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“GIRLS SIT SCREAMING,” A Cultural Anthem from IVY ROSS RICCI

March 16, 2018 by 1888media

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In solidarity with National Walkout Day across the United States, as voices of generations, new and seasoned, eradicate desensitization, nationally-recognized singer-songwriter, educator, and activist, Ivy Ross Ricci has shared a powerful music video for her burgeoning anthem, “Girls Sit Screaming.”

Based in Port Angeles, Washington and Portland, Oregon, Ivy Ross Ricci is nationally regarded as an unassuming activist, a grounded nomad, and a country rock philosopher who has spent the last 20 years championing on behalf of the freedom and creative expression of girls’ and women’s voices nationwide. “Girls Sit Screaming,” the song, and the video, are a culmination of two decades of groundwork as a songwriter and an educator.

She explains, ‘Girls Sit Screaming’ is an honest song of defiance and freedom that exposes the many double standards that girls and women experience in the classroom, in the workplace, and in our society in general. It is an anthem for the cultural shift we are experiencing in which women’s voices are beginning to be heard, believed, and valued. Let’s creatively move towards a safer world for girls and women to express ourselves, to do our work, to walk without fear, in freedom, creativity and love.”

Collaborating with renowned visual artist & Director, Alicia J Rose, well-known for her subversive pop portraiture and ability to tap into cultural zeitgeist with ground-breaking videos for First Aid Kit, Cake, EMA and Bob Mould, as well as her branding efforts for The Decemberists, the 4-minute clip is a compelling statement that exposes the essence of the many double standards that girls and women experience in the classroom, in the workplace, and in our society in general.

Filmed at Mt Scott Learning Center, an alternative high school in Southeast Portland, the story follows a young girl who, for too long, has silently witnessed the injustices of the world and finally follows her resilient intuition to fiercely emancipate her impenetrable spirit in a way similar to the irrepressible resolve shown by Emma González and the brave students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Since its upload a few weeks ago, the video has catalogued thousands of views and social media shares which led to being handpicked as an official selection for the 2018 Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival (POWFest).

In front of a capacity crowd on March 9, the music video was presented as the first short film shown at the Festival, eliciting rapturous applause and rave reviews.

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In conjunction with the POWFest success, a missive is underway to implement a nationwide series called “Girls Sit Screenings” with upcoming events at Trillium Charter School in Portland on Thursday, March 22, and North Olympic Library System (NOLS) in Port Angeles, Washington on Tuesday March 27 (a screening and discussion with Ivy Ross Ricci will be held from 5:30-6:30PM).

On the music performance front, Ivy has secured a week-long residency at Al’s Den in Portland from May 27 thru June 2.

In addition to performing regularly throughout the Western U.S., Ivy also curates music and entertainment for The Sou’wester vintage travel trailer resort in Seaview, Washington. Between playing hundreds of shows and booking scores of acts, she is building an army of artists who will fight via creative critical thought and profound self-love to move beyond limiting standards of beauty in this country and forge ahead to a world in which girls and women are not objectified, but rather respected, heard, believed, and valued for their unique contributions.

As an adjunct to this effort, she co-founded The Keepers of Wonder, an independent student-centered after-school program which has instituted a national movement that encourages youth of all ages to work together to foster a positive sense of community and keep the world magical.

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“Girls Sit Screaming” appears on Ivy Ross Ricci’s eighth album, It’s Hard To Know, an 11-track treatise that’s starkly honest yet uncannily lighthearted. With songs that exude gumption and gratitude, It’s Hard To Know is a smooth ride; full of country style, vulnerable tales of transformation and poetic altruism.

From the twangy opening strums of “Density Change” to the Sonic Youth flourishes of “Mujeres Peligrosas” (“Dangerous Women”) to gospel-infused country croon of “Summer Lament,” which was written in the wake of the Charleston African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting, Ross Ricci’s songwriting thoughtfully incorporates philosophy, poetry, humor, storytelling, and a radical understanding of human potential and social service.

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The moving trumpet-imbued shuffle of “Oh My Grace brings It’s Hard To Know to a close. Co-written with Kayla Mueller, one of the “Keepers of Wonder,” who was taken hostage by ISIS while doing relief work for women and children in a Syrian refugee camp on the border of Turkey and Syria, it’s a deeply moving portrait. With words Kayla wrote to her family (that eventually became public) while being held in a Syrian prison, “Oh my Grace. I close my eyes, you bring me home,” Ivy employed songwriting techniques that the two worked on together while both resided in Prescott, Arizona.

Drawing upon a purity of expression that Kayla had mastered, and wisdom about the true nature of reality with regards to birth, death, and transformation from the great teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, “Oh My Grace” honors Kayla and the home she certainly has in the hearts of her loved ones, especially Grace.

Believing in the power of everyday life lessons to draw us towards the essence of creativity, It’s Hard To Know is a cohesive songbook dedicated to the healing of hearts, freeing of minds, and the inter-connected well-being of humanity.

It’s hard to know what the future will bring, but as with her myriad creative endeavors, Ivy Ross Ricci will continue to imagine a world in which young people can find refuge from harmful images and practices in mainstream media within a culture of vibrant and caring adults who embody self-love and acceptance. That’s a future to believe in and a future worth fighting for.

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