Retreat and Renewal
The Women's Interfaith board spent an inspiring and productive retreat day at Hawkins House in New Lebanon, NY. Thank you to Peggy Hawkins for her hospitality and beautiful 'full circle' home and retreat space.
Maggie creating her heart
A Path with Heart and a Different Kind of Valentine
were themes for February's WII Potluck/Program. Twenty six women came out on this cold February evening, first for a pot-luck feast, and then together we transformed our three large round dining tables, bedecked with roses and red cloths, into altars. Expressive Art Therapist, Eileen Mahoney guided us with poetry and guided imagery. She placed on each altar-to-be a wide variety of pink/ red and pastel tissue paper and an assortment of paper napkins with roses, and flowers, and other nature images. Her simple instruction: let your hearts become your hands. Voila: within 15 minutes we created collages, and each table indeed became a sacred altar. As one woman said: "we all had the same materials, and each creation was totally unique: tiny hearts, big open hearts, wings with hearts." At my table, before she began to work, Maggie shared that she had heavy and sad heart. She told us that driving to our gathering she heard a report on NPR about a woman who died in the recent Buffalo plane crash. This woman had lost her husband on Sept 11. She was in Buffalo to honor what would have been his 58th birthday. Moreover, she had been a leader among the families who had lost loved ones. As Maggie talked she found herself using the tissue paper to create a heart with wings. Her Creative Source led her hands to create a perfect symbol to honor the woman who died in the crash - a heart with wings. Susan Jameson summed up the evening: "magic was in the air; the divine in our hearts."

"Heart with Wings" by Maggie

Women's Interfaith Institute in the Berkshires co-sponsors "The Power of Women in the Arts" at Bard College at Simon's Rock March 6-7

The First Annual Berkshire Festival of Women in the Arts will kick off March 1, 2009 and run throughout the entire month, now boasts more than 60 events at 30-plus venues throughout Berkshire County. Presented by The Women’s Times, the festival will feature exhibits, film, music, performance, talk and more, and will include diverse programming that ranges from historical to contemporary, traditional to radical, political to apolitical. Venues run the spectrum from the Berkshires’ most established cultural organizations to new and improvised locations. There are opportunities for festival-goers to examine the role of women in the arts, celebrate the achievements of women artists or simply enjoy a diverse cross-section of artistic work.

Two signature events will mark the Festival: The Power of Women in the Arts, the Eighth Annual International Women’s Day conference will be held on March 6-7 at Bard College at Simon’s Rock College; and She’s Got Moxie!, the First Annual Festival Awards to be presented at a March 13 gala at Shakespeare & Company.
Follow this link to find presentations and performances by Pauline Dongala (Collaterally Damaged, March 7-8), JoAnne Spies (Norman Rockwell Museum, March 10) and others:
Pauline Dongala will present a talk after "Collaterally Damaged"
Upstairs at the Triplex
Saturday, the 7th at 8:30pm and Sunday, the 8th at 3pm.

March 19
Women, the Arts and the Sacred
Moderated by Shirley Paukulis
Reception: 6 -7pm
Program: 7 – 9pm
Join us for this inspirational event as women in the written, visual and performing arts share their intimate spiritual experiences, how their lives were changed, and the journeys they took to unveil and reveal the sacred through their work.
location: The Church on the Hill Chapel in Lenox, MA
see below for presenters and location info