We are excited to be able to keep helping these women and their families navigate a path to permanent residence and safety in the US; services that we will continue to be able to strengthen with the help of this much needed grant from WAM.Berkshire Immigrant Center
New Illuminations was hugely boosted by WAM’S donation. As a beneficiary, I was able to pay 15 women artists a stipend to participate in the art and writing workshop for four full days, provide all the art supplies and lunch for each of them. Along with this, I also paid an Armenian woman photographer to document the whole workshop. Following the WAM model of feminine leadership, inclusive, collaborative, and uplifting, New Illuminations continues to touch women’s lives. I am filled with gratitude.Suzi Banks Baum
WAM Theatre donated $5,500 to the Berkshire Immigrant Center and $3,500 Suzi Banks Baum. making a grand total of $9,000 which was from 25% of WAM’s box office proceeds of The Bakelite Masterpiece WAM/BTG co-production.
Suzi Banks Baum will use her donation to pay women artists in Armenia a stipend for their work as visual artists. The arts are not an accepted field of work for women in Armenia, where they are culturally limited in how they can support themselves and their families. The Berkshire Immigrant Center will use their funds to help women from abused households navigate a path to citizenship in the United States.
About Berkshire Immigrant Center
The mission of the Berkshire Immigrant Center (BIC) is to welcome new immigrants and refugees and to provide them with the tools and services needed to integrate into the fabric of their new community. BIC serves 800 immigrants and their families each year.
Each year hundreds of thousands of immigrants seek assistance with humanitarian based immigration law. These are mostly women and children and they may be recently arrived or have lived here for a number of all years- what they all have in common is that they are seeking refuge and protection from violence they have experienced abroad or even here in the US at the hands of an abuser. Unfortunately BIC is not funded to assist these clients; they are often among the most vulnerable and regardless of whether an attorney is involved or not- often require the most help and are unable to compensate the Center for our services. The US- and the BIC- has seen a larger number of these heart-breaking cases than ever with the influx of mothers and children fleeing harm and even execution from Central America- the murder capital of the world.
About Suzi Banks Baum
Suzi Banks Baum is a writer, artist, actor, teacher, and community organizer. She is editor and publisher of An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice. She lives in Great Barrington and produces Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others for the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers.
In March of 2016, Suzi visited Gyumri, Armenia interviewing women artists through affiliation with National Geographic photographer, John Stanmeyer and 4Plus, an Armenian organization of female documentary photographers.
Suzi learned during her visit that the cultural expectations of women form a restrictive structure out of which they struggle to carve lives that include art making. Giving these women voice, telling their stories and empowering them to begin to tell theirs is essential to raising the value of Armenian women’s lives. Suzi’s project is blossoming into a residency in Gyumri in October 2016 to continue interviewing women, and leading a multi-disciplinary workshop to gather stories and teach the artists the ancient practice of book building. WAM’s donation helps make this trip and compensation for the female artists possible. http://www.suzibanksbaum.com/
This morning hundreds of thousands of children woke up and did not have the opportunity to go to school. Thanks to WAM’s Donation, in 2016, Nisha, Nirmala, Bimala, Manisha and a new student will be picking up their book bags and walking the dirt streets of Kathmandu to school each morning. Thank you WAM for your generosity!Caroline Wheeler
The mothers of our Hands In Outreach sponsored girls are poor, illiterate women who work at low wage menial labor jobs, often doing back-breaking labor for 10/12 hours a day and grateful to have the work to feed their children. The generous contribution of over $3000 from WAM helped to feed more than 50 families for a month. This life-affirming gesture of kindness and love allows the entire Berkshire community to shine with hope.Ricky Bernstein
WAM Theatre’s donation of $5,560 (25% of the box office proceeds of Holy Laughter) went to Hands In Outreach (HIO) and Sisters For Peace (SFO). This donation will allow HIO to make a direct deposit of at least $20 to the 125 families that HIO supports which can buy food for a family of four for a month. SFO currently sponsors four HIO girls to attend school and through WAM’s donation, in 2016, will be able to sponsor five girls to stay in school for the entire year.
About Hands In Outreach
About Sisters For Peace
25% of box office proceeds from the production of In Darfur, which amounted to $5,005, went to the 13 house mothers at the Mother of Peace Orphanage in Illovo South Africa.
About Mother of Peace
Part of the box office proceeds from Emilie , in the amount of $3,400, was donated to the Rites of Passage and Empowerment Program, a skills based program for young women in Berkshire County. This donation fully funded the Northeast college tour taken by ROPE participants at the culmination of their program.
About Rites of Passage and Empowerment Program for Girl
From a portion of The Old Mezzo box office proceeds, WAM Theatre was able to make a $2400 donation to Shout Out Loud Productions.
About Shout Out Loud Productions
We have a dream to train 1,000 community midwives. Our Community Midwives training program saves the lives of women in villages. We are grateful that WAM Theatre has chosen Edna’s Hospital and our program as their beneficiary for the O Solo Mama Mia Festival. Their help will get us one step closer to achieving our dream.Edna Adan Ismail
2011 International Beneficiary
Following the O Sole A Mama Mia Festival, WAM Theatre donated $650 to the Edna Adan Hospital Foundation – enough to pay for the training of one community midwife, her bus fare, and outfit!
About Edna Adan Hospital Foundation
Edna Adan Hospital works to provide Somaliland women and children with skilled public health professionals, improvement of health care facilities, and the provision of needed equipment and supplies. Somaliland has amongt the worst rate of maternal mortality in the world. Edna Adan Hospital Foundation is dedicated to funding and advocating for initiatives that improves the status of health care and the quality of life for women in children in Somaliland and the surrounding regions. “We have a dream to train 1,000 community midwives”, says Edna Adan Ismail, founder and director of Edna’s Hospital, “Our Community Midwives training program saves the lives of women in villages. We are grateful that WAM Theatre has chosen Edna’s Hospital and our program as their beneficiary for the O Solo Mama Mia Festival. Their help will get us one step closer to achieving our dream.”
2011 Local Beneficiary
A portion of the box office proceeds from WAM Theatre’s production of The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls in the amount of $1,750 was donated to The Berkshire United Way Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative and since then, that project has grown to become the Face the Facts Coalition.
About The Berkshire United Way Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative
2010 International Beneficiary
WAM Theatre’s first global beneficiary, Women for Women International, received $1000 from a portion of the proceeds of A WAM Welcome.
About Women for Women International
2010 Local Beneficiary
A portion of the proceeds from Melancholy Play, $1500, was donated to WAM’s first local beneficiary, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts.
About Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts