NACURH Winner
Month: February 2019

NACURH, INC.

Community Service Program of the Month
Vagina Monologues

School: UNC Greensboro Region: SAACURH
Person in charge: Kelli Thomas Nominator: Kelli Thomas

Target Population: 500 Time Needed to Organize: 5 months
Number of People in Attendance: 566 Date(s) of Program: February 8 & 9, 2019
Number of People Needed to Organize: 11 Cost of Program: $2,000
On-Campus Population: 5400 Chapter Size: 48

Origin of Program:

In February of 2006, The Vagina Monologues (TVM) was first hosted on the UNCG campus. For three years, the production was coordinated by the Women and Gender Studies office. Since 2008, TVM has been hosted at other institutions of higher education within Greensboro, and by individual community groups, but there has been no direct contribution from, or affiliation with, the UNCG campus. As UNCG has historically been a driving force in the education of women, it is surprising that TVM has not continued to be a yearly program on this campus. However, in discussions with Women and Gender Studies faculty, it was discovered that a general lack of “person-power” lead to the program being discontinued. However, there are several individuals interested in assisting with bring TVM back to UNCG. As the Office of Housing and Residence Life continues to develop partnerships with Academic Affairs, a unique opportunity to revive TVM was presented once again. It is our hope that UNCG will be able to make this production a yearly initiative. In April 2014, we were able to bring it back to UNCG. The 2019 show was the seventh consecutive year it has been produced on campus.

Word Count: 196


Please give a short description of the program:

The V-Day organization is a global activist movement that aims to end violence against women. One of the most easily recognized initiatives of the V-Day movement is the “Vagina Monologues." For nearly twenty years, various organizations have brought this production to their communities in an effort to raise awareness about the issues girls and women face. We found significant value in bringing it to our campus, the most diverse campus in the University of North Carolina system, both visually and non-visually. As our population continues to diversify, we believe in raising awareness for issues that directly impact the everyday lives of our students, and serving as voices for those who haven't found theirs quite yet. The Vagina Monologues has become synonymous with student involvement and service on many campuses nationwide. The production serves as a unique way for students, staff, and faculty to connect to their campus communities. In addition, as the proceeds raised through the V-Day campaign are donated to a local charity (Greensboro Clara House), the V-day campaign provides students and staff with a tangible manner through which to give back to their communities. The production consists of a number of monologues read by a varying number of women. Each of the monologues deals with an aspect of the feminine experience, touching on matters such as sex, love, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, the various common names for the vagina, or simply as a physical aspect of the body. A recurring theme throughout the piece is the vagina as a tool of female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality. The primary goal of “The Vagina Monologues” is to bring the dialogue on female sex, sexuality, and gendered expectations into a public space. To create the original show, Ensler conducted interviews with 200 women, who provided their perspectives on sex, relationships, and violence. The tones and topics of the monologues ranged widely: some were proud, some displayed impassioned anger, and others dealt with heartbreaking accounts of trauma. For a number of students involved in the production, “The Vagina Monologues” was their acting debut, but regardless of theatrical experience, the students were able to develop and enhance their performance skills and confidence by working privately with the producers and by practicing alongside women who were supportive and encouraging. An undeniable "sisterhood" was created amongst the cast, as we journeyed through this powerful production together.

Word Count: 399


Goals of the program:

1. Raise money for the V-Day Organization, whose goal is to eliminate violence against women (VDay.org). 2. Empowerment of women, and to inform women on issues that are taking place around the world. 3. Promote the goals of empathy towards others. 4. Start a campus dialogue about female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality. 5. Raise money for local charity - Greensboro Clara House, a shelter for battered women and children. 6. Provide platform for females to develop and enhance their performance skills, and increase confidence by working alongside other women in a supportive setting. 7. Strengthen campus partner relationships by co-producing with professionals outside Housing & Residence Life.

Word Count: 110


Positive and lasting effects of the program:

Based on feedback from cast, crew and audience members, this year's production was the most successful since its re-birth, raising more money than ever - $4,210.40 - all proceeds from tickets, t-shirts, baked goods, flowers, canvas paintings and buttons will go directly to the Clara House, which is a shelter that serves domestically and sexually abused women and children. We also collected more than 300 boxes/items of feminine hygiene items to donate. We reached an audience that included campus and community members, and even had family and friends travel in from out of state to see the production. Not only was cast participation stellar, it included faculty members, which has been a goal and desire of the producers for some time. Not only were we interested in bridging the student-faculty gap, we wanted to bring in women who have life experiences with issues such as child-birth, health relationships and sex. The faculty were inspirational, motivating and insightful to our cast; one elected to share some of her life experiences with the cast, which was heart- felt and beautiful. Her stories gave the cast and producers even more incentive to produce the best possible show.

Word Count: 195


Short evaluation of the program:

For the first time, we administered some formal assessment to gauge impact. A survey was given to all 28 cast members; we now know age range, UNCG affiliation, on-campus residency, whether or not they had previous acting experience and effectiveness of rehearsals. We asked what impact participating had on them; one cast member said, “I learned that I’m a lot more confident than I thought I was” (Bryce Artis). Another cast member said she got involved in order “to give someone else the feeling(s) the show gave me when I first saw it. I’ve never been more proud to be a woman” (Priscilla Jordan). Using card swipers, we were able to determine race, gender, majors and other demographic data of the audience. We will use this information in the future to ensure we are casting to reflect our audiences. This year's production could not have been better. Producers were impressed with the continual commitment of the cast. Rehearsals were organized, lines were memorized, staging was creative and fundraising was off-the-charts. Having eleven producers was certainly helpful, as logistics, ordering, organizing and directing a production of this magnitude is time consuming.

Word Count: 191


How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

VDay.org is a great place to start. It houses all the necessary information needed to put on a successful show. We recommend 3-4 producers to divide the work load, but once strong producers are identified, the show is not hard to produce. We also recommend recruiting students not only for the cast, but for committees, such as publicity, fundraising and photography.

Word Count: 61



Date of entry into database: 2019-03-04 16:46:06

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