Week 2, March 10–16, 2013


The 12th Annual International Women’s Day Observance: “Sweet Dreams of Women’s Human Rights” ~ March 10, 2013

Sunday, March 10
The Berkshire Human Rights Speaker Series presents:
The 12th Annual International Women’s Day Observance at Bard College at Simon’s Rock: “Sweet Dreams of Women’s Human Rights”
Film screening and discussion with Rob Fruchtman and Jennifer Dundas
McConnell Theater, Daniel Arts Center, 2–5 p.m.

The new documentary film Sweet Dreams, by Rob Fruchtman and Lisa Fruchtman, takes us to Rwanda, where, a decade after the 1994 genocide, women’s arts organizer Kiki Katese formed the first female drumming group in Rwanda. In the troupe, Tutsi and Hutu widows and orphans—wives and children of both perpetrators and victims—found reconciliation and safety through creating new traditions of hope and renewal. When Kiki later met Jennifer Dundas, one of the owners of Blue Marble Ice Cream in Brooklyn, she asked whether Jennifer would come to Rwanda to help the drummers open the first ice-cream shop in Rwanda. Sweet Dreams follows the women of the drumming group as they work with the American women to develop unique paths toward peace and possibility. A larger cooperative unfolds as the joyful film weaves the audience into the moving and inspiring beat of the drummers, artists, and entrepreneurs. sweetdreamsrwanda.com

Rob Fruchtman is an award-winning director, producer, and editor of documentaries and television programs in the arts, history, world cultures, and social justice issues. He was recipient of the Documentary Directors’ award at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival for his feature film Sister Helen, which aired on HBO, and he has won three Emmys for his work on PBS. In 2007 he produced the film Seeing Proof, commissioned by the George Soros Open Society Institute, a documentary exploring the brutal Khmer Rouge regime and its lingering effects on Cambodia’s society. glasshalffull.net

Jennifer Dundas has had a long and distinguished career as a film and theater actress. She starred in the Broadway premiere of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia opposite Billy Crudup, and created the role of Edie in the world premiere of Jules Feiffer’s Grown Ups on Broadway. She now receives rave reviews for her Blue Marble Ice Cream products as well as her entrepreneurial partnerships with women in Rwanda.  www.bluemarbleicecream.com

Sweet Dreams :: Trailer from Liro Films on Vimeo.


A Celebration of Young Women Writers from Monument Mountain Regional High School ~ March 11, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013
A Celebration of Young Women Writers from Monument Mountain Regional High School
Hosted by Lisken Van Pelt Dus
Guthrie Center, 4 Van Deusenville Road, Great Barrington, 7–8:30 p.m.

At this mixed-genre reading of work by young women writers from Monument Mountain Regional High School, ten writers will each read a short selection of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Participants will be selected by the English faculty, who will also moderate the event.  www.edline.net/pages/Monument_Mt_Regional_High

Lisken Van Pelt Dus is a poet, teacher, and martial artist living in Pittsfield, MA. She teaches writing and languages at Monument Mountain Regional High School. Her poetry can be found in Conduit, The South Carolina Review, qarrtsiluni, upstreet, and other journals, and in her chapbook, Everywhere at Once (Pudding House Press, 2009).  lvpdpoetry.blogspot.com


Stories from the Inside Out ~ March 12, 2013

Tuesday, March 12
Stories from the Inside Out
Workshop led by Annabelle F. Coote
Dance Studio, Daniel Arts Center, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, 7 p.m.

All women have stories. Every day is full of them. The mundane, the exciting, the quietly surprising, the kind that storm in and take over. Our stories live inside of us, in our bodies. In this interactive workshop, we will use movement and other creative arts to connect with our bodies’ wisdom and explore our stories, giving them depth and richness. We will move between writing and other expressive modalities with the goal of creating a piece of poetry or prose. Our time together will culminate in a reading for those who wish to share. No prior writing, arts, or movement experience necessary.

Annabelle F. Coote is an experienced psychotherapist, specializing in creative approaches and the mind/body connection. She draws on her background in dance, incorporating a wide range of expressive modalities into her work, including dance/movement, expressive arts, and writing. She is a licensed mental health counselor, a board-certified dance/movement therapist and a certified drug and alcohol abuse counselor. Annabelle is an experienced workshop leader, presenter, and dance/movement instructor. She offers psychotherapy and movement coaching in her private practice, Movement Matters, and works as a senior staff therapist in the counseling service at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.  movement-matters.com


WRites of Passage and First Motherhood: Sex and Giving Birth ~ March 13, 2013

Wednesday, March 13
WRites of Passage and First Motherhood: Sex and Giving Birth
Workshop led by Angela Vuagniaux and Elizabeth Young
Sruti Yoga Center, 33 Railroad Street, Great Barrington, 7–9 p.m.

Participants will be invited to explore some of the most pivotal moments in their lives, using writing prompts, discussion, freewriting and optional sharing.

