diana

Diana Kane

46, Brooklyn 

Photo by: Marcelle Karp

What do you do for work?
I’m a retailer; I’ve owned a boutique (Diana Kane) in Park Slope for 16 years. I’m a jewelry designer, which is what I did before I opened my store, and the catalyst for my retail venture. On the side, I’m a community organizer and an activist. Those are self-appointed titles – but I think they represent my interest in producing events that bring my larger community together for common actions, whether it’s sign making for a march, gathering to send postcards to our representatives, or creating an event to raise funds and awareness for a specific cause.

For play?
Oh Geez, I think I’m pretty boring. I read. I make things with my hands: baking, crafting, building. Dinners with friends (themed, with costume, if I can swing it.) I love visiting art museums and galleries, I’m inspired by what people create. And I play Scrabble online.

How did you get started as a political activist and why is it important to you?
It sounds like a cliche — it IS a cliche, but having kids turned me into an activist. I was pretty clueless before them. The inequities around maternity leave and healthcare quickly lead to being upset by the issues women encounter while parenting very young kids, the hits to career, and the undervalued nature of “women’s work”, which had a direct path to the underfunded state of public schools, and pretty soon I graduated to an overall frustration with the gender imbalance in representation. It seems to me that if we had more equal representation across the spectrum, not only women but more POC and gender non-conforming folk, all my concerns would be better addressed: from healthcare to climate change and pollution; from gun control to safe and equitable working environments for all people. My simple fix, or the place to start, is to get people in office (WOMEN PEOPLE) who know these issues intimately and therefore will address them from a standpoint of actually understanding the true needs.

I am now an activist, and as of last Monday, when I got arrested in DC for protesting Brett Kavanaugh’s looming appointment to the Supreme Court, I have the bonafides to prove it. On the experience of getting arrested for “Civil Disobedience”, please know that I am not special. It’s not hard to stand up; the fine was $50, it took all of about 3 hours, and you meet interesting people when you’re sitting with them in handcuffs…
What are you most excited about this fall? 
Persisticon!! Persisticon is a passion project I started with some friends. We raise money to forward the election of pro-choice, progressive, women by producing super-fun comedy, art, and music events. I love creating finite event experiences, and I really love bringing people together, introducing them to one another, and to a new performer or artist they may fall in love with. Our next event is on October 21st at The Bell House in Brooklyn.

What scares you?
Mob mentality. Public speaking. Imposter syndrome. Running in high heels. Something awful happening to my kids.. but that’s too scary to contemplate, so let’s not, ok?

What’s your fantasy version of your older self?
Ha! Weirdly I always pictured myself in a cabin in the woods, surrounded by books and art and occasional lovers (there by invite only.) I might have to revise it a little. Now I hope for peace of mind, and the ability to offer wise counsel to my kids… It’s funny, I always thought people somehow changed fundamentally as they aged, but I mostly feel like I’ve just been becoming more me all along. Middle age has let me shed a lot of the “trying to please” or wishing I was somehow different or more or better tendencies I had in my more insecure youth. So I guess I hope that I continue to be fine with what shows up, including the wrinkles and belly.

And the “fantasy” version now has me living near the ocean surrounded by art and color and cool breezes and crisp sheets and good light and warm slippers and good company, feeling well and without any “coulda, shoulda” regrets.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
YA fantasy novels. Sour Patch Kids and Jelly Bellys. Watching Dirty Dancing every time I come across it. Cashmere socks. The stacks and stacks of books I buy but don’t always get to reading. The pleasure of just buying them is real.

Where can we find you?
My Website
Persisticon 

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The Woolfer Newsletter Team
Stephanie Staal and Nina Collins have worked together and adored each other since 1994 when they were both babies in the world of book publishing. Stephanie is a lawyer, journalist, & author of READING WOMEN, and Nina is the founder of "What Would Virginia Woolf Do?"