The Boston Community Production of the Vagina Monologues. Sponsored by Boston GLOW, the Boston YWCA and the Young Black Women's Society. Held at the Kuumba Library, YWCA Boston.
Our three performances, held at the YWCA's Kuumba Library, were completely sold out with over 250 tickets sold and nearly $4500 raised! Boston GLOW feels incredibly privileged to have been a part of the VDAY movement again this year and to have helped bring its message to the Boston community. As with all of our endeavors, this success could not have been possible without the time, dedication and tireless work of our volunteers.
Our cast of 30 performers, ranging in age from 16-40, spent 6 weeks rehearsing and collaborating to make this performance our best yet. Our youth performance featured 20 young people from The City School. Our team of volunteers, which totaled 18 women and men, stepped up to every challenge we presented - from constructing a giant fabric vagina, baking vagina cupcakes and chocolate vagina lollipops to collecting tickets, selling raffle tickets and greeting guests.
As happens every year, we were in awe of the response from each audience - the laughter, standing ovations and tremendously positive feedback reinforced for us once again why the Vagina Monologues are so powerful. We were thrilled to see a male contingent in the crowd again this year. This show unites women across a common theme but also illuminates for the male audience some of the experiences women share and endure across geographies, ages and cultures. As ever, we hope these performances have helped spark dialog about the issues facing women every day and the importance of addressing these issues to make a better, safer world and future for women.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Vagina Monologues is a play written by activist Eve Ensler, based on dozens of interviews Ensler conducted with women about the experience of being female - from sexuality and social stigmas to rape and abuse. Four years after the play first launched in 1994, with funds raised at a celebrity performance of the Monologues, Ensler founded V-Day. The mission of V-Day is a fairly simple one: "it demands that violence against women and girls must end. To do this, once a year, in February, March, and April, Eve allows groups around the world to produce a performance of the play, as well as other works created by V-Day, and use the proceeds for local individual projects and programs that work to end violence against women and girls, often shelters and rape crisis centers. What began as one event in New York City in 1998 today includes over 5,800 V-Day events annually."This was my sixth time seeing the Vagina Monologues and somehow it gets better and more moving every time I see it. Each year, the Monologues are slightly altered to include updated statistics, to incorporate a new piece from author Eve Ensler and to spotlight a new area of the world where women desperately need help. The 2012 Monologues included an incredibly provocative essay originally published in the Huffington Post called "I'm Over It," which we encourage you to read here.
This year's Monologues also spotlighted the plight of women in the Congo, the most dangerous place on the planet to be a woman or girl. V-Day 2012 highlights a commitment to creating City of Joy, "a transformational community for Congolese women survivors of sexual violence, conceived, created and developed by the women on the ground. City of Joy will support women survivors of sexual violence to heal and provide them with opportunities to develop their leadership through innovative programming."
Finally, this year's Monologues announced a global call to action, called ONE BILLION RISING:
There are 7 billion people on the planet. Half are women. One third of them will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.
Planned for 2.14.13, ONE BILLION RISING is a global movement that invites one billion women and those who love them to walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to violence against women, across every country. Participants, encouraged to sign up here, pledge the following:
"I refuse to watch as more than one billion women experience violence on the planet. I'm joining V-Day on 02.14.13 in a global strike to demand an end to the violence."
Please join Boston GLOW in support of ONE BILLION RISING and learn more about the V-Day campaign. Thank you to everyone who attended the performances and helped support the V-DAY mission in Boston - we are thrilled with the outcome and can't wait to do it again next year.
About the YWCA Boston
"We are an organization of firsts. We were the first YWCA in the United States, established by leaders in the abolition and suffrage movemet to address critical social justice issues of the time. We were the first organization in Boston tackle professional and economic empowerment for women, and among the first to fight for racial and gender equality."
