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The Heroine Hijack

Buffalo Rising contributor Sara Ali is organizing an event that revolves around the inspirational work of talented women in fields ranging from art to business. On Saturday, October 6, the community is invited to attend The Heroine Hijack – “a showcase of some of Buffalo’s finest women talents, from poets and comedians to artists and local business professionals.”

“I’ve been enthralled by our vivacious art scene since I was a student at Buff State,” said Ali. “Mix that in with being pro-women and having a social justice mind, I figured this would be a great way to accomplish two tasks with one event – celebrate women in the arts and benefit a local nonprofit.”

The event will take place from 6pm to 9pm, at the Ukrainian-American Civic Center (Narodnij Dim) – 205 Military Rd, Buffalo, New York 14207.

The event is free, but there is a suggested donation amount, between $5 and $10. Proceeds from the event will be directed to Rahama, a local nonprofit organization “founded on Islamic principles dedicated to eliminating domestic violence through support, collaboration, and education.”

For more information, visit this Facebook page.

Following are the inspirational women who will be performing at the event:

The Poets

Megan Kemple

Megan Kemple is a writer, actress, dancer, and teaching artist based out of Buffalo, NY. In 2017and 2018, she represented Buffalo at the National Poetry Slam with Pure Ink Poetry, ending in the top ten teams in the nation, and personally placing third in the NUPIC individual slam. Her first chapbook, American Blasphemies, was released through Ghost City Press in March 2017, and was subsequently staged as a fully realized immersive dance piece . Her poetry has also been published in Foundlings Magazine, Vending Machine Press, and Feminspire. Her plays have been produced by Buffalo United Artists, American Repertory Theatre of Western New York, Road Less Travelled Productions, and Niagara University. She is certified in Barter Theatre’s Project R.E.A.L., or Reinforcing Education through Artistic Learning, an innovative hands-on method that combines theatre tools, self-reflection, and peer interaction to teach classroom material and emotional health. 

Marielle Smith

Marielle is a Buffalo native and mother of two, who enjoys writing poetry that is reflective of her experiences as a queer black woman. Marielle has been organizing with Just Resisting since 2016, a people of color community organization as well as has worked to preserve the histories and stories of the local queer communities with the Buffalo Niagara LGBTQ+ History Project. She believes one of the greatest acts of resistance is finding healing through artistic expression. She currently co- facilitates Black Magnolias, a black and People of Color creative writing workshop with Richie Willis.

Rachelle Toarmino

Rachelle Toarmino is from Niagara Falls. She is the author of the series of paparazzi poems, Graphic (Ghost City Press, 2017-18), and the chapbook of embroidery poems, Personal & Generic (PressBoardPress, 2016). She is the cofounder and editor in chief of Peach Mag, where she is at work editing the anthology, With You: Withdrawn Poetry of the #MeTooMovement. Earlier this year, she was shortlisted for the Cosmonauts Avenue Nonfiction Prize with guest judge Ocean Vuong, longlisted for the Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize with guest judge Tommy Pico, and named Buffalo Seminary’s Elizabeth McNulty Wilkinson Poet.

Bianca L. McGraw

Bianca L. McGraw is a Higher Education Advocate and international practicing multimedia installation/performance artist that uses art, poetry, performance and space as a vehicle for discussion about identity, diversity and perspectives while exploring personal, societal and communal experiences. Bianca is also a Poetry Slam Master and Associate Director for Pure Ink Poetry, the current 2017 Slamtastic Diva Poetry Slam Champion and was one of the Buffalo, NY representatives for the 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam.

The Comedians

Jamie Travale

Jamie Travale wants to use her Sociology degree–to make people laugh. This obsessive social observation coupled with a childhood dream of writing proved to be the recipe for a comedy career that began with a bucket-list.

Jamie has been cultivating her style of comedy since 2009 and has collaborated with comics across the WNY region on various projects and shows. Independently, she has been the producer and host of three different comedy open mics. Originating in dive bars and on make-shift stages, Jamie has performed at various venues across Central & Western New York, as well as in Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis. She has opened for comedian, Godfrey and has been featured in the Finger Lakes Comedy Festival.

Allie Brady

Allie Brady is a comic from Buffalo, NY. She has worked with many comics including Jim Norton, Dan Soder, Ron Funches, and John Witherspoon. Allie has performed at the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival and was awarded “Best Up and Coming Comic” in 2015 by Buffalo Spree Magazine.

The Artists

Tara Bystran Sasiadek

American-born Tara Sasiadek is a Buffalo-based artist whose paintings and installations investigate internal imagery, wordless communication, and weird-science using mixed-media and assembled-ephemera to pose alternate worlds for the exploration and interrogation of our basic assumptions about ourselves and our cultures

Also featuring artwork by poet Bianca L. McGraw

Special Guest Appearances

Jolanda Hill of Colored Girls Bike Too

Living Dead Girls: A True Crime & Unsolved Mysteries Podcast 

A True Crime, Paranormal & Generally Spooky Podcast – “We’re creepy and we’re kooky, mysterious and spooky… and, are your go-to ‘goulfriends’ for true crime, unsolved mysteries, the paranormal, and generally spooky and bizarre topics. The Living Dead Girls are Kat 13 and Leslie Jean – boss lady Witches, artists, entrepreneurs, and social activists, from Buffalo, NY.”

Special Shout Outs

J Yvonne Doktor and the Ukrainian-American Civic Center (Narodnij Dim) for donating the space.


Drinks at the bar from 6pm-930pm

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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