We will feature a dance party Sat. night after the last presentation, with DJ Amy Enochs. There is also a silent auction and raffle all day with donations from Superfresh Organic Cafe, Cai’s Dim Sum Teahouse, Twice Upon a Time, Breath of the Heart, and more. If you would like to donate to the silent auction contact firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Gathering in Gratitude’ Returns to Brattleboro
Audiences Participate and Learn in Theatrical Offering Based on
Iroquois Practice Honoring Nature
The 11th annual Gathering in Gratitude (GIG) returns to Brattleboro for two theatrical happenings with live music, storytelling, dance and a focus on audience participation
SATURDAY AUGUST 12, 2017
AT 2pm &
at 118 Elliot, 118 Elliot Street in Downtown Brattleboro, Vermont.
A suggested donation of $10 or as able will benefit Groundworks Collaborative and the Mahalo Art Center. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
The happenings mark the culmination of an intensive GIG workshop at Mahalo Art Center in West Brattleboro where participants delve into a dynamic, creative, process which blends expressive arts with the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Thanksgiving Address, a practice that honors and gives thanks for all of nature. Multi-generational and international workshop members engage their imaginations, feelings and will power to co-create a heart-centered poetic presentation of story, music, dance and visual arts to share with local audiences.
Some room is still available for the workshop which starts on Thursday August 10 at 8:30 and goes through the Saturday events, closing on Sunday morning. Actors, artists, musicians, writers or anyone who simply feels drawn to come can apply. The workshop is $300 but full scholarships are available thanks to generous grants from the Blessing Foundation and an anonymous donor.
“Gratitude has changed with the times,” Luz Elena Morey, drama therapist with the North American Drama Therapy Association, developer of GIG and Director of the Mahalo Art Center said. “Giving thanks has taken on more power in our everyday lives. It goes way beyond the Thanksgiving table. From the Iroquois perspective, human beings have one fundamental job and that is to give thanks for all of the natural world. This happens throughout the year and serves to unite and heal people. Workshop participants explore nature through the expressive arts and from the perspective of gratitude, drawing largely on their own imaginations and working collaboratively to produce an experience to share with the extended community. Audiences leave feeling refreshed, affirmed, inspired and touched deeply.”
In 2007, the first GIG was presented at the Hooker Dunham Theater and subsequent presentations have occurred at The Stone Church, the Vermont Jazz Center, Mahalo Art Center, and last year at the Gathering of Eagles and at the Wounded Knee District School in South Dakota. In 2015 a group of Lakota teens participated in response to an ongoing teen suicide epidemic on the Pine Ridge and other native reservations and have formed enduring friendships with many in the Brattleboro community.
Sometimes workshops’ culminating presentations assume the form of a modern myth: a visionary healing balm shedding light on a powerful possibility for the future, like when a tribe of mushrooms sacrificed their lives to neutralize toxic waste. Last year, at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, participants used personal dreams channelled in the weeklong workshop to tell the story of how a white eagle and a rainbow leader helped one child save another from being killed by a bully on the playground. Morey says she uses GIG techniques in her one on one therapy practice but that the group dynamic and audience sharing makes these happenings empowering for the whole community.
For more information or to apply to participate in the 2017 GIG weeklong workshop, please visit: www.mahaloartcenter.org. The film, “The Source”, outlining the process, can also be seen on the website.
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Mahalo Art Center
Contact: Luz Elena Morey (802) 451-9495