Angela Vuagniaux writes nonfiction to make sense of her new phases of life as a menopausal stepmother to a pubescent eleven-year-­old, while healing from her experience as a teenage birth mother. Over the years she has been a writer, teacher, vagabond, grant writer, and caregiver. She has participated in numerous writing workshops and led a few of her own. The themes in this series are her current passion.  Sruti Yoga Center

Elizabeth Young works in Great Barrington, MA, as a psychotherapist at the Counseling Center in the Berkshires. Before moving to the area, she was an English professor at California State University at Long Beach for seventeen years.  ccberkshires.com/elizabeth-young


Kripalu presents: Writing the Wild Heart ~ March 14, 2013

Thursday, March 14
Kripalu presents:
Writing the Wild Heart
Workshop led by Jennifer Young
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Lenox, 7:30–9:30 p.m. Free but pre-registration is required. To register, call 800-741-7353.

For hundreds of generations, our ancestors’ primary relationship was with the earth. They felt themselves part of an intricate community of life. Today, most of us live in towns, cities, and suburban neighborhoods. We may no longer live in the wilderness, but it still lives within us, and connecting to that part of ourselves can be a powerful and healing process. In this workshop, we explore a variety of landscapes: deserts, forests, oceans, rivers, and mountains. Through writing prompts and discussion, we discover what these landscapes bring up for us, and how they can empower, inspire and support our lives.

Jennifer Young is the director and senior faculty member of Kripalu Healthy Living programs. A certified Kripalu yoga teacher, she also has more than fifteen years of experience teaching expressive and creative writing. As a journal facilitator, she specializes in using writing for health and healing, as well as in unleashing more creativity and vitality in life. kripaluhealthyliving.org/faculty


WAM Theatre and Sisters for Peace present: Screening: Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide ~ March 15, 2013

Friday, March 15
WAM Theatre and Sisters for Peace present:
Screening: Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
Community discussion to follow with Kristen van Ginhoven and Caroline Wheeler
The Panel will include Janis Broderick, Maia Conty, Shirley Edgarton, Jeanet Ingalls, Bryan Nurnberger, and Ananda Timpany. Special music performance by Lizzie West.
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 7–9:30 p.m.
Sponsored by McTeigue & McClellend and Sisters for Peace

This powerful documentary, inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s best-selling book, introduces women and girls from all over the world who are living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable . . . and fighting bravely to change them. The film reflects viable and sustainable options for empowerment and offers a blueprint for transformation. Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Change is possible, and we can be part of the solution.

The film will be followed by a community discussion exploring effective actions and agents of change for women and girls in our own community and beyond.  The panel will be moderated by Kristen van Ginhoven of WAM Theatre and will include Janis Broderick of Elizabeth Freeman Center and The Berkshire County Commission on the Status of Women, Maia Conty from AIER’s Women’s Financial Empowerment Series, Shirley Edgarton from Rite of Passage for Girls program and the Women of Color Giving Circle, Jeanet Ingalls from Shout Out Loud Productions, Bryan Nurnberger from Simply Smiles and Ananda Timpany from Railroad Street Youth Project.

There will also be a special performance during the evening, featuring Lizzie West, local singer songwriter. Lizzie has toured at length and has had her music in films, TV, and on the radio. Entertainment Weekly called her a “visionary troubadour.” She performs with her husband Baba Buffalo, a seasoned player of a most magical music sound.  lizzieandbaba.com

Inspired by the book Half the Sky, WAM Theatre was founded in 2009 by Kristen van Ginhoven and Leigh Strimbeck. WAM’s philanthropic mission is twofold: first, producing theatrical events for everyone, with a focus on women theater artists and/or stories of women and girls; second, to donate a portion of the proceeds from those events to organizations that benefit women and girls. WAM has donated over $7,000 to its beneficiaries.  www.kristenvanginhoven.com     wamtheatre.com


Like many who have read Half the Sky, Sisters for Peace founder Caroline Wheeler was compelled to engage others to get involved and to work together to help empower women and girls around the world. In just over a year, Sisters for Peace has rallied to do volunteer work and has given over $8,000 to local and global organizations. Sisters for Peace is an entirely volunteer organization, and every dollar donated goes directly to the NGOs that work to empower women and girls. It doesn’t take an extensive network of partners and investors to start making a difference.   www.sistersforpeace.org


Writing for Tweens ~ March 16, 2013

Saturday, March 16
Writing for Tweens
Reading and discussion led by Lisa Greenwald
Stockbridge Library, 11 a.m.

Lisa Greenwald will read an excerpt from her newest novel for tweens, My Summer of Pink and Green. She will discuss her path to publication, the writing process, and why she chose to write for tweens. A Q&A and book signing will follow. If time permits, there will be a brief writing workshop.

Lisa Greenwald is the author of four books for tweens. She works in the library at the Birch Wathen Lenox School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Lisa is also a recent graduate of the New School’s MFA program in writing for children. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and young daughter.   www.lisagreenwald.com


Writing Together: Moving out of the Garret ~ March 16, 2013

Saturday, March 16
Writing Together: Moving out of the Garret
Panel discussion with Patricia Lee Lewis, Ellen Meeropol, and Jacqueline Sheehan
Lenox Library, 1–3 p.m.

