Washington, DC, USA

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ProjectHERA was founded in 2017 by DC-based musician, Cathy DiToro. The idea was born from a weekly ladies night of music that she hosted for over 2 years, showcasing local female talent. Cathy saw a need to not only promote the incredible talent that was passing through each week but also to connect more female musicians with each other, thereby strengthening the music community in general. It’s through this need that ProjectHERA developed its mission - to provide opportunities for women in music of all ages to connect and support each other, as well as promote their music to the general public.


ProjectHERA started with one main idea -to host a female-focused, all-ages music festival, celebrating women in music and highlighting young artists as well as seasoned musicians. With the help of many amazing volunteers, the organization has since evolved into hosting curated shows, networking events, open mics and of course, the yearly HERA Music Fest.


ProjectHERA is dedicated to celebrating women in the arts, as well as empowering young girls to chase their musical dreams

Cathy DiToro


​​“Chief Empowerment Officer”


As a 10 year veteran of the DC music scene, Cathy has moved up the ranks from a part-time struggling musician to a full-time performer, playing in 4 bands as well as running CMD Music, LLC & ProjectHERA.  As a female in a historically male dominated industry, Cathy is no stranger to the need for women to be treated more equally in the music industry.  She started ProjectHERA while hosting a weekly ladies night of music, showcasing local singer-songwriters and female-fueled bands. Cathy developed a roster of these incredibly talented women and saw the need to provide more performance opportunities for them. She wanted to organize a yearly music festival to celebrate female musicians and help encourage the future generation of young girls. Since forming in 2017, ProjectHERA has hosted multiple music festivals, fundraisers, workshops, networking events and open mics for women of all ages. Through her work with ProjectHERA, Cathy is also able to utilize her Masters Degree in Counseling to develop youth education programs and volunteers at schools, speaking to young girls about chasing their musical dreams.


 In her spare time... Wait who are we kidding...Cathy has no spare time.

Juliet Maggio

Director of Event Production

"ChairMOM of the Board"

​As a producer of unscripted and documentary television for over a decade, Juliet brings her ability to make things happen to ProjectHERA. Every day is event planning when you are managing the schedules and personalities of 60+ cast and crew members. Her “can do” attitude and color-coding expertise will lead the events department in developing and providing opportunities to serve ProjectHERA’s networking and promotional needs. 


Coming from a male-dominated industry, she understands the extra force that women need to put behind their own work to shine. Having no musical talent of her own, Juliet is happy to be everyone’s super supportive mom; from cheering you on to making themed treats for your birthday party, she’s here to help you step into your spotlight. However, her dog, Reggie, will always be #1. Sorry, not sorry. 

Rachel Levitin 

Lead Brand Ambassador

"Social Media Goddess"

Rachel has been involved with music her entire life. Through her musical curiosities, she has studied Jazz Trumpet at the Interlochen Arts Camp near Traverse City, Michigan, Acoustic Guitar and Piano at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, Illinois, and Songwriting at the Berkelee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. After spending a couple years along side ProjectHERA Founder Cathy while she hosted her weekly Ladies Night event, Rachel felt passionately about joining the cause to help encourage young girls and women to play music. Through her work with ProjectHERA, Rachel is able to utilize her B.A. in Communications: Journalism by contributing to the organization’s digital media strategy and content production. When she’s not spending time on ProjectHERA, Rachel hosts the monthly Acoustic Open Mic at Union Stage in DC’s Wharf neighborhood and is also known to host concerts on occasion.

Jahnel Daliya

HERA Heroine Ambassador

Raised in the projects of Brooklyn, New York, Jahnel grew up to the sounds of a busy city and 1980’s soul, pop, and R&B music where she found her love for music. After moving to Northern Virginia, she found her love for singing when she joined a few Washington, DC choirs; Children of the Gospel and Urban Nation. In 2013, Jahnel embraced her passion and began her career as a singer songwriter in the DMV, where she met Cathy DiToro.  Jahnel plays in her band, sings in a coverband and is a mom of two boys. It’s her mission to set an example for her children for what it means to pursue a dream. Bonus points for teaching them that women aren’t just mothers, they do other amazing and significant things. It was a no brainer that Jahnel would want to be a part of ProjectHERA, in some capacity.

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