Marisa Demarco of Gatas y Vatas on the Importance of Spotlighting Female Musicians

Now in its fifth and final year, Albuquerque's Gatas y Vatas experimental music festival is preparing for a grand finale this weekend. Founding performer and festival organizer Marisa Demarco says that it was her experience as a performer and audience member at Denver's Titwrench music festival inspired her to create Gatas, which focuses on spotlighting female solo musicians -- performers she sees as being underrepresented or not acknowledged at all.

As a co-founding member of the first edition of Titwrench in 2009, I first met Demarco back when she came to Denver with her performance collective, Milch de la Maquina, to be a part of the multi-day, DIY music and art gathering. Since then, Demarco has been back and forth between Colorado and New Mexico performing at each year's Titwrench, as well as coming through on tour multiple times over the last six years. As she prepares to put the finishing touches on what will be the fifth and final installment of Gatas y Vatas, I caught up with Demarco and we talked about what makes her unique festival tick and why she's deciding to end it all after half a decade of success.

See also: 50 Ways to Support Your DIY Music Community

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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies