Two Clatsop County programs dedicated to preventing the abuse of women are teaming up in a way they never have before.

Proceeds from the second annual spring production of Eve Ensler’s play “The Vagina Monologues,” produced by Clatsop Community College’s Women’s Studies program, has netted the county’s Women’s Resource Center $1,500.

The donation isn’t huge, but it’s another step in creating a long-lasting partnership between the two programs, said Mindy Stokes, a Women’s Studies instructor and coordinator for the play. Despite having shared interests, the Women’s Resource Center and the college’s Women’s Studies program have never made a coordinated effort to intertwine services or provide volunteers.

“I hope they build a bigger partnership where my students can help the Women’s Resource Center in a greater capacity,” Stokes said.

Although the programs had allied with each other in the past, 2012 has been the first year in which they’ve partnered with more intention, said Kathryn Burr, a community programs manager at the Women’s Resource Center.

Another major event sponsored by the two organizations was the Clothesline Project earlier in the spring. That project allowed women to artistically represent what abuse means for them by painting their expressions on T-shirts. The shirts were exhibited at the Bob Chisholm Community Center in Seaside and at the college.

“The Vagina Monologues” is made up of a varying number of monologues that all somehow relate to the vagina. Some monologues are funny, while others are dark and cover topics such as rape.

Ninety percent of the money generated by the production is supposed to go back to the community, while the V-Day global nonprofit, which owns the rights to the play, receives 10 percent.

The partnership and donation come at an important time for the Women’s Resource Center, Burr said. She sees that money is tight, so every dollar and volunteer is important.

Burr worries that the center will lose some of its grant or pass-through dollars next year. Donation money fills funding gaps and has no restrictions on how it’s used, she said.

The idea to bring The Vagina Monologues to Clatsop County began in 2008, when student government officials at the college asked Stokes to do an event for March, which is Women’s History Month.

She put on a show featuring poetry, dancers and music. After a couple of years of that production, Stokes went to the website for the V-Day organization. She learned she could obtain the rights to “The Vagina Monologues” for free, so she decided to make it her annual Women’s History Month event.

Burr had been a fan of the production since she originally saw it on HBO when it first aired in the late 1990s. That first viewing was an emotional and funny experience, she said. She jumped at the opportunity to be in the play.

She performed an improvised monologue about the different names given to the vagina.

“It’s a very provocative monologue,” Burr said, chuckling.

While performing, Burr also met Audrey Bige, one of Stokes’ students, who also performed in “The Vagina Monologues.” Now she’s a volunteer with the Women’s Resource Center.

Bige had a great time working on “The Vagina Monologues,” she said. “For me, it was meeting different people in the community who were there to support the cause.”

Now she’s working to broaden her experience by working with victims of domestic abuse by volunteering at the Women’s Resource Center. She plans to assist with abuse calls and other activities.

She said the volunteer work will help her transition into her desired career as a sexual assault nurse examiner.

“This work at the Women’s Resource Center will be immensely important for her,” Burr said. It’s another example of the partnerships the Women’s Resource Center and the Women’s Studies program are opening up for each other.

Stokes said she hopes more volunteer opportunities open up for her students.


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