By Leslie Kilgore EBS CONTRIBUTOR
Twenty-eight local Big Sky women performed to a sold-out crowd on Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center for the annual event “Her Gift, Her Creation”.
Founder and director Klaudia Kosiak came up with the idea three years ago to organize, celebrate and empower the many talented women of Big Sky through artistic expression. Now, the event is one of the most anticipated of the year. With support from Kosiak’s friends Jill Bough and Liz McRae, the three recruited female artists of all ages to participate.
“I’m very lucky to have amazing friends like Jill and Liz who helped recruit such a variety of artists,” Kosiak said. “This year we had the largest group of women because we were able to present such a variety of talents.”
The night featured seasoned musicians, mothers and daughters, sisters, friends and some women who had never performed on stage before. All with the intention to celebrate “connection,” this year’s theme for the event.
“I want to promote women in Big Sky who are just living everyday life but want to do something special with their talents,” Kosiak said. “Many are hesitant at first, but this evening is so special and once they perform for the first time, they often want to do it again.”
The evening began with a high-energy welcome reception that included a display of artwork from local female artists in a variety of mediums, a live paint-by-numbers collaboration for attendees to partake in, and a chance to connect with an impressive group of female community members.
The performances on stage started with an endearing welcome from Kosiak followed by many moving and diverse expressions of connectivity, unity and female empowerment.
Highlights included choreographed dribbling by the Lone Peak High School girls’ varsity basketball team, set to the song “Lean On”; a piano duet performed by Sarah Mitchell and Kosiak; a children’s book reading by Big Sky Library Director Amy Hunter and the Alicia Keys song, “If I Ain’t Got You” sung by local musician, Hannah Powell.
“For me, the most rewarding part of this show is to see the tears and happiness on my friends’ faces, to see true emotions,” Kosiak said. “Everyone who performed or showed their art is so proud and happy at the end of the evening. All the women feel like stars for a while, because our event is so real, and because in our beautiful community we feel so loved. I’m very thankful for that.”