WOW – Women of the World festival is coming to Chester!

Taking place May 20 – 21 at Storyhouse, Chester’s brand new £37m theatre, cinema, arts centre and library, Women of the World Chester will see leading female voices from across the region discuss, debate and celebrate the theme of ambition and explore the paths to a gender equal world.

A programme of workshops, speed-mentoring sessions, panel discussions, film, exhibitions, poetry, stand-up comedy and a marketplace will form the inaugural festival line-up.

Highlight speakers include a keynote note address from the Southbank Centre’s Artistic Director and WOW founder Jude Kelly, Cheshire Woman of the Year Kate Northcott Spall, leading business woman Simone Roche, and leader of Cheshire West and Chester council Cllr Sam Dixon.

Launched by Southbank Centre in 2010, WOW is now a global movement, with international WOW festivals reaching over one million people across five continents, and growing year on year.  Following a series of open Thinkins, WOW Chester has been programmed by contributors, thinkers and doers based across the region.

We’ll be announcing more of the line-up over the next few weeks, but for now the festival will include panel discussions on range of subjects including women in business, women in sport, domestic abuse and childlessness; an exhibition curated by 40 artists – many from Arab and Muslim cultures; and an interactive workshop for under 10s to explore what it means to be a girl. Click on the event below for the latest info.

The festival will be rounded off with an evening of stand-up comedy. Plus, a marketplace will be hosted all weekend in the old Chester Library, with a range of stalls providing information, raising awareness, and showcasing work, craft and fashion.

Buy a wristband for Sat 20 or Sun 21 (or both!) which will give you entry to a range of talks, discussions, debates and events throughout Storyhouse.

Inspired by WOW, four films from diverse female filmmakers at different stages of their careers.