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posted Aug 31, 2016, 11:39 AM by Jv Hampton-VanSant   [ updated Oct 3, 2016, 8:33 AM ]

For immediate release:
Please contact:
Gwendolyn VanSant
or adminsupport@multiculturalbridge.org
to arrange for further dialogue.

(Lenox, MA) On October 9th in Lenox, MA, Multicultural BRIDGE Advisory Council Members, retired Reverend Natalie Shiras and Samuel VanSant, have collaborated for an October Benefit Concert at the Berkshire Cottage, Ethelwynde, in Lenox, MA. Both Natalie and Samuel, husband of founding director, Gwendolyn VanSant, have worked since BRIDGE's inception in spreading the mission of Multicultural BRIDGE in their social, professional and extended family networks. Rev. Shiras sponsors this invitational "swan song" as her farewell to Berkshire friends and Multicultural BRIDGE as she and her new husband, Rich Lumma, settle in to their retirement community in Claremont, CA.

This benefit concert for Multicultural BRIDGE is to honor Natalie's contributions and to invite those interested in supporting Multicultural BRIDGE as a sustainable organization delivering its powerful catalytic mission, more specifically to continue Natalie's devotion in development service for Multicultural BRIDGE and her social justice dedication to pursuing reparations and racial justice efforts within Berkshire faith communities. Natalie's dear friend and Harvard University college roommate, Dr. YeouCheng Ma, have offered this unique concert for our Berkshire friends with accompanist Elinor Abrams Zayas.

Location: Ethelwynde, Lenox, MA
Time: Sunday, October 9th, 3:00 PM
Tickets & RSVP: The ticket price for this benefit (for limited space at Ethelwynde) is $100. 
Please let Multicultural BRIDGE know at sjia@multiuclturalbridge.org asap if you are interested in attending. RSVPS are required and confirmations will be sent in late September.

*Please note if this event becomes fully booked. BRIDGE will also be honoring Rev. Natalie Shiras, among other nominees, with the inaugural Peggy McIntosh award for Racial Justice on November 17th.*

Dr. YeouCheng Ma is a Developmental Pediatrician and a musician. A graduate of Radcliffe College and Harvard Medical School, she works with children with developmental disorders in the Bronx , performs as a chamber musician, and teaches violin, viola, and chamber music with The Children's Orchestra Society. Her recent interests include optimizing communication in all children, exploring the relationship of music to young children's temperament, and using music as a means to find the "inner language" of children who have difficulties in verbal communication. Her work as Executive Director of the Children's Orchestra Society has been recognized by multiple awards. She studied violin with Dr. H. T. Ma, Firmin Touche, Arthur Grumiaux, Koji Toyoda and Sheila Reinhold, piano with Germaine Mounier and Rose Simon, and chamber music with Leon Kirchner, gave her first recital on violin and piano at age 7, was the winner of French National Competition, Royaume de la Musique at age 10, played Mendelssohn Violin Concerto at age 11 with the Denver Symphony Orchestra, and more recently performs in chamber music groups with COS faculty and friends. Dr. Ma is the sister of world renowned cellist and composer, YoYo Ma.

Elinor Abrams Zayas is a pianist from Long Island, New York. She studied at the Juilliard School, and the Manhattan School of Music with Constance Keene and Robert Helps. Chamber Music coaching was with Artur Balsam. Her studies continued with Sophia Rosoff, also included studies with Valerie Capers, who introduced her to Jazz and Improvisation.
Ms. Zayas has performed as a soloist, specializing in the music of Spain and the Americas, and as a chamber musician with her trio Nepenthe, and with the duo Cross Island,, with cellist Suzanne Mueller. Performances with the clarinetist Tom Piercy have included works by Japanese composers.

About Multicultural BRIDGE
Multicultural BRIDGE is a small grassroots organization known for spreading our mission of striving for social and racial justice in a holistic, positive systems approach. BRIDGE works with children in schools along with their faculty and parents and training corporate, nonprofit and municipal employees. In bridging the voices of unheard and underrepresented communities and their issues to the organizations, policymakers and fellow residents of our greater communities in order to build a unified thriving community, BRIDGE has excelled at catalyzing change and healing communities one person at a time while also fortifying organizations one cultural competence skill at a time. Often BRIDGE is utilized across the Commonwealth and outside within our neighboring states and is recognized in the criminal justice textbook, Understanding Hate Crimes by Dr. Petrosino, and by other researchers in social issues, positive psychology and racial justice.

The Multicultural BRIDGE Social Justice In Action (SJIA) Campaign is a program where members of our community host an event within their community to spread BRIDGE's mission to spark an engaged conversation and also to develop a network of community engagement. VanSant reminds us that this is a time of change in our national and local community and the bridge-building lies with the responsibility of each member of our community. VanSant, "We are catalysts for change and integration at Multicultural BRIDGE and we live our mission daily of promoting mutual respect and understanding through dialogue, fellowship and advocacy. I look forward to our year of SJIAs."