Rachel Wayne has personal reasons for organizing Red Soul Days, a semi-annual pop-up art festival that raises awareness about sexual and gendered violence while empowering victims.
“I was bullied as a kid, albeit not badly, but it leaves a mark on you,” Wayne said. “As an adult, I am a survivor of intimate partner abuse.”
Wayne added that her situation is not rare. Many more people are sexually assaulted than ever gets reported to police. One reason is that many people don’t consider themselves victims because they know their assailant or because of the shame they feel.
And that’s where Red Soul Days come in. The series of events in downtown Gainesville use art, music, performance art, spoken word and theatre as means of getting the message out about sex and gender/race and ethnicity issues of violence and discrimination in the workplace, schools, the media, and interpersonal relationships.
The activities begin tonight with what is being billed as Sequins, Stakes and Starships: The Joss Whedon Burlesque Show at Market Street Pub & Cabaret, 112 SW 1st Ave. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the Vaudeville-style show begins at 10. There is an $8 admission, with a portion of the proceeds going to support Red Soul Days and local charities.
Wayne said that the theme was chosen because Whedon is a Hollywood screenwriter and director known for introducing nontraditional characters in his TV shows and films, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse.