Previously Published in THE DAILY IOWAN on January 19, 2018.
Image Credit: Contributed, Flyover Fest
Written By Rhiana Chickering
What began as a unique, fashion-focused experience, Flyover Fest has now transformed into full-fledged festival incorporating events with talented speakers, music performances, and podcast workshops.
This year, the theme is “Dream the Future,” emphasizing a diverse time and place that excludes no one.
The wide range of speakers include editors, and authors, designers, among others.
Drawing on her depth of fashion knowledge, Teen Vogue Fashion Editor Jessica Andrews will speak at the festival. In addition to being an editor, she is also a style blogger for Glamazons Blog, on which she writes posts inspiring people to be anything but basic.
Also along the lines of fashion, Machine Dazzle, the costume designer for Taylor Mac’s performance A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, is included in the lineup. Machine Dazzle skillfully created a diverse set of 24 consumes to accommodate Mac’s reinterpretation of songs from American history.
Also among the speakers is Momo Pixel, the art director at Wieden + Kennedy and a game designer. Because of frustration with people treating her as an art exhibit, Pixel created the video game Hair Nah, which teaches (or pushes) people to stop touching black women’s hair. In the video game, a black woman attempts to travel to a destination while having to swat away hands trying to touch her hair.
The lineup of speakers also includes Evette Dionne, the senior culture editor at Bitch Media, a feminist news site dedicated to providing thought-provoking responses to popular culture.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend workshops.
“She’s All Fat” podcast creators April K. Quioh and Sophia Carter-Kahn have a mission to create a body-positive space with podcasts embracing self-love. With an amazing sense of humor, they have dedicated a webpage to showcase hate mail they have received through social media and email and titled the page “Motivators”; just below the title is the line “Pissed off? Want to let us know? Please direct all your Hate Mail here. Thanks!” The witty creators will host a workshop on creating podcasts during the festival, so attendees can begin their own conversations.
Flyover Fest will also include live music performances, including one by CupcakKe, a hip-hop artist and rapper from Chicago. In 2016, Rolling Stonenamed CupcaKe’s second album, S.T.D., one of the best rap albums of 2016. CupcakKe, known for her sex-positive rap songs, will entertain audiences with her provocative shock-humor and honesty.
Rapper, singer, and songwriter CHIKA is also set to perform. Unlike CupcakKe, CHIKA’s music contains more acoustic and instrumental music in the background, diversifying the festival’s music lineup. In her music and poetry, CHIKA writes about love — both self-love and relationships — and social injustice.
Aside from rap, Arima Ederra will perform her R&B. Her music features her soulful voice as she sings of love, imagination, and vulnerability, and as a visual artist, her performance may take numerous art forms.
As is evident, the lineup for this year’s festival embraces not only a diverse set of artistic expressions but also a movement toward a more inclusive world.