History of WOW

WOW festivals—which feature prominent speakers, performers, panelists, networking and mentoring events—are powerful agents of change in their host cities based on the diversity and timeliness of topics that emerge from public planning sessions called “Thinkins.”

WOW Baltimore 2016 will shine a positive spotlight on our city and on the strength and power of the women of Baltimore, while providing a forum for discussion of local issues, and opportunities for collaboration and transformation.

Under the international patronage of HRH Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, WOW festivals around the world have presented Nobel Peace Prize winners Malala Yousafzai and Leymah Gbowee, Nigerian founder of Bring Back Our Girls Obiageli Ezekwesili, singer and activist Annie Lennox, actress Salma Hayek, Iranian Member of Parliament Vian Dakhil, Egyptian activist and author Nawal El Saadawi, author Alice Walker, opera singer Jessye Norman, and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, among many others.

World-class talent and speakers—as well as new and local voices—will promote inclusivity, honor the strength and inventiveness of women, and actively break down societal barriers through events, workshops, lectures, debates, activities, and performances that run the gamut from serious and consequential to amusing and festive.

Notre Dame of Maryland University, a leader in the education and advancement of women for more than 120 years, is hosting this pre-eminent festival in conjunction with leading organizations, companies, and individuals committed to the empowerment of women and the future of Baltimore.

WOW Baltimore is a world-class event that will inspire, engage, and energize women and men in the Baltimore region by celebrating women as agents of change, by establishing scholarships for the next generation of women leaders, and by providing diverse forums for discussion and action to advance positive transformation for Baltimore and beyond.

WOW Baltimore is hosted by NDMU in partnership with the internationally renowned London arts institution, Southbank Center. WOW was co-founded in 2011 by Southbank Centre Artistic Director, Jude Kelly, CBE.