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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Joy Rose, President and Founder of Mamapalooza Inc.

Joy Rose is President and Founder of Mamapalooza Inc. a company by women, promoting (m)others for social, cultural and economic benefit. She is also acting Executive Director for The Motherhood Foundation. JOY ROSE has been awarded the Susan B. Anthony Award from NOW-NYC 2009 in recognition of her grassroots activism and dedication to advancing equality and improving the lives of women and girls in New York City. Joy is dedicated to championing opportunities for Women, Mom-artists & Educators and Businesswomen.

Joy is committed a lasting legacy of empowerment and support, while redefining what it means to be a modern mother. She has successfully pioneered a new culture of mom-inspired art and performance. She’s also the founder and lead singer of the rock band, 'Housewives On Prozac', and is working with the MFI (Motherhood Foundation Inc) towards the creation of The Museum Of Motherhood. Inspired by her experiences as a feminist mother in the arts, she works tirelessly with women co-creating events and programming, changing the way women's voices are heard in the media, education and performing arts, impacting the culture of mothers and their families.

The first MAMAPALOOZA event took place on a single stage in Manhattan in 2002. MAMAPALOOZA Inc. has grown to encompass an annual 3 day Conference in Manhattan each May as a lead in to the large scale free family event at Summer On the Hudson at Riverside Park South. This year's 6th annual Riverside South, Summer On The Hudson happens Sunday May 31st from noon - 5PM.

Kicking off each May since 2002 are multiple performances featuring Manhattan women and mothers in the arts. Events happen concurrently throughout the month and include: The 14th Street Y featuring Jill Shelly in Moms Cracking Up, Momedy Comedy with Nancy Lombardo, Full Metal Mama Comedy with Barbara Singer, and Moms Rock musical events at Arlene's Grocery and The Slipper Room. This year's conference will be held May 28, 29, 30 at NOLA Studios in midtown, with three days of guest speakers including Dr. Phyllis Chesler, ongoing theatrical presentations, educational fare and back to back film screenings.

Joy Rose is a featured guest speaker for Women’s Events, has appeared at The Women’s Media Center, NYC founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem, speaking on Art, Feminism and Finances in New York City and works closely with New York Parks Department overseeing and coordinating over fifty staff & volunteers creating events that involve hundreds of artists, educators, and mom and women owned projects and businesses.

Her commitment is to see that Manhattan women are not marginalized or minimized as amazing talented and gorgeous performers, artists, musicians, comics or anything else they commit themselves too just because they are mothers.

Peachy Deegan chatted with Joy Rose for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: When was Mamapalooza founded and what led you to begin it?
Joy Rose: Mamapalooza was founded on a single stage in Manhattan in 2002. I was motivated to get out of the house with my girlfriends and make some noise – Hence my band’s name ‘Housewives On Prozac’. After 4 kids in a walkup loft in Soho, I needed to get my yah, yahs out.

How do you balance that with your singing career?
Mamapalooza, kids and my personal music project are an impossibly wonderful juggling act where everything and nothing get done on a consistent basis.

How much planning does Mamapalooza require?
More time or money than I have.

How can Manhattanites become involved in Mamapalooza?
Performers can sign up on our website. Women can join us at our annual conference this May 28-30 and grow their mom brain. Lot’s of stimulating fare and fun too, with multiple evening performances throughout the month, and of course free family fare at Summer On The Hudson at Riverside Pier May 31st from noon-5PM.

What is your favorite place to be in NYC?
Betsey Johnson’s in Soho in the middle of the sale rack.

What is your favorite shop?
The Gramercy Park Thrift Store and Lingo on West 19th.

What is your favorite drink?

What is your favorite restaurant?
Sapporo East

What is your favorite NYC book?
I don’t have time to read

What is your favorite thing to do in NYC that you can do nowhere else?
Eat Veniero's Pastry Lobster Tails and wander the MOMA in the springtime

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Underrated is the constantly changing mood of the Hudson River. She’s different every day and so accessible. Overrated is the East Village hip-factor.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I started Mamapalooza as a way for women who are mothers to participate in something really hip, vital and totally out of the box. I’m not here preaching one more guilt trip on how to be a better-everything to everyone. For me, it’s all about the music, the friendship and the love.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
You can find me curbside on Bleeker Street shouting out Mom-Poetry for our annual poetry jam, with lots of my g- friends, from 4-5:30 on Saturday, May 30th or write me

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