#MeTooMpls is an album (and movement) to lift the voices of women/ femmes/ trans/ nonbinary folks in Minneapolis, to support sexual assault survivors and to raise funds for Planned Parenthood. CD release happening Sep 24 virtually from the Hook and Ladder. We have interviewed most of the artists on the CD. Today we spoke with Mischa Suemnig and Krista Vilinskis – the power that lifts the amazing voices, the team that dreamt up the idea and made it happen.
Mischa is a (former) musician, dad (of two daughters) and IT expert. Krista is a music publicist, mom and in the spirit of full disclosure, close friend. After hearing so many good things about each of them from the performers on the CD, we wanted a chance to put them in the hot seats.
#METOOMPLS is Mischa’s vision. Last summer he heard a few too many women talk or post about sexual harassment or abuse. He wanted to do something but wasn’t sure what to do. He spoke to a few musician friends about an album by women on the topic and they loved it; in fact two are on the album and the idea took off from there. Eventually, Mischa called Krista and they really got started in full force. So they gathered 17 artists and gave them the broad suggestion of #METOOMPLS. It has been amazing to see how each artist interpreted the challenge; it clearly reflects the diversity of every women’s #metoo experience. Unfortunately, we all have them albeit in various shades of consequences.
Mischa and Krista handled the logistics. They found studios for artists when necessary, and that need and solution changed once COVID hit. They found a ton of support to make this happen; although they too also put in a ton of hours. The artists formed committees to make executive decisions on art and other aspects of the CD. That was important, especially to Mischa, that a team of women make decisions. From beginning to end this has been a miracle of networking and team building.
Both pointed out that a point of pride in the process is the bonds that have formed among the performers and others involved with the project. There’s a sisterhood that feels like it will move forward with the project. Also the CD has started many important conversations – in and out of the performers’ circle. Rumor has it guys in the industry are talking about the CD and the movement as well. It’s helped give strength to women and helped men recognize or remember the need for conversation and change.
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing. But an album like this couldn’t be. An album constructed in 2020 couldn’t be. But together, the albums is stronger than the sum of the parts. Together, we all hope the conversation and momentum continues.
We also got a few sneak peeks at what the livestream from the Hook and Ladder will be like tomorrow night (September 24); but to learn more you’ll have to listen or buy a ticket and see it firsthand.