!
10:00PM – Apollo Theater Soundstage
Carmen Rodgers, joined by Zo!, will present tunes from all of their projects including their newest releases Stargazer and Skybreak, and more!

Sunday, May 7, 2017
Big Ideas* Intimate Conversations

2:00PM  - 7:00PM

A day of free panel discussions, interactive workshops and performances featuring Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o, who will perform a dramatic reading of selections from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah; three-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, who will take part in an intimate conversation on cyber bullying; a panel with National Co-Chairs of the Women’s March on Washington Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez as they discuss what it takes to create an inclusive movement that also stands against racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia and classism, and the issues shaping the feminist agenda in the 21st Century.

WHERE: The Apollo Theater
253 West 125th Street
New York, NY

WHEN: Thursday May 4th – Sunday May 7th

TICKETS: Visit for more information. Tickets will be available at the Apollo Theater Box Office: (212) 531-5305, 253 West 125th Street, and Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000,



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