About the Young Black Women's Society of Boston
"Founded in Boston in 2005, the Young Black Women’s Society Inc. (YBWS), was established to provide a platform for women and girls of color to further develop their personal, professional and civic lives. YBWS sought out to be “The Society” for this demographic, providing relevant programming, activities and personal connections that complement their future goals and aspirations. We welcome you to learn about our organization and join our movement as we affect change and strive for advancement and access in Greater Boston and beyond!"
Boston, MA, February 6, 2011– Undeterred by Boston’s third major snowstorm, Boston GLOW supporters gathered in droves at Elevin Studio in Fort Point on Thursday January 27 for IGNITE the NITE, a candlelit affair which raised more than $10,000 in scholarship funds for the finalists of the IGNITE Change essay contest.
Boston GLOW fosters opportunities for women of all ages to become empowered community leaders and active world citizens. Through two specific program areas -Girls’ Leadership (GL) and Organized Women (OW), GLOW strives to provide pragmatic programming, leadership training, and service-learning opportunities.
The IGNITE Change essay contest was conceived by Boston GLOW founder Leah Moschella, and AC Gaughen, a Boston-based author, to give teen girls in Boston’s most overburdened schools the opportunity to use their voice to promote local, actionable, and positive change. They asked essay writers to put forth ideas for change in their schools, communities and cities, in 1500 words or less. The finalists will be chosen and paired with local young adult authors for mentorship and to further develop their writing skill and voice.
Organized in just two months by a team of women from Boston GLOW, IGNITE the NITE sought to increase programming awareness and to raise money for the award prize. A focal point of the evening was the silent auction, thirty packages ranging from tickets to the Jose Mateo Ballet and dinner at City Table to a VIP backstage tour of Good Morning America. Local artists contributed jewelry, photography, graphic illustrations, and a handful created one-of-a-kind pieces specifically for IGNITE the NITE. A candlelit wall displayed sports memorabilia from signed baseballs and autographed photos to a roll of 2004 World Series tickets.
Guests mingled among a lush landscape of ethereal paper lanterns, white roses, white hydrangea and a constellation of candles while they dined on small bites, all provided by sarah&cara, a Boston area fine events company. Red Bones and Rino’s Place donated hot dishes to welcome guests in from the cold and a bar, sponsored by Triple 8 Vodka, Cape Ann Brewery and Narragansett Beer, served signature “IGNITE-tinis”, wine from Martighetti Liquors, Bauer Wine and Spirits and more.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome,” said Emily Copeman, Fundraising Director, “in total we raised more than $10,000, which will translate to a substantial head start for an aspiring college student who has nothing. It’s amazing what we were able to achieve even at the grassroots level.”
Leah Moschella, Boston GLOW founder, is already looking forward. “Now we focus our attention toward the awards banquet on April 12. We are thrilled to have esteemed mentors sharing their stories and inspiring these young women to use their voices.” AC Gaughen agrees: “Now comes the fun part: we get to see what we can do, what we can change, for these young women. They ignited change and we have the privilege of carrying the flame.” One thing is clear – this is just the beginning for Boston GLOW.
Contact: Emily Copeman www.bostonglow.org
These ten young women will be recognized at the 2012 Awards Dinner on April 10 at Maggiano's Little Italy. The IGNITE Change Contest encourages teen girls in challenges communities to find their voice and make a call for change through writing. Developed in 2010 by Boston GLOW, IGNITE Change, judged by a panel of published female authors, seeks to award finalists with educational funding and support, including pairing each girl with a writing mentor to personally help her in the process of realizing the power of her own voice.
"Each of these young women have something very important to say, but aren't always given the opportunity to be heard," said Leah Moschella, Founder of Boston GLOW. "Our mission is to path a path for these girls, through which their voices will be heard, and their future goals will be realized. It is incredibly inspirational to read their words, but when we meet them in person we tangibly see and feel the power and energy of determined women."
Meet the finalists:
Kheyla Thaimar Orival, Somerville, MA
Who are two females who inspire you? I would have to say Maya Angelou and Michelle Obama.
What are your career goals? To become a Pediatrician in a hospital because I like to work with children. I hope to pursue my dreams of becoming a pediatrician and also if I am eligible, play Tennis or Volleyball for which ever University I attend.
An excerpt from Kheyla's winning essay: “If every female in the world could see that just by changing the way they think every day or the way they feel every day into something positive, they can create many wonders. For example, when writing this essay I had no doubt in my mind that I was actually going to accomplish anything. Even if this program doesn’t progress the way I wanted it to, I would at least know that I had this thought to change my community by something that I go through and that other females go through like me.”
Jasmine R. Taylor, Dorchester – Lower Mills, MA
Who are two females who inspire you? Iris Jacob – She is the author of My Sisters’ Voices. Her book, a compilation of essays and poe
ms by girls of color on a variety subjects, inspires me to write stories where girls of color take center stage. Judy Blume – Like her, I want to write stories that explore the challenges young people face with sympathy, humor, and respect.
What are your career goals? Psychologist – Because psychology fascinates me. Novelist – So I can share my stories with the world.
An excerpt from Jasmine's winning essay: “When we see girls and women of color saving lives, solving problems, or even having normal lives while they work towards their own goals on a daily basis, it creates and reinforces the voice in a girl of color’s head that says, ‘I can do anything! I can make a difference too!’…I want all girls, especially, girls of color, to have easy access to media that gives them constructive message."
Fatima Khan, Somerville, MA
Who are two females who inspire you? My Mom, and Michelle Obama
What are your career goals? Biochemist, Doctor, or a Software engineer at Apple
An excerpt from Fatima's winning essay: “It is not wrong to have different interests, or to look different from other people…It is crucial to see the damaging effects that emotional bullying can have on an individual and the importance of changing this stereotypical nonsense and putting an end to emotional bullying.”
Giselle Maria Bonilla, Hyde Park, MA
Who are two females who inspire you? My mom Maria and my older sister Katherine. They are two of the strongest, caring and loving women in my life.
What are your career goals? My career goals are to major either in psychology or philosophy. In the future I would like to work with teenage girls or start my own organization focusing on Domestic Violence largely and other topics that affects teenage girls.
An excerpt from Giselle's winning essay: “I was one of those teenage girls in Dorchester that didn’t understand my value nor what I deserved. I want to help young women realize their worth and build their self-esteem... I want to let teenage girls know that there is no such thing as love behind violence. Love should feel safe, warm and good.”
Catherine Nakato, Somerville, MA
Who are two females who inspire you? My mentor, my mom and Alicia Keys.
What are your career goals? Lawyer or Doctor/ Surgeon.
An excerpt from Catherine's winning essay:“When I walk in my neighborhood, I see a lot of unhealthy choices like drug addicts, alcoholics, drug dealers, and more. But the one thing that sickens me is the pattern of unacceptable behavior that is trickling down upon our youth, girls and boys my age, 16, and younger having unprotected sex, getting STDs and STIs, getting pregnant, getting drunk and high and being proud of it.”
Zacorah Kamaria Jackman, Dorchester, MA
Who are two females who inspire you? Lorraine Hansberry and Assat Shakur.
What are your career goals? Some of my future career goal choices are journalist, teacher, city councilor, and entrepreneur in non-profit business.
An excerpt from Zacorah's winning essay: “I believe that if we organize ourselves, we can equip young females to facilitate change in an infinitely progressing fashion…We will not only be able to ignite change, but transcend change ultimately creating a new nrom. Since women are the first teachers, these values will be taught to the generations who may come to follow the young girls.”
Lin-Feng Collins, East Somerville, MA
Who are two females who inspire you? Anne Frank and Rosa Parks.
What are your career goals? My career goal is anything as long as I am able to fully enjoy it and put forth my best effort in it so that I can use my knowledge and abilities to give back to the world.
An excerpt from Lin-Feng's winning essay: “This world is full of opportunities and things to be changes. All a girl needs to be a hero and a leader is to have a dream, be strong, and be determined. Girls are so important because they change the world. Without us, the planet we live on right now would not be so creative, so magical, or so wonderful. Girls are powerful.”
Crystal Walker, Dorchester, MA
Who are two females who inspire you? Cynthia Creary (my mother) and Kiku Adatto.
What are your career goals? My career goal is to work in the medical field and I would like to have a job as a teacher educator on health and cancer treatment or be a physician.
An excerpt from Crystal's winning essay: "Dignity made us realize that even if our parents were struggling or immigrants, college was not just a dream but a reality; because if people believed in us and we believed in ourselves, we can find a way….There is dignity in strong voices. As my mama’s daughter I believe change begins with dignity.”
Franchesca Viaud, Dorchester, MA
Who are two females who inspire you? My mother and JK Rowling.
What are your career goals? I'm interested in jobs that allow me to be creative and use my imagination. Not jobs that force me to sit behind a desk or anything else completely boring. My crazy dream jobs range from being a writer, movie producer/director to an international diplomat.
An excerpt from Franchesca's winning essay: “I know that my mother is a shark, a realist and a survivor, the kind of woman you write about, but she’s also human, which I think is the hardest fact for any child to accept about their mother. And while she may bleed, hurt, cry and not be eight feet tall at all, she’s a warrior in her own right. And that is why, above all other reasons, I want to ignite change."
Nasteho Ali, Roxbury, MA
Who are two females who inspire you? My mom and Oprah.
What are your career goals? I would like to be a physiatrist or something involving human resources.
An excerpt from Nasteho's winning essay: “Self-esteem is all a matter of how you feel about yourself not enveloped in makeup and accepting all your flaws that you were born with. I believe in order to achieve this acceptance we need to teach young women that revealing yourself is not the way….Hopefully, young women will be able to recognize that everyone has flaws and the beauty is finding out how to live with them.”
January 12, 2012 - Artists for Humanity EpiCenter, Boston.
Boston GLOW thanks all of our supporters for making IGNITE the NITE 2012 a tremendous success - we raised over $25,000 in scholarship funds for the finalists of the IGNITE Change Essay Contest!
We are thrilled to share that our second annual IGNITE the NITE was a GLOW-ing success. To be frank, we were nervous. We are a young, grassroots organization with no experience planning or executing major fundraising events. Our growth and the success of our mission are hinged not on high society connections or a handful of wealthy benefactors but the support and engagement of individuals and the generosity of our community. The prospect of decorating and filling a massive, highly-visible space like the EpiCenter was daunting. The high fundraising goals we set for ourselves sometimes seemed out of reach. The process of trying to assemble a silent auction that offered something for everyone felt impossible at times. But, as always, we refused to give up.
“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.”
Indeed, every one of Boston GLOW’s endeavors serves as a mirror of sorts for us as a leadership team, for our volunteers and our supporters. Not the yikes-I-hate-trying-on-bathing-suits-in-department-stores-in-the-dead-of-winter kind of mirror but the kind that seems to look back and say “yes, you did just do that, and you did a damn good job, girl. Onto the next big thing – and make it bigger and better!” One of the greatest realizations we had as a team this year is that GLOW does for us what we try to do for the young women we work with – it strengthens us as leaders, gives us confidence and courage and serves as a reminder that our voices are valued and our goals are attainable.
IGNITE the NITE is not just a big party. While it’s that too, our primary goals to raise scholarship funds for the finalists of the IGNITE Change Essay contest and to spread the word about the mission of Boston GLOW, raise awareness and engage new supporters and volunteers. We can confidently say we nailed all three categories:
Boston GLOW met our fundraising goal for the second time in two years – raising over $20,000 in scholarship funds for the finalists of the IGNITE Change Essay Contest. Our silent auction – which sparkled with fantastic packages donated by local businesses, supporters of GLOW, corporations, friends and family – netted over $8,000.
We hosted over 250 guests, most of them new to Boston GLOW, including City Councilor Ayanna Pressley (who gave a keynote speech) and Karen Kaplan, two of our favorite female leaders in the Boston community. We have been inundated with emails expressing support for our mission, inquiries about volunteer opportunities and requests for collaboration among a wide range of other non-profit organizations and corporations alike.
We attracted attention from a wide range of media outlets – over 200 national publications, from Reuters International to CBS Money, promoted IGNITE and a number of Boston’s best newspapers and magazines covered the event. We forged new relationships with non-profits and corporations alike, including FemCity, Ameriprise Financial, Hill Holliday and Artists for Humanity.
We were able to fill the event space with glowing light, color, flowers, lounge areas and one-of-a-kind furniture thanks to sponsors New England Country Rentals, Party by Design, Be Our Guest and Winston Flowers.
Guests raved about the food prepared by celebrity chef Tony Ambrose and his team at Ambrosia Events and Catering – which included Salmon Tartare with Caraway, Cumin Oil and South China Sea Salt, Tempura Shrimp Toast Cubes with Spicy Mayo, Crispy Coconut Chicken Spring Rolls, Creamy Fuji Apple Confit Risotto with Scallion Oil and a central station where Chef Ambrose individually plated Shaved Sweet Garlic Soy Roasted Sirloin over Stilton Fingerling Potatoes.Piano-based rock quartet City of Squares wowed the crowd with their original songs, which combine the ferocity of powerhouses such as Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson with the sophisticated sensibility of poets like Sarah McLachlan and Damien Rice, and covers of beloved pop and rock music.
… It is impossible to adequately express here our gratitude to each of the individuals and businesses who attended IGNITE and contributed time/services/goods to the event or silent auction. Suffice it to say, Boston GLOW could never grow as it does if it weren’t for the kindness and compassion of the people in our community. We are immensely appreciative of every contribution – small or large – as every bit counts. Please see our Sponsors page for a full listing of all who gave of themselves for Boston GLOW this year.
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
- Robert F. Kennedy
As a grassroots organization, we are never sure what is a reach and what is within the realm of possibility when it comes to asking for support. We are overwhelmingly grateful today to share another major coup for this year’s event – Celebrity Chef Anthony Ambrose and his team at Ambrosia Events & Catering has agreed to dazzle our guests with their award-winning, innovative gourmet cuisine and classic techniques.
Chef Ambrose was formally trained by Jasper White of Boston, along with three of this century’s greatest 2 and 3 star Michelin Chefs: Chef Marc Haeberlin of Alsace, Chef Olivier Roellinger of Brittany and Chef Roger Verge of the South of France. Chef Ambrose brings a wealth of experience from these great relationships to his eclectic menus. He served as the first American chef de cuisine for the Meridien Hotel’s premiere dining room, Julien, and later went on to become executive chef of the four-star rated Season's restaurant at The Bostonian Hotel. He became the fourth chef employed by The Bostonian to go on to open his own successful restaurant, following the lead of acclaimed chefs Jasper White, Lydia Shire, Gordon Hamersley and Jody Adams.
In 1993, Ambrose opened his first independent venture, Ambrosia on Huntington. Soon thereafter Esquire Magazine named Ambrose “Chef of the Year” and Ambrosia on Huntington one of the “Top 25 Restaurants in the Country.” In the next ten years, Ambrose became known as one of the most elite masters of fusion cuisine in America, earning press accolades from Bon Appétit, Elle, Savior, Food Arts, Food and Wine and Art Culinaire. In 1999, Chef Ambrose was named USA Chef of the Year by the American Tasting Institute and in 2000, the Zagat Restaurant Survey recognized Ambrosia as one of the “20 Most Popular New Restaurants” in the U.S.
Chef Ambrose has made numerous appearances as a guest chef at televised and live events including the Food TV Network, Live with Regis, the Nantucket Food & Wine festival, The Discovery Channel, CNN, The French Library’s Regional Cooking Dinners and the Boston area “Celebrity Chef’s Cook-Off.” Most recently Chef Ambrose appeared as a guest celebrity chef for the James Beard Foundation Great Regional Chefs of America Series.
We couldn’t be happier to have the immensely generous support of Chef Ambrose – and to spotlight his culinary genius at this year’s IGNITE the NITE!
Happy New Year to all of our supporters. We are jumping into 2012 at full speed with just 8 days to go til this IGNITE the NITE - and the energy keeps growing!
One of our favorite parts about the countdown to IGNITE the NITE is the now-steady flow of incredible silent auction items coming in every day. We are particularly excited about the support we’ve received from some of New England’s most acclaimed artists. These dynamic women bring unique talent and style to the canvas but share the determination, creativity, passion and independent spirit that represent the mission of GLOW. We are incredibly grateful to add these beautiful works of art to our silent auction:
The “Shoe Fairy”, a limited edition (2/50) Giclee signed and framed by acclaimed painter Sandy Welch especially for Boston GLOW. The piece, valued at $900, conveys the Connecticut painter’s provocative, colorful and flirtatious style. Welch attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and has studied with professional artists, Bob Noreika, Beth Ellis, Charles Slovek, Stuart Shils and Ilona Levitz, among others. She has exhibited throughout New England and been featured in the Hartford Courant numerous times, West Hartford Public Television, Farmington Valley Arts Center Connections, and Artist Magazine's featured artist. Visit Sandy Welch Art here to learn more.
“930,” a 6x6 acrylic, has been donated by Boston area painter Lisa Daria Kennedy, who has been creating a painting a day for over 900 days. Kennedy’s ambitious undertaking is widely followed across the art community and we are incredibly honored to include one of these pieces in our auction. Kennedy explains “after two years of painting every day (including Christmas) I've no intention of stopping. For me, daily painting is a daily appreciation for living via the canvas. I'm a young adult cancer survivor so I have a persistence to make sure every day matters. Daily painting has become a reminder every day can bring with it reason. My optimism and perception have become part of the process of creating each day without reservation or excuse.”
“Sandy Cove” an 8x8 oil painting by Page Railsback, North Street Studio.
Railsback divides her time between her studios in Puerto Vallarta Mexico and Hingham, MA, where she gives painting and yoga workshops and sells her original artwork. Railsback brings to her artwork and students a rich background in natural healing and polarity therapy. “I have been painting for 30 years. I start each day freshly with 'beginners mind' and let the journey begin with some aspect of Art. I enjoy being a studio rat, holed up by myself with my paints, tunes and books on tape; experimenting, letting the intuitive process take me away.” It is evident in her work that Railsback finds painting a form of meditation and source of peace. Learn more here.
Three works by artist Pamela Copeman, Empty Nest Studio. Copeman (who is the proud mother of this post’s author), an interior designer, explored the creative arts throughout her life but began a disciplined study of painting later in life. “When my children Emily and Fred left for college, I knew I would have a large space in my day to fill. I realized I could pursue painting with spirit, focus and energy. Since that day I have always carved out a simple studio space to paint and I have loved every minute.” She adds gently, “That said, I would trade my empty nest for a full one to have my little ones home again.” Here is a sneak peek at two of the works Copeman has donated:
“Giddy Up” is an oil painting of a Tory Burch leather boot, was created at the Arts Walk in Hingham Square in Fall, 2011.
“Shall We Dance” is an oil painting with mixed media and silver leaf embellishments.
We've also added an exclusive copy of Boston Inspirational Women, a compilation of black-and-white portraits taken by celebrated father and daughter photographers Bill and Kerry Brett. The book features more than 125 women who hail from Boston and have made a name for themselves in some right - from Maria Menounos to Ayanna Pressley - and a foreword written by the amazing Karen Kaplan. We just wish our copy wasn't sealed - we want to open it now!
Our auction has become a display of talented, fierce women in our community who have pursued their dreams and passions - and we couldn't be more excited to share their work with all of you at IGNITE the NITE! If you haven't done so already, buy your tickets today!Peace,
Press inquires contact:
Emily Copeman, Director of Fundraising & Marketing
Kiran Ganda, Event Marketing & PR