Former NYS Assemblyman Paul A. Tokasz
says: "The arts are central to the enrichment of
our lives. They contribute to our quality of life, they
influence our children, and they establish a cultural
foundation that helps us grow as a community. New York
State must encourage an atmosphere that celebrates and
promotes the arts. They are simply too important to
New York's economic vitality to take for granted."
NYS Cultural Interests Director
The dictionary definition for "culture" reads:
development of the intellect through training or education;
enlightenment resulting from such training or education.
Our mission statement is equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research.
In 2009-2010 Cultural Interests had a five-fold focus. Our mantra comes from the Association’s international connection with One Shared World. It is “Learn More /Connect More/ Do More.” Let us strive to make this more than just a good quote but take action and “walk the talk.” Our five-fold focus will be:The Big Read; The Arts; Women’s History/Issues; Mentoring and Philanthropy.
· THE BIG READ
This is an idea whose time has come and can take many different shapes and forms. Some branches have been involved in One Community/One Book or The Big Read- www.nea.gov.
1. First Book
Do you remember the magic of your first book? Help transform our nation with First Book (www.firstbook.org). Visit this wonderful website with lots of ways to bring literacy initiatives to your community.
2. 50 Books for 50 Years
The St Lawrence County Branch has chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Educational Foundation by producing a list of "50 books for 50 years". A great list to use for choosing books for one of the special children (especially girls) in your life. New for 2010 - an updated list!
3. From Stones to Schools by Greg Mortenson
In this dramatic first-person narrative, Greg Mortenson picks up where Three Cups of Tea left off in 2003, recounting his relentless, ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan; his extensive work in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan after a massive earthquake hit the region in 2005; and the unique ways he has built relationships with Islamic clerics, militia commanders, and tribal leaders even as he was dodging shootouts with feuding Afghan warlords and surviving an eight-day armed abduction by the Taliban. He shares for the first time his broader vision to promote peace through education and literacy, as well as touching on military matters, Islam, and women-all woven together with the many rich personal stories of the people who have been involved in this remarkable two-decade humanitarian effort.
· THE ARTS
1. Half the Sky - A Powerful One Night Event - Mission Based Movie
Join us to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 4, 2010. Check local listing for Half the Sky in your area.
Half the Sky has been described as essential reading for every global citizen. Prepare to become inspired to be a world advocate for women. Half the Sky details the lives of extraordinary women who have triumphed over crushing circumstances to embrace their potential and help other women in their communities. According to a Chinese tale, women hold up half the sky and in countries where women do not have access to education, health care and food, half of the talent is squandered. “Women and girls aren’t the problem,” according to Kristoff, “They are the solution.”
2. Choosing Civility – Take whatever comes your way to master the art of living!
The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P. M. Forni, Cofounder of the Johns Hopkins Civility Project (http://krieger.jhu.edu/civility)
“Rules of civility have been around in one form or another for a very long time. They appear in the texts of all religions, from Judaism and Christianity to Confucianism, from Islam to Hinduism. They can be found in Renaissance tracts on the ideal gentleman and gentlewoman, in Victoria books of manners, and in the works of philosophers from Plato to Kant. Today’s self-help manuals on social skills try to keep these rules alive, as do pamphlets by civil society supporters of all stripes.”
1. Pay Attention
2. Acknowledge Others
3. Think the Best
5. Be Inclusive
6. Speak Kindly
7. Don’t Speak Ill
8. Accept & Give Praise
9. Respect Even a Subtle ‘No’
10. Respect Others’ Opinions
11. Mind Your Body
12. Be Agreeable
13. Keep it Down and Rediscover Silence
14. Respect Other People’s Time
15. Respect Other People’s Space
16. Apologize Earnestly
17. Assert Yourself
18. Avoid Personal Questions
19. Care for Your Guests
20. Be a Considerate Guest
21. Think Twice Before Asking for Favors
22. Refrain from Idle Complaints
23. Accept & Give Constructive Criticism
24. Respect the Environment & Be Gentle to Animals
25. Don’t Shift Responsibility& Blame
WE HAVE A CHOICE ABOUT HOW WE BEHAVE, AND THAT MEANS WE HAVE THE CHOICE TO OPT FOR CIVILITY AND GRACE. – Dwight Currie
"I have tried to condense that vast body of work and its wisdom into 25 essential rules. Although the rules of civility you will find here have withstood the test of time. I have reconfigured and rewritten them with the needs of our time in mind, drawing on my personal experience. Following them may not feel like a shortcut to a good life. If anything, these rules may feel like a “longcut,” since civility requires work and dedication. But they do offer a path to serenity and contentment.” P. M. Forni (p. 31-32)
· WOMEN’S STUDIES/ISSUES
1. The Party Continues - Happy Birthday, Eleanor Roosevelt
At the NYS AAUW Convention 2010, we will be honoring branches for celebrating the 125th birthday of Eleanor Roosevelt. Join us on this wonderful occasion as we learn more about “the first lady of the world” and explore her life and legacy. Be there to learn how branches from all corners of NYS honored this woman who was ahead of her time.
As we face the challenges of 2010, we can find encouragement thinking “what would Eleanor do?” Visit www.ervk.org for more information regarding the life of this extraordinary woman.
2. GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER
Plan a potluck supper with a twist. Dress up as your all time favorite female hero. Stay in character as you converse with friends. Plan a one minute intro and describe your contribution to “womankind.” Make it intergenerational. Invite a Girl Scout Troop to join in the fun or your daughter/granddaughter.
3. “The Road from Seneca Falls” is sometimes dusty, sometimes flooded and many times jammed with traffic. It’s the well-worn road of women’s history, their journeys from the 17th century onward chronicled on a new Web resource for teachers and students. This website, a welcome rest stop on the information highway, contains links to 2000 sites on women’s history. (http://www.roadsfromsenecafallsk-12.org/.)
4. WOMEN’S HISTORY - AAUW BREAKING THROUGH BARRIERS
For 50 years, the AAUW Educational Foundation has been breaking through barriers for women and girls.
- AAUW Advocates for Women’s Career, Financial and Life Choices
- AAUW Champions Equitable Compensation and Treatment
- AAUW Promotes Challenging Careers as a Means to Improved Quality of Life
- AAUW Supports Accessible Affordable, High-Quality Education for All Women and Girls
- AAUW Fosters Networks That Help Women Succeed
- AAUW Develops and Motivates Leaders
January is National Mentoring Month - 10 THINGS TO DO:
1. Become a mentor in your community.
2. Learn more about mentoring.
3. Partner with a mentoring organization.
4. Tell 5 friends about National Mentoring Month.
5. Think about the mentors in your life and post a tribute to them online.
6. Watch videos of celebrities such as Quincy Jones, Sting, Cal Ripken, Jr., talk about the mentors in their lives.
7. Read the latest research and find resources on mentoring.
8. Go to YouTube on Thank Your Mentor Day™ (January 22nd) and make the National Mentoring Month videos the most popular of the day!
9. Serve your community on MLK Day of Service by deciding to become a mentor.
10. Make a donation to a mentoring organization in your community.
·FOCUS ON PHILANTHROPY
Philanthropy is all about making a positive difference in the world by devoting your resources and your time to causes you believe in. In my case, I like to support causes where "a lot of good comes from a little bit of good," or, in other words, where the positive social returns vastly exceed the amount of time and money invested. (Jeff Skoll – President of E-bay) Though AAUW, we have many causes where “a lot of good comes from a little bit of good.” Now is the time to think about your favorite causes and learn more, connect more and do more. Ask NOT what AAUW can do for you. Ask what you can do for AAUW!
1. AAUW has a long and distinguished history of advancing educational and professional opportunities for women in the United States and around the globe. One of the world's largest sources of funding for graduate women, AAUW is providing more than $3 million in funding for more than 200 fellowships and grants to outstanding women and nonprofit organizations in the 2009-10 academic year. Due to the longstanding, generous contributions of AAUW members, a broader community of women continues to gain access to educational and economic opportunities — breaking through barriers so that all women have a fair chance.
2. Why Google when you can Goodsearch?
Goodsearch (www.goodsearch.com) - Use GoodSearch.com like any other search engine, but each time you do, money is generated for your favorite cause. Register your 501c3 branch and collect money for your branch or pet project.