As we inch through February into March and dream of Spring, I find myself getting more and more restless and seeking more and more ways to get out of the house. Thankfully, I have discovered the Rochester Civic Theatre, which has a jam-packed schedule of great events to get me through my cabin fever!
2016 has proven to be a great year for the Women on Wednesdays forums with a full house of attendees at both the January and February sessions. January’s discussion of race inequality, and the sharing of experiences related to what it is like to grow up as a person of color in Rochester, proved to be a very emotional and energizing discussion for all in attendance. That passion and enthusiasm spilled over into last week’s discussion on incarcerated females and the impact this has on our community.
I attended both of these forums with expectations and preconceived notions on what was going to be said and discussed, and again, my expectations were shattered. I had no idea of the “bubble” I have lived in as a citizen of this city. These forums have made me more aware of my words and my actions, and how in my comfortable “bubble” of educated, white, middle to upper middle class friends, such words and behaviors are accepted and understood. But, to a person who is not in my comfort bubble, those same words and actions might make me appear racist, privileged, uncompromising, unwilling to learn and listen--basically, a real jerk. I have been blinded by my naivety and unwillingness to look into some of these bigger issues and have taken the easy way out by forming opinions based on what I see on the surface. While I don’t always agree with all of the opinions, theories, and politics of the forum speakers and audience members at Women on Wednesdays, their insight has forced me to think more about why I feel the way that I do about certain topics, and in many cases, has broadened my horizons and made me more open and receptive to others and their views. Isn’t this something we could all benefit from?
If you haven’t had a chance to attend a Women on Wednesdays forum, please consider doing so, as there are several more this season. As a community, we could all use a little enlightenment and inspiration. You will learn more and have more to contribute to the discussion than you could have even imagined. I am really looking forward to March’s double Women on Wednesday sessions (on March 9 and 13) the will be held in partnership with the Sisters of Saint Francis at Assisi Heights.
As a young girl looking out my bedroom window at the “castle” that was Assisi Heights, I often wondered about what happened behind those walls and dreamed of being a princess within them. As I grew up in this community and discovered the castle was not exactly what I imagined it to be, and that my lifestyle would keep me from living within its walls, the mystery of what occurs at Assisi Heights has not faded. Finally, I will have my opportunity to learn more and even see the inside of the building that I have wondered about for so many years on March 13th! If you grew up here (or even if you didn’t), you must be at least a little curious as to the history of the Sisterhood at Assisi Heights, and also what it means to be a Sister in our community today. Please check out the Women on Wednesdays section of the Rochester Civic Theatre's website for more information about these exciting events.
In addition to the exciting Women on Wednesdays forums upcoming this season, there is a plethora of other events happening at the Rochester Civic Theater to keep you entertained and busy. If music is more your thing, there are great Americana Showcase performances coming up, including The Chastity Brown Band. Also this month, you can attend a Jazz Jam or the Song of Wonder performance. (You can’t tell me you aren’t at least a little interested in what that is!) If theater is more of your thing, check out Mary Poppins (which opens in April), or check out one of the many upcoming Main Stage performances upcoming this year.
There are so many opportunities if you just look around! While it is great to find comfort and joy in the types of art you love, please consider attending an event that might be out of your typical spectrum. I am confident you will be as inspired as I have found myself over the past few months. And inspiration is such a wonderful feeling that it can get you through even the harshest of winter nights.