The Success of HerStories Fest

A tell-tale sign of success at a grassroots event is when communities show support. This dynamic made HerStories Fest shine: bringing together people from the greater Lansing area and college campuses, as well multiple generations and genders. And in contrast to The HerStories Project’s 2010 jar-on-the-table fundraiser, in 2011 we raised $1,766.18! This gift to the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing comes at a time of great need, as it strives to raise $10,000 by the end of March. So, a gigantic thanks to everyone who made HerStories Fest shine! Please enjoy the event’s photo gallery on Flickr. Also, to honor the heart put into the endeavor, here’s a portrait of the evening…

A hearty crowd gathered at Everybody Reads Bookstore on March 18, 2011, to celebrate stories about women during Women’s History Month and benefit the WCGL. Guests enjoyed complimentary refreshments from Al-Quds Halal Market, Biggby’s Coffee, and Edible Arrangements before the ensemble performance Word Art. The standing-room-only audience accepted gifts of poetry, prose, and spoken word. Stories about the individual and community impact of the Women’s Center threaded between laughter, tears, and applause. Poet Silvana Alfaro – editor and contributor of Lansing Community College’s 2010 Washington Square Review – proudly stated that she is here today thanks to the life-saving and sustaining services of the WCGL. Additional Word Art contributors included

Nancy Allen (Washington Square Review 2010), Sandra Cade (Intercultural Communications) with guitarist Neil Byrne, “Midnight” Rose Cooper (MSU Slam Poetry Team), Laurie Hollinger (Center for Poetry), Melanie Morrison (Allies for Change) Tamera Nielsen (inView LLC), and myself.

The Benefit Concert with Buffet continued next door at Gone Wired Cafe. Emcee Lisa Sarno, drummer of Sometimes Y and Women’s Center intern, told captivating stories and introduced inspired musicians. Mighty Medicine, comprised of vocalist DeShaun Sparkle Snead and guitarist Larry Neuhardt, lifted hearts and raised dancing feet. Opera singer Marco Guzmán, accompanied by pianist Judy Kabadion, transported guests with Spanish-sung boleros and arias. Chef Cecilia “Chica” Garcia prepared a lavishing buffet of vegan and vegetarian dishes, thanks to generous donations from the East Lansing Food Co-op and Foods for Living. Also contributing to refreshments were locally-owned Bake N’ Cakes and Paramount Coffee.

The Silent Auction, organized by Sandra Cade and Jill Fisher (Prospect Place), tantalized guests with quality goods and services. And what great variety! From a personal laminator (OFOS) to a gift certificate for massage (Body Transformation Massage/ Jessi De La Cruz), and original artwork by Jill Campbell, Roxanne Frith, Yvonne LeFave, and Erika Magers. Local businesses enthusiastically donated, especially along East Michigan Avenue where the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing resides. Auction donors also included:

Avon Representative Leslie Darling, Bancroft Flowers, The Bead Boutique, Bill & Charlie’s Auto Repair, Bake N’ Cakes, Blue Sky Spirit, Capital City Collectibles, Chamomile & Comfrey, Edible Arrangements, Emil’s Italian Restaurant, Foods for Living, Intercultural Communications, inView LLC, Mid-Michigan Neurofeedback, Paramount Coffee, Rae’s Barn Boutique, Saper Galleries , Shamrock Clean, Shangri La, and Triple Goddess Bookstore.

HerStories Fest would not have been possible without many helping hands. Volunteers set-up, oversaw the auction and buffet, as well as restored venues to order. A special thanks to behind-the-scenes people: Colleen Cook (Shamrock Clean), Colleen Davis (Gone Wired), Scott Harris (Everybody Reads), Laurie Hollinger, Justin Lippi, Tamera Nielsen, Nic Piechotte (WCGL), Heather Spotts (WCGL), and Raquel Tabet. Also, thanks to radio programs Exposure at Michigan State University (IMPACT 89FM) and Coffee Break at Lansing Community College (WLNZ 89.7FM) for interviews that promoted the event.

One Response to “The Success of HerStories Fest”

  1. Congrats on a job well done!

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