Girl Fest welcomes actress Charlyne Yi

Nov. 5, 2010 | 3 Comments In the Star-Advertiser Friday Print Edition

A scene from "Salt of This Sea," which will be screening at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. —Courtesy Photo

Charlyne Yi —Courtesy Tommy Shih

When Girl Fest rolls around each year, spoken-word artist Mindy Nettifee and artist/facilitator Bonnie Tamblyn look forward to coming over to Honolulu to help girls and women find their voice, and to celebrate the possibilities of their gender.

The annual event, presented by the nonprofit group Girl Fest Hawaii, aims to empower women and girls through the arts. The nonprofit also works to prevent violence against women and girls through ongoing workshops.

This year’s special guest is Charlyne Yi,  who made her name playing the “stoner girlfriend” in Judd Apatow’s 2007 comedy “Knocked Up” and made the love-themed “hybrid documentary” “Paper Heart” last year with the help of her friend Michael Cera.


Where: Anna’s, 2440 S. Beretania St.; Fresh Cafe, 831 Queen St.; and theVenue at Bambu Two, 1144 Bethel St. (for workshop venues, go to

When: Wednesday through Nov. 14

Cost: $5 to $10

Info: 599-3931 or

Note: “Transformation,” a Girl Fest-related exhibit featuring the work of young, local female artists, will have an opening from 6 to 8 p.m. today as part of the First Friday downtown gallery walk at Bambu Two.

On The Net

Actress Amber Tamblyn — enjoying a spike in her career right now as a recurring character in the Fox medical drama “House” and a role in the latest James Franco/Danny Boyle film, “127 Hours” — has also been a previous guest at the festival and is penciled in as a possible for next week, providing she can get away from her TV work schedule for a bit to join Nettifee and her mother, Bonnie.

Nettifee will be performing Thursday night — with or without her friend Amber — at the “Spit-N-Spin” DJ & Poets Party at Kakaako’s Fresh Cafe.

Nettifee will also lead a poetry workshop earlier that same day at the cafe.

“This’ll be my fourth Girl Fest,” she said by phone. “I’m always very inspired by the hard work, dedication and vision of (festival ‘non-executive director’) Kathryn Xian. I feel very connected to everyone there, and there’s nothing more surprising and wonderful that a festival addresses so dark a subject with so much joy and compassion.”

She has been conducting her creative workshop for the past 10 years, she said, “on special occasions. … We get together and find some inspiration, write together and then share our work. … It’s pleasurable to see what comes up, and with accessing the writer’s voice, I hope the students will walk away burning to write some more.”

Nettifee is touring in support of her latest collection of poetry, “Rise of the Trust Fall,” which she will read from during her performances here. “It’s a collection that represents my writing over the last three years.” she said. “I’ve been recognized as having a singular voice as a woman, and the tour is in hopes of finding a wider audience.”

The TGIF cover of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for Friday, November 5, 2010.

—Courtesy Tommy Shih

NETTIFEE has joined Bonnie Tamblyn over the past three Girl Fests with a popular “Voice of the Circle” workshop.

Intended only for women and girls and held in confidence, the session calls upon an age-old practice of having people come together in a circle to tell personal stories without judgment or recrimination. It’s facilitated by Tamblyn, a teacher and certified council circle facilitator with the Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica, Calif.

Council circles have been used in the U.S., Israel, South Africa, Turkey, Switzerland and England, Tamblyn said. The practices are overseen by the nonprofit Ojai Foundation, which advocates the use of council practice to teach compassion and facilitate communication.

In that sense the “Voice of the Circle” echoes the goals of Girl Fest.

In addition to raising awareness and fighting back against the problem of domestic violence in Hawaii, Girl Fest’s public mission is to give young women a voice, forge relationships between individuals and organizations with a common cause, and expose women to the healing power of “progressive arts therapy” and “positive self-expression.”

“We give the women who come tools to be an effective listener and to feel comfortable telling their own stories,” Tamblyn said.

Amber Tamblyn has participated in council sessions, Bonnie said, and actually used one to clear the air during the filming of her feature “Stephanie Daley.”

—Courtesy Photo

—Courtesy Photo

AT GIRL FEST, one beneficiary of Bonnie Tamblyn’s workshops has been the Hawaii Girls Court, a program run by the state’s Family Court.

“As part of their work to become better citizens and strive for a better quality of life, they’ve been required to come to the workshop. They’ve already been doing the work there, and they come for council training, where it gives them permission to express themselves freely,” she said.

“I know the Hawaiian people already have something similar in ho’oponopono, and council circles (that Hawaii women) have participated in in the past have resonated with them. But here, there doesn’t have to be a resolution. There’s no hierarchy here, so that all voices may be heard.”

Also an artist and singer/songwriter, Tamblyn started practicing facilitation almost 20 years ago, finding that it fit naturally with her “transformational art.” She says the council circle provides “a tremendous potential for learning.”

“Meeting in circles is the most natural thing we gather together in,” she said. “It’s not necessarily therapy, but it is therapeutic.”

—Gary Chun /

—Courtesy Photo


“Girls Night Out”: 8 p.m. to midnight Wednesday at theVenue, 1144 Bethel St. Opening night concert with Simple Souls, poets Mindy Nettifee and Natasha “T” Miller, Shopping List and singer/songwriters Emi Hart and Hope Mayo.

Screening, “Salt of This Sea”: 6 p.m. Thursday and 7 p.m. Nov. 12 at the University of Hawaii-Manoa Art Auditorium. A film about a woman, born of Palestinian refugees living in New York, returning to her parents’ homeland. On Thursday, lead actress Suheir Hammad will be in attendance.

“Spit-N-Spin” DJ & Poets Party: 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday at Fresh Cafe, 831 Queen St. Featuring spoken-word poetry from Mindy Nettifee, Michelle Myers, special guest to be announced, KTUH DJs Iriesistable, Zilla, ADHDJ, Timo, Dlux.

“Bands Against Violence”: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Nov. 12 at Anna’s, 2440 S. Beretania St. Live music from the Hell Caminos, Black Square, Dirty Genes and Nickie P. with Natasha “T” Miller.

“Interisland Down & Derby”: 3:30 to 6 p.m. Nov. 13 at Kamiloiki Park, Hawaii Kai. Featuring the women of Hawaii Pacific Roller Derby.

Closing night party: 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Nov. 13 at Fresh Cafe. With comedian/actress Charlyne Yi, Nettifee, Mani-Padi, Badenyaa & Sewa Fare, Hawaii’s B-Girl Crew, DJs Miki Mayhem and Spike, and special guest to be announced.