SINGER. SONGWRITER, PRODUCER
CRITICAL THINKER, TEACHER, ENTERTAINER
Respected around the world for her music and activism, her joy and passion inspire people to join in her celebration of the human spirit. Equally compelling at her shows her music fully engages listeners in the world around them. Holly has made a career speaking to anyone in the world who believes in peace, justice, and feminism, a wonderful spectrum of humanity.
Often cited as one of the founders of the Women’s Music movement, she not only led the way for outspoken women in the music world, but also worked for peace and multicultural consciousness. Throughout her long career Holly has worked with a wide array of musicians, including Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, Arlo Guthrie, Mercedes Sosa, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Harry Belafonte, and many others.
Holly Near has been recognized many times for her work for social change, including honors from the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, the National Organization for Women, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; she was named Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year and received the Legends of Women’s Music Award. During her travels in the Pacific with the Free the Army show, Holly became a globally conscious feminist, linking international feminism and anti-war activism.
Another significant arena of Holly’s activism is the LGBTQ community. Her interest was both personal and political. She was one of the first celebrities to discuss her sexual orientation during a pioneering 1976 interview with People magazine. A staunch advocate for LGBT rights, Holly is comfortable with her own sexuality and has a clear understanding of the fluidity of sexual orientation.
Holly finds herself in a role that her amazing journey has uniquely prepared her to fill as the significance of her work over time has crystalized her iconic status. At once flattered, amazed, and centered, she graciously assumes this honoring that comes with time, proud to represent – through her voice and her music – the movements that are so fundamental to her spirit.