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  • Women’s History Month starts with imagination

    Talk about lighting up a room! Stephanie Paine enjoys an exhibit at the Durango Discovery Museum after a Pub Science lecture by Dr. Michelle Hemingway that kicked off Women’s History Month. Enlarge photo

    STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald

    Talk about lighting up a room! Stephanie Paine enjoys an exhibit at the Durango Discovery Museum after a Pub Science lecture by Dr. Michelle Hemingway that kicked off Women’s History Month.

    There’s nothing a group of committed women can’t accomplish when they put their minds to it, and the activities planned for Women’s History Month are proof positive.

    On Friday, the month started with an eclectic audience and a different kind of experience. In a collaboration with the Durango Discovery Museum’s Pub Science, the Women’s Resource Center presented Dr. Michelle Hemingway in “Are Men Really from Mars and Women from Venus?”

    Bringing her skills as a medical doctor along with degrees in psychology and biology and a clear interest in Buddhism, she took the 50 or so people who attended Friday night through a visualization of our origins as star dust through the evolution of the ways the genders developed differently, both physically and culturally. In the end, despite all our differences, though, she took us right back to where we started as stardust, proving our connections as human beings and our ties to all matter in the universe leave all of us on common ground.

    It’s impossible to recreate Hemingway’s hypnotic style in a paragraph – and I swear I’m not one of those people who cares only about the destination and not the journey – but you get the picture.

    At 7 p.m. Monday in the Vallecito Room at Fort Lewis College, activities will continue with a panel called “EcoFem Lenses” discussing activism on both the environmental and feminist fronts and the correlation between how both movements have been treated as they struggle to create change.

    From Monday through March 19, “A Light to Remember” invites community and campus members to honor women who matter to them to decorate a veladora, or votive candle, with a drawing or photo of the women. Nancy Stoffer, coordinator of Diversity Programming, is handling that event, so call her at 247-7170 or email stoffer_n@fortlewis.edu to learn more. The candles will be exhibited in the Exhibit Gallery in the Art Building.

    At Friday’s event, Marcy Jung, department chairwoman of Gender and Women’s Studies, told me there will also be a small exhibit in the Exit Gallery honoring the 50 or so women who have helped the college become the fine institution it is today. It took some serious research on her part to identify them.

    On March 14, Wonder Woman is coming to town! The resource center and college will sponsor a screening of “Wonder Women: The Untold Story of American Superheroines” at 6 p.m. in the Ballroom at the Student Union Building. The film’s producer and co-editor Kelcey Edwards will be at the screening and giving the keynote address at the Extraordinary Woman Luncheon the next day.

    It will probably be worth going just to see all the attendees dressing in their favorite superheroine outfits, but my understanding is that men and women alike will enjoy the behind-the-scenes looks at the heroines in film, television and comic books as well as what those characters have meant to girls and women over the decades. And to top it all off, it’s free.

    The luncheon is also incredibly special because Enid Brodsky has been selected to receive this year’s Extraordinary Woman Award, and boy is she deserving. She has been one of the most consistently active women in helping other women reach their potential of anyone I know.

    I’ll tell you more about her after the luncheon, but in the meantime, if you want to attend, you’d better get your $15 ticket by calling the Women’s Resource Center at 247-1242 or online at www.wrcdurango.org.

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    I would be remiss after telling readers about all the great Women’s History Month events without mentioning the Discovery Museum’s big spring fundraiser, Steampunk Stomp II. It will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. March 16 at the museum. Tickets are $33, and after last year, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. They describe it as “a tear through the space-time continuum to reveal 1892 and 2092 concurrently,” but I like the description of the future the way Victorians such as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells would have envisioned it.

    In any case, last year the outfits were fantastic, the food (suitable for time travelers) was delicious, and how can one say no to a Tesla tonic? Guests are encouraged to bring extra shillings (we’re talking Victorian, here), to patronize an iris reader, graphology and handwriting seer, the hookah parlour sponsored by the Durango Smoke Shop, a portraiture studio, a jewelry trunk show sponsored by Beads and Beyond and a consultation of “The Cards.” (Tarot, maybe?)

    Join me to check out that and the many other sights and sounds that are sure to amaze. Tickets are available at www.durangodiscovery.org.

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    Something fishy is going on for these Pisces birthday celebrants – Jeani Poe, Kirk Dignum, Rhonda Messier, Dora Edgerton, Dee Stites, Catherine Jones, Kim Hobby, Keith Messier, Marty Schank, Teresa Jordan (best cardmaker in Durango), Nancy Macho and Michael Pratt.

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    With the weather warming up, thoughts of summer are skittering through my mind. So it’s a good time to send out a call for artists interested in participating in the Durango Friends of the Arts Artists Market, which will be held June 22 in a new location – Santa Rita Park, which has lots of parking and should guarantee plenty of traffic.

    Members of DFA took great care of their artists last year (picture Nancy Macho serving chilled bottles of water on a tray), and the quality of the artists was superb as well. (And they had a tent with children’s activities so parents could shop.)

    Artists must sell only their original artwork, but can work in a wide variety of media. Because spots are going fast, it’s time to sign up by picking up an application at Karyn Gabaldon Fine Arts, 680 Main Ave., by visiting www.durangofriends.org or emailing joanntrimberger@hotmail.com. The deadline for submissions is May 24.

    Booths are free for DFA members and $35 for non-DFA members, but that $35 is the same amount as an individual membership, so there’s one easy decision to make. Artists are expected to contribute 25 percent of the day’s sales to the DFA Grant Fund.

    Speaking of the Grant Fund, DFA gave away a record-breaking $45,000 to some worthy recipients in early 2013.

    They are: Animas High School Digital Arts; the Poetry in Schools arm of the Cowboy Poetry Gathering; Durango Arts Center’s Docent Program, Creativity Festivity, After School Art Program and Friends of the Art Library; the DAC’s theater project “Independence” and the Devised Theatre After-School Program; the Dumpster Beautification Project; Durango Choral Society and the Durango Children’s Chorale; Durango Performing Arts Co. for its children’s fall musical, school outreach performances, Summer Theater Academy Mentor Program, Summer Performing Arts Camp and the production of “The Little Mermaid”; Merely Players/Found Space Theatre; Music in the Mountains Goes to School; San Juan Symphony’s Youth Outreach and Education Program; Jeff Solon’s Live Music in the Schoolhouse; and the Stillwater Foundation’s youth scholarships and the Summer Happenings Festival.

    To see the effect of a Friends of the Arts grant right now, head to the production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” at the Fort Lewis College Theatre.

    DFA gave a grant to the Theatre Department’s Artist in Residence program to help it host Dennis Elkins, a professor of theater and the humanities at Milligan College, who is directing the production. It will open March 22.

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    neighbors@durangoherald.com

    “We were producing more electricity in 1910 than all of New York City,” said Danielle Ghear after giving a tour of the Durango Discovery Museum to some members of the Women’s Resource Center on Friday evening after a Pub Science lecture by Dr. Michelle Hemingway called “Are Men Really from Mars and Women from Venus?” Enlarge photo

    STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald

    “We were producing more electricity in 1910 than all of New York City,” said Danielle Ghear after giving a tour of the Durango Discovery Museum to some members of the Women’s Resource Center on Friday evening after a Pub Science lecture by Dr. Michelle Hemingway called “Are Men Really from Mars and Women from Venus?”