Literary Reading and Dance Party to Raise Money for Homeless Shelter, Celebrate the Power of Women Voters
Occupy New England and The Connecticut League of Women Voters will host a literary reading and dance party at The Outer Space, 295 Treadwell St., Hamden, Sunday, Nov. 18 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The purpose of the event is to celebrate the great impact of the women's vote on the recent elections and to raise money for Columbus House, a New Haven homeless shelter and advocacy group.
Norm Pattis, a civil liberties attorney, syndicated columnist and author of Juries and Justice and Linda Howard Urbach, author of Madame Bovary's Daughter and creator of MoMoirs: Writing Workshops For and About Mothers, will read.
Madame Bovary's Daughter is a rags-to-riches story of how a penniless orphan, the daughter of "the world's worst mother" could not just survive but prevail. It's a story of hope that can resonate even in these difficult times.
Event co-organizer and aspiring fiction writer Penelope Gristelfink will read from her short story, “The General,” which is live in the current issue of Eclectica Magazine, www.eclectica.org. After the reading, members of jam band Carbonated Insight will play.
With more women elected to Congress than ever before, and the presidency safe from regressive, right-wing attacks on hard-won rights, organizers Andrea Sangrey Aldrich and Gristelfink planned to merge celebration with good, old-fashioned fundraising. Donations of any amount will be accepted at the door and online. Columbus House is a homeless shelter that specializes in treatment services and therapeutic programs to help adults break the cycle of homelessness. Their staff of 85 people includes substance abuse counselors and social workers who coordinate long-term care, mental health treatment programs and find housing for New Haven's homeless population. Last year, Columbus House also served 100,000 meals to over 4,000 people.
“Occupy has always sought to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. We are doing this to use our gifts to give back at a time when the political will of women, particularly working class women, and grassroots community organizers are making a big difference in American life,” Gristelfink said. “To give back to a vulnerable population, to support a shelter that has been at the forefront of addressing the root causes of homelessness, is not only a way to demonstrate the legitimacy Occupy has had from its inception, but a way to give thanks, a spiritual thing for me as well, to bloom locally.”
On Nov. 6, the women's vote tipped the country away from a very regressive approach to economic issues and birth control and reproductive rights. This historic election year also saw Occupiers mobilize around the victims of Hurricane Sandy in a very fast, effective way. Gristelfink said she recognizes that people may feel stretched too thin given the massive impact of recent storms on our state's infrastructure, but that's why donations of any amount will be accepted for this hyperlocal cause.
“My short story is about the dangers of ecological destruction, unbridled capitalist greed and the right-wing urge to privatize everything on vulnerable populations such as immigrants from Latin America, women and children who are caught up in a very real web of human trafficking,” Gristelfink said. “It is speculative, but it is also a dark Gestalt experiment based on my reading of true crime and geopolitical trends that are happening now.”
For more information contact:
Andrea Sangrey Aldrich