In 2014 Victoria Fitzgerald, a musician, teacher, and mother, founded California Women's Music to provide support, uplift, empower, and facilitate the development and growth of women and girls in music, business, education, wellness, and fine arts. Victoria and the board set in motion a grassroots movement of women in the creative fields in California's Central Valley who sought to be part of a sisterhood, a network of support.
Victoria identified a need in the community for a music festival that highlighted women performers and artists. CWM FEST was established as our annual fundraiser festival and since has been providing work opportunities for women performers, audio engineers, event production professionals, photographers, videographers, performance artists, dancers, poets, arts and crafts makers, small business owners, and venues. Each year our festival has expanded to new cities and towns in California.
In 2015 CWM became the Fiscal Sponsor of a project dedicated to supporting and advancing women in audio. The project SoundGirls.org has since flourished and, with collaboration with Spotify, created the EQL Directory, a database for women and gender non-conforming audio professionals.
In 2018 San Francisco-based Singer-Songwriter-Producer and Entrepreneur Maayan Oppenheim Joined as Co-Producer of Events and the CWM FEST. Her passion for our mission has since inspired many volunteers in the San Francisco Bay Area to join us.
In 2020 with the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic ensued, and CWM quickly responded to address the needs of our communities by establishing the CWM COVID-19 grant funds that provided financial assistance to women-independent performers and women small music venue owners. CWM was the first Nonprfit organisation supporting women and girls in the creative fields and particularly the music industry to offer live-streamed concerts and music industry panels during the pandemic to address the unexpected hardships and impacts and fundraise for the community. California Women's Music paved the way for other women's organizations to provide live-streamed events during the pandemic by setting the example and providing technical and programmatic support.
CWM's programming inclued interactive online programs and content such as online concerts and industry panels to create education and self-expression opportunities for women. CWM facilitates the coming together of women-professionals from across the creative fields to address issues of the time, share experiences, and uplift our community. CWM also provides wellness programs such as yoga and meditation classes and interactive panels with wellness professionals to address mental health issues. We provided our volunteers and interns with training in content creation: public relations, and social media management during this expansion. Currently, CWM is restructuring and building its programming for 2023, including a return to live events, an Artist Development Program, and a new Podcast to feature inspiring women who embody our mission.
Through our grant funds and programs, we continue to provide the women and girls of California with resources for well-being, mental health, extracurricular and educational activities, creative fulfillment, enrichment, and financial stimulus at times of need.
We are rooted in our communities.
Together, there is nothing we can't achieve.
We believe in equal opportunity, equal representation and equal pay. We are here to highlight women until we reach equality.
With our live concerts and educational events, we strive to close the gender representation gap.
To this day the lack of female representation is sadly prevalent in our society, culturally and systematically enforced - we are here to change that.
More women in leadership roles
Equal pay for women.
More women-owned businesses
More resources for women
A thriving culture of sisterhood.