The Women’s March on Washington has inspired nearly 300 other ‘sister marches’ to take place on Jan. 21, 2017 including Berkshire County. All 50 states and Puerto Rico are confirmed to have at least one grassroots-led march on that day, as well as 55 global cities on six continents, from Tokyo to Sydney, Nairobi to Paris to Bogotá.
A local steering committee, including Kristen van Ginhoven, co-founder and Artistic Director of WAM Theatre, and community members Jayne Benjulian, Lynn Festa and Mary Lincoln, are organizing a free local event in solidarity with the January 21, 2017 Women’s March on Washington. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Colonial Theatre on South Street in Pittsfield will be open from 10 am-2 pm to provide a positive place where people can gather in support of the DC march.
“This event is free and people are welcome to stay the whole time or come and go between 10am-2pm,” van Ginhoven said. “We will be streaming the DC Rally from 10am-1pm in the theatre, along with having some other action oriented activities in the lobby. We are having a curated program from 1pm-2pm inside the theatre that will highlight readings from the Constitution and original writing created especially for this event by local writers. The committee came together to organize this event because we wanted to offer a local alternative for everyone who can’t make it down to DC but wanted to support the March.”
These grassroots efforts from the Berkshires to California could top a million participants as citizens unite in support of freedom and democracy for all. More than 500,000 people have already committed to march all over the country and the world in just a matter of weeks,” said Boston-based national sister march spokeswoman Yordanos Eyoel, who became a U.S. citizen last fall.
Schedule of Events:
Colonial Lobby: Art Display/Support Wall, #WhyIMarch photo booth, Info Table, Food and more
Colonial Theatre: Streaming of DC Rally
Colonial Theatre: Rock the Constitution, a thought-provoking staged reading curated by local writer Jayne Benjulian
Thanks to collaboration with the Women’s March on Washington- National team and the Women’s March on Washington-Massachusetts Chapter team, rally coverage from Washington will be live-streamed throughout the event. Rupar Parmar, a lead team member of the Massachusetts Chapter, will be curating the streaming content.
“In addition to the DC Rally, we hope to connect with Berkshire representatives who are on the ground in DC, via Facebook Live and Twitter,” said Rupar Parmar, Co-Lead of the Women’s March on Washington- Massachusetts Chapter.
That’s A Wrap Café in Pittsfield will have a take-out table and The Colonial Bar will be serving coffee, tea, and snacks for folks who want to stay on site for lunch.
Also in the lobby, WAM Theatre Associate Artist Juliana von Haubrich has devised a variation on the spontaneous interactive art project which blossomed in the New York City subways in the weeks since the presidential election. Attendees will be invited to finish two statements — “I support…” and “I will…” — on Post-it notes, which will be displayed in the Colonial lobby that day and then travel to other locations in the County in the coming weeks and months.
People are welcome to bring their own related signs and displays, as used in the recent Four Freedom March, or other marches. Those will be displayed in the Lobby for all to enjoy throughout the day.
There will be a #WhyIMarch photo booth, where people can take a photo that will get posted to social media immediately to join the plethora of other people around the world who are participating in Sister March events.
An information table will provide attendees with ideas and opportunities for future civic engagement, plus an opportunity to sign up for the Women’s March on Washington-Massachusetts Chapter eblast, to stay informed on future related events.
A January 21 March on Washington- Berkshire County Keepsake magnet will be on sale for $5 to help cover the costs of the event. While an anonymous donor rented the Colonial, other costs associated with hosting the event have been covered by the steering committee. Anyone wishing to help offset those costs will be encouraged to buy a keepsake magnet.
Then, to complete the event, from 1-2 pm inside the theatre eleven actors and writers will Rock the Constitution, a spirited staged reading curated by Jayne Benjulian. During this final hour, the actors and writers will perform monologues they’ve written especially for this event and will perform portions of the U. S. Constitution like you’ve never heard it before. Local luminaries appearing include MaConnia Chesser, Joan Coombs, Lori Evans, Corinna May, Brenny Rabine, Jennifer Browdy, Sheela Clary, Barbara Newman, Grace Rossman, Rachel Siegel and Lara Tupper.
“This local gathering is an official Sister March. Sister Marches are solidarity events inspired by the Women’s March on Washington and are organized by volunteers around the world. On January 21, there will be 100’s of Sister Marches throughout the world,” said Lynn Festa and Mary Lincoln, steering committee members. “We are so proud to be part of this global effort for equal rights for all.” All 50 states and Puerto Rico are confirmed to have at least one grassroots-led march event on that day, as well as 55 global cities on six continents, from Tokyo to Sydney, Nairobi to Paris to Bogotá. More information on Sister Marches can be found at https://www.womensmarch.com/sisters
PUBLIC CALL FOR ART: If you are an artist in Berkshire County or Western MA and would like your art featured digitally during our event please email email@example.com
MORE EVENT INFO: http://www.wamtheatre.com/january-21-gathering/
RSVP (Not required, but will be used by National for global numbers tracking purposes): https://actionnetwork.org/events/womens-march-pittsfield-ma-2
ABOUT WAM THEATRE
Based in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, WAM Theatre is Where Arts and Activism Meet. The company was co-founded in 2010 by Canadian director, actor, educator, and producer Kristen van Ginhoven. WAM’s vision is to create opportunity for women and girls through the mission of theatre as philanthropy.
Inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, WAM donates a portion of the proceeds from its theatrical events to organizations that benefit women and girls.
Since 2010, WAM Theatre has donated more than $30,000 to eleven nonprofit organizations and provided paid work to more than 175 theatre artists. In addition to the main stage productions and special events, WAM Theatre’s activities include a comprehensive educational outreach program and the Fresh Takes Play Reading Series. For more information, visit http://www.WAMTheatre.com