Three authors and writing teachers discuss ways writers can move out of the solitary garret for their mutual benefit: manuscript groups and writing partners; low-residence MFA’s and conferences; writing residencies and retreats; and online discussion boards and regional literary communities.

Patricia Lee Lewis was born and raised in Texas, where her three children were also born. For over thirty years she has lived and worked at Patchwork Farm Retreat in western Massachusetts. She holds an MFA degree in creative writing from Vermont College and a BA from Smith College, Phi Beta Kappa. Beloved mentor of many writers and leader of frequent writing retreats, both nationally and internationally, she has also been the publisher of The Patchwork Journal. A grant in 2011 from the Massachusetts Arts Council enabled her to help establish a writing program at her local library. Her first book of poems, A Kind of Yellow, was awarded first place by Writers Digest International.   Patchwork Farm Retreat

Ellen Meeropol, photo by Miriam Berkley

Ellen Meeropol’s writing explores characters at the intersection of political turmoil, ethical dilemma, and family life. Publishers Weekly gave her debut novel, House Arrest (Red Hen, 2011) a starred review, calling it “thoughtful and tightly composed, unflinching in taking on challenging subjects and deliberating uneasy ethical conundrums.” Her dramatic program about the Rosenberg Fund for Children has been produced in four cities and is planned for June 2013 in Manhattan. Her short stories and essays appear in Bridges, Pedestal, Rumpus, Portland Magazine, Shaking Magazine, the Women’s Times, and the Writers Chronicle. She teaches workshops at Grub Street in Boston and Writers in Progress in Florence, MA.   www.ellenmeeropol.com

Jacqueline Sheehan, PhD, is a psychologist and a New York Times best-selling author of fiction. Her novels include The Comet’s Tale, a novel about Sojourner Truth; Lost & Found, Now & Then, and Picture This. In 2005, she edited the anthology Women Writing in Prison. Jacqueline has been awarded residencies at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland and Jentel Arts Colony in Wyoming. She teaches workshops at Grub Street in Boston and Writers in Progress in Florence, MA. She has offered international writing retreats in Jamaica, Guatemala, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland.   www.jacquelinesheehan.com


R2W Talks: Interviews with Powerful Women ~ March 16, 2013

Saturday, March 16
R2W Talks: Interviews with Powerful Women
Hosted by Serene Mastrianni with special guests Sheila Keator, Joanna L. Krotz, Diane Patrick and Evelyn Resh
Kellogg Music Center, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, 1–3 p.m.
Admission $25, to benefit WBCR-LP, 97.7 FM, Berkshire Community Radio (free for students)
Tickets MUST be purchased in advance at radio2women.brownpapertickets.com

Join award-winning radio host Serene Mastrianni for a series of intense interviews with women experts, including Sheila Keator on Women in Finance, Joanna L. Krotz on Women in Philanthropy, Diane Patrick on Women and Empowerment, and Evelyn Resh on Women in Touch. The interviews will be followed by a Q&A session.

Serene Mastrianni is cohost and cofounder of Radio2Women, a radio show focusing on women’s issues, broadcast twice weekly from the studios of WBCR-LP, 97.7 FM, Great Barrington, and podcasts widely on the web. The mission of Radio2Women is to entertain, inform, and empower. In 2012, the show celebrated its sixth year on the air, with more than ten thousand podcasts downloaded.   www.radio2women.com

As the founder of Keator Group, LLC, and with more than thirty years of experience in the investment industry, Sheila Keator devotes her time to helping clients define and achieve business and investment objectives. She sits on the Advisory Committee for the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts MBA program and serves on the board of directors of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Newman Centerwww.thekeatorgroup.wfadv.com

Joanna L. Krotz is the author of Making Philanthropy Count: How Women Are Changing the World; The Guide to Intelligent Giving: Make A Difference in the World-and in Your Own Life; and coauthor of The Microsoft Small Business Kit, a 500-page guide to entrepreneurship. Joanna also runs Muse2Muse Productions, a custom content provider.  www.joannakrotz.com

First Lady of Massachusetts Diane Patrick has her own record of excellence and distinguished professional and public service. A lawyer, teacher, mother, and active member of her community, Mrs. Patrick has served on the boards of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Jane Doe, Inc., and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, among others. Currently, she serves on the board of the Posse Foundation and as an overseer at the Epiphany School. Mrs. Patrick has also been an outspoken advocate in the Commonwealth’s ongoing effort to end domestic violence. She has been actively engaged with families, agencies, and law enforcement to support victims as well as to identify and to address the root causes of domestic abuse.  First Lady Diane Patrick, Governor’s website

Evelyn Resh, MPH, CNM, is a sexuality counselor, author, and nurse-midwife with over twenty years of experience in clinical practice. Her first book, The Secret Lives of Teen Girls: What Your Mother Wouldn’t Talk About but Your Daughter Needs to Know (Hay House, 2009), takes a distinctly sex-positive view of teenage girls and sex. Her second book, Women, Sex, Power, and Pleasure; Getting the Life (and Sex) You Want, will be released March 2013. She has been a contributing writer for www.Oprah.com and the Huffington Post and is the director of sexuality programming and counseling for Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA.   www.evelynresh.com


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