Femina Potens is a non-profit art gallery and performance space dedicated to the advancment of women and transgendered artists. First founded in 2001 by artistic directors Tina Butcher and Madison Young, who recognized a need for greater visibility of women and transgendered artists and set out to create Femina Potens with no financial backing for the project, only a mission.
Femina Potens first started in a small garage space in the upper Haight in which the gallery gathered community support and quickly outgrew the small cement walls which confined their growing feminist movement within the art scene.
By 2003, Femina Potens found its way to an 800 sq ft gallery space in San Francisco's Mission District where the gallery started to flourish. In the past four years Femina Potens has produced nearly 300 art and cultural events for the LGBTQ, women, trans, queer and kink communities. Producing monthly spoken word open mic events, queer film screenings, music and dance events, and monthly visual art openings, Femina Potens has been recognized for its work in the community by Bitch Magazine, Curve Magazine, MTV's LOGO, Herbivore Magazine, Japan's FOIL Magazine, HERE TV, QTV, San Francisco Guradian, SF Weekly, SF Chronicle, London's Skin Two Magazine and more.
In 2007 Femina Potens moved to the Castro District into a 1300 sq ft store front space that was previous inhabited (for 25 years) by Image Leather - a landmark in the Castro neighborhood.
Femina Potens has worked to bring the best women and transgendered artists to the community, coupling world-renowned visual and performing artists with talented new emerging artists. These multi-generational performances and exhibitions encourage artists to thrive, with well-established artists and heroines standing on the same stage or placed on the same wall, acting as mentors for fledgling artists.
Femina Potens has had the honor of presenting such artists as Judith Halberstam, Annie Sprinkle, Michelle Tea, Carol Queen, Diane Diprima, Charlie Anders, Thea Hillman, Lynne Breedlove, Nina Hartley, and collaborating with organizations such as Ladyfest Bayarea, Fresh Meat Productions, United Genders of the Universe, BAVAC, Sex Workers Film and Art Festival, and The Center for Sex and Culture. Femina Potens is also an umbrella project with the Queer Cultural Center.
Femina Potens is always in need of more volunteers, artists looking for representation, venues seeking cutting edge artists, persons interested in starting workshops or discussion groups and additional individual donors.