THE STORY OF OLIVIA
It was the 70’s and women were waking up to their power and looking for ways to express it. They were joining collectives, raising their consciousness, and learning to trust each other. And, of course, they were discovering music. Women’s Music that excited and inspired them. Women’s Music that spoke to their greatest hopes, desires, fears and strengths.
Meg Christian was a lesbian folk singer changing pronouns in love songs for her growing lesbian audience. Cris Williamson was a rising folk singer-songwriter. Her roots were in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming but her music soared above the clouds. They found each other and, with the help of their radical lesbian feminist collective, Olivia Records was born and quickly became the envy of the independent music industry. From concerts in church basements to Carnegie Hall, Olivia and her artists threw open the doors for women to perform their own music. And the power of the music changed millions of lives.
In the music industry where sexism reigned supreme, Olivia stood out as the only recording company dedicated to creating opportunities for women to produce, engineer, perform as session players and recording artists. Every aspect of Olivia’s recordings were done by women.
In 1990, Judy Dlugacz, an original founder of Olivia, believed it was time to expand the concept of Olivia. She had an idea: Concerts on the Water. And Olivia Cruises set sail, eventually taking women on trips all over the world. And to this day, as Olivia celebrates its 50th Anniversary, it continues to attract inter-generational LGBTQ+ women, exploring the world while being entertained and informed by the music, comedy, and culture, created and performed by generations of women artists that were inspired by Olivia.
At a time of growing threats to the LGBTQ+ community, The Story of Olivia documentary will serve as a beacon of inspiration, gumption and pure unadulterated joy for the next generation waiting to come aboard – breaking down the barriers of invisibility experienced by women over thousands of years.