Monday, January 4, 2010

Margie's blog - Arts Retreat, here we come!

This month, what I am most looking forward to at MH Boston is our first ever Arts Retreat on MLK weekend. From our past two membership retreats, and from Moishe House national gatherings, we have learned that there is nothing like getting a bunch of Jews together with some songs, a fire, and marshmallows to get a group connected.

Why an arts retreat?

This past year has seen an explosion of our arts programming, including workshops on poetry writing, photography, dance, quilting, and knitting, as well as movie nights and our generally artsy women's Rosh Chodesh (new moon) group. And, coming soon are group sing-alongs/music jams and a few different bands that have asked to play at our house. A lot of this growth is due to our fabulous arts team, run by MH Boston participants for participants, under the wise leadership of Riana Good, our volunteer team leader. It is also due to our partnership with the Workmen's Circle young adults group, with whom we are cosponsoring our skills-share series.

Now, our next steps are to develop leaders to support all this work, and to better integrate arts into all we do. The arts retreat is set to kick it up a notch on both these goals, bringing our key arts leaders to bond with each other and get excited about all we can do together. It will include a co-ed, arts oriented Rosh Chodesh/new month celebration in order to give people creative outlets to connect with their Judaism, and a session where we make an artistic banner for our affordable housing campaign, that we hope will help protect low-income tenants from losing their homes and help get media attention for this important issue.

All this, plus singing around the fire at the MA Peace Abbey - what could be better?! Well, that volunteer leaders are planning it, and I just have to support everyone. And take a cooking shift. Yay!

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