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Hampton poet performing in event celebrating female artists

| Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Pine Creek Journal
Pine Creek Journal
Britton Mills, a Hampton High School sophomore, will read her poem “Remember When” during the first SWAN Day Jr., and extension of the annual event that features female artists. Submitted

Hampton High School's Britton Mills will be one of more than 20 local student artists to perform alongside professionals in a day devoted to celebrating female artists.

Mills, a sophomore, will read her poem “Remember When” as part of the student-focused daytime portion of SWAN Day Pittsburgh's event to showcase local female artists.

SWAN Day, which stands for Support Women Artists Now, is an international event in March — Women's History Month — that features work produced by female artists. SWAN Day Pittsburgh is in its fifth year; however, this is the first year for SWAN Day Pittsburgh Jr., which will showcase student talent.

“We always want to incorporate as many artists as possible into SWAN Day, bring art to a younger audience and support younger artists who are starting to find themselves as artists,” said Tressa Glover, producing artistic director for No Name Players theater company, which produces the event.

From that desire, the theater company created SWAN Day Pittsburgh Jr., which is appropriate for children age 10 and older, and is open to artists of all media, including spoken word, music and dance.

Mills applied for the opportunity to participate and said she is excited to read her poetry as part of the event.

“I've done writing camps where people of one media come together,” Mills said. “But this is different, so I'm excited to experience this and glad I was asked to experience it.”

Mills' poem “Remember When,” is a series of images and memories of her grandfather who recently was diagnosed with early Alzheimer's disease.

“I wrote about what I remember and he can't remember anymore,” she said. “It being written about my grandfather, it is obviously a very emotional piece … It's not just hard on the person who has the illness but also their friends and family.”

In addition to Mills, there also will be performances by a singer/songwriter from North Hills High School and a playwright and students actors from Shady Side Academy. However, as an alumna Hampton High School, having representation from her alma mater makes producing SWAN Day Jr. even more exciting for Glover.

“Hampton is close to my heart, so to have another young female artist and be able to feature her in something I'm producing, it's a really special thing,” Glover said.

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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