100 Women We Love Class of 2010

As the first decade of the new millennium comes to an end, we take a moment to celebrate 100 out lesbians who have made the past year one of inspiring change and amazing progress.

Cassendre Xavier

Philadelphia-based multi-media artist Cassendre Xavier founded the Black Women’s Arts Festival in 2003 to fill a gap she saw in the arts world. “I grew up knowing I wanted to be a professional artist someday, but I saw few examples of black women doing that. After many years, I finally became a multi-media artist, and there were still very few examples I knew of that were women like me. I wanted to attend an event that focused only on the interdisciplinary arts of black women. It didn’t exist, so I created it—or, rather, it chose me to bring it into existence.” In addition to being the festival’s executive director, Xavier is also a writer and singer/songwriter focusing on personal growth and spirituality. Now in its seventh year, BWAF will take place July 29–August 1 in Philly and feature the work of visual artists, musicians, spoken word performers and filmmakers. -CB

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