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Suzanne Stroebe and Caitlin Rueter: A Feminist Tea Party: Tea Dance

Fri Nov 4, 2011, 1:00pm to 9:00pm
Museum of Art and History
705 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060


A Feminist Tea Party lies somewhere between a performance, an installation, and a

participatory event. Provoked by the Tea Party protests, A Feminist Tea Party recasts the “tea party” as a playful, progressive, inquisitive and inclusive space.

At its inception, the project was meant to last only an afternoon. It has now continued for almost two years, in various venues in New York City, Miami, and California, and is constantly re-imagined as it finds new audiences, spaces, and participants. Stroebe and Rueter revisit the consciousness-raising groups of the 1970s in the set of a midcentury tea party. But, rather than recreating the exclusive environment of the historical

consciousness-raising groups, or the homogeneous scene typical of the historical tea party, they include a wider cast of discussants, conflating the past and present to create an environment where essential and discomfiting issues can be discussed freely and with a sense of humor.

Two co-hosts will join the artists in their installation to engage guests in casual conversation on a topic related to feminism. Co-hosts for MAH include Bonnie Mirante, who will lead a discussion on Women in Prison, and Michelle Stroebe, who will be talking with guests about why food politics is a feminist issue. Recipes and healthy snacks will be provided by Stroebe for guests.

Everyone is welcome to join the artists in their installation for sweets, tea, a browse through the feminist library and casual conversation regardless of gender, political persuasion, or if they identify as feminist or not. Costume, however interpreted, is welcome.