Women’s History Month: Victoria Reis
BYT Staff | Mar 14, 2016 | 2:30PM |

March is Women’s History Month. Throughout the month we’ll be profiling D.C. based women you should know. Amy Morse, the founder of Ideas Club, is heading the project. Today she profiles Victoria Reis. -ed.

Victoria Reis works behind the scenes to make D.C. better – specifically by raising the profile of contemporary visual art. Since 2002, as so-Founder, Executive & Artistic Director of Transformer, she has supported several hundred artists in the launch and advancement of their artistic careers. Victoria organizes visionary exhibitions and collaborations with organizational partners in D.C., nationally, and internationally.

Remember when the Smithsonian, under pressure from conservative members of Congress, censored David Wojnarowicz’s provocativeA Fire in My Belly?” Victoria took action – securing special permission to screen it at Transformer, organizing a silent demonstration against censorship, and convening several panels to discuss the work. Victoria consistently demonstrates a fiery defense of artistic freedom and promotes the voices of artists who challenge social and cultural norms.

Even if you haven’t heard of Transformer yet, you have probably benefited indirectly from its awesomeness to enhance D.C.’s exposure to contemporary art (hint: date night for the arty and intellectually curious). Transformer is a visual arts organization that connects and promotes emerging visual artists, and introduces audiences to new and best practices in emerging contemporary visual art.

Victoria has lived and worked in D.C. since 1991. She has worked at the National Association of Artists’ Organizations/NAAO, the International Sculpture Center, and the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities’ Public Art Program. Victoria launched several independent, temporal arts programs, curated large-scale survey exhibitions of D.C. emerging artists’ work, and continually provides vital opportunities for emerging artists to develop audiences and establish networks for future support. She has been a member of ArtTable since 2000, and in 2014 became a Founding Member of Common Field, a new national network of art spaces and artist-led initiatives.

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Natasha Leggero Live @ Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
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Natasha Leggero is one of judges on NBC's Last Comic Standing. See her this weekend at the Drafthouse LIVE! Natasha has been a favorite round table guest on the wildly popular “Chelsea Lately”on E! since it’s premier in 2007 and is currently headlining packed comedy clubs across the country with her own brand of sophisticated writing, physicality and glamour. In 2010 Natasha shot a pilot for NBC with Tom Lennon and Ben Garrant from Reno 911 and will be a judge alongside Andy Kindler and Greg Giraldo on the new season of NBC’s LAST COMIC STANDING, hosted by Craig Robinson. She also currently stars in Comedy Central's new hit animated series UGLY AMERICANS. Natasha was most recently seen in the hit movie HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU. She has played various deviants in her three-year re-curring stint on Comedy Central's RENO 911. She starred in Comedy Central's pilot GAY ROBOT, and in MTV's hit series THE 70's HOUSE. She has guest-starred on IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, SAMANTHA WHO , AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE , WORST WEEK, TIL DEATH, THE SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM and the upcoming Comedy Central series NICK SWARDSON'S PRETEND TIME. Born in Rockford, IL and raised in the theater, Natasha has loved being on the stage since she was 10. As a child actress in and around Chicago she spent all of her free time performing in plays. As soon as she graduated high school she moved to New York and attended the Stella Adler Conservatory. Upon receiving an additional degree in theater criticism from Hunter College she swiftly moved to Los Angeles and decided to aim her razor sharp wit at Hollywood instead. Her stand-up television appearances include two knock-out performances on THE TONIGHT SHOW w/ Jay Leno, THE LATE LATE SHOW w/ Craig Ferguson, LAST CALL w/ Carson Daly and she has signed on for a Comedy Central Presents television special and record deal. Natasha has been invited to perform at such festivals as The Vancouver Comedy Festival, SXSW, Sasquatch, Dublin’s Carlsberg Comedy Festival and the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival, which she will be making her second appearance this summer in 2010. She resides in Los Angeles in a servantless household.
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Woman Who Inspires Victoria

Martha Wilson is an artist, director, and founder of Franklin Furnace – a badass contemporary art organization in Brooklyn. Victoria is tremendously inspired by Martha’s vision and resilience as artist, organizer, and as a woman. Transformer is presenting Martha in an exhibition at the American University Museum this coming fall. The show will provide an overview of both her artwork, as well as the work of Franklin Furnace, the non-profit, artist-led organization she founded in 1976.

Learn More

WACK! Art & the Feminist Revolution

Girls to the Front

The Riot Girl Collection