Night of the Living Moms

51 3Arts supporters
$4,005 raised of $4,000 goal
3ARTS MATCH SUPPORTED BY THE JOYCE FOUNDATION
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Lani Montreal's project was funded on September 30, 2016
    • 3Arts matched
    • 100% contributed

In a Nutshell

Night of the Living Moms is a garland of narratives told through poetry, dance, and performance about what it’s like to be a mother and an artist/academic/community activist. Not often do we hear about adoptive mothers, queer moms, foster moms, or mothers of color, who as artists and academics, are clearing the way for our daughters to see multiple possibilities for themselves.  As a mother myself, and a producer and writer of this project, my hope is to highlight the in-between stories that happen before and after the sweet selfies of cuddling mothers with their children. However, this production is not just for mothers, but for those who have found themselves with the responsibility of ensuring the well-being of another person, little or otherwise.


The Full Story...

I must admit that my motivation for embarking on this project is a bit selfish, because I see this as an opportunity to bring together an amazing group of women writers/artists/performers/activists, who are also parents, and with whom I am eager to collaborate on this exciting new work. These women include: performance artists Anida Yoeu Ali and Meida Teresa McNeil; dancer/choreographer Silvita Diaz; poet and Rape Victim Advocates director Sharmili Majmudar; spoken word artist Nikki Patin; blogger Roi Ann Phillips; and poet Keli Stewart.  I have watched in awe as these women basked under the glow of their own spotlights, publishing work, touring work across continents, winning awards, and evolving in their craft even as children are being born, graduating from kindergarten or from high school, or becoming artists themselves. Art, for these women, is not something that stops happening as life unfolds. It is life itself. It is as integral to their lives as making school lunches and reading bedtime stories.

I believe it is vital for these stories to be told now and to develop new creative work that validates our experiences as mothers. On a personal level, I want my daughter to see the importance of forging her own identity amid society’s unrealistic expectations and finding support for whatever her career path may be. On a political level, I believe these stories will create a more nuanced archetype of the nurturing, self-sacrificing mother, as well as to challenge communities to find ways to support mothers who are creating art and discourse in provocative ways.

The funds raised through this campaign will cover fees for my contributing writers/collaborators and production costs. I have enlisted the support of another amazing feminist artist, Coya Paz, who is currently the Artistic Director for Free Street Theater, to help string these narratives together for a May 2017 production. 

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $10 - Gratitude via a “thank you” on social media.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $30 - Above plus acknowledgement in the printed program.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50 - Above plus a poster signed by the cast and crew.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100 - Above plus 2 tickets to the May 2017 performance.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250 - Above plus a literal shout-out at the performance.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500 - Above plus 4 tickets to the show and an invitation to the cast party!
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
Lani Montreal image
Lani T. Montreal is an educator, writer, performer, and community activist. Her writings have been published and produced in Canada, the U.S., the Philippines, and in cyberspace. Among her ...
  • Update 1: Deep Gratitude
    Posted on August 26, 2016

    Truly, deeply grateful to all those who have supported this project!!! Thank you for believing in me and for seeing the importance of this undertaking. It is a rare opportunity to bring all these talented women artists in one production. My hope is to see this collaboration grow beyond the production into a network or a support system for women undergoing similar struggles. In poet/activist Audre Lorde's words, "Without community, there is no liberation, only the most vulnerable and temporary armistice between an individual and her oppression..." 

    Please help spread the word... <3

    Update 2: Almost there!!!!
    Posted on September 01, 2016

    You've helped me get over the hump and I was able to receive the matching grant from 3Arts!!! We are almost there. To be honest, without the encouragement and support of friends and family, as well as 3Arts staff, I would have given up on this project. I was so excited at first and then, a week or so after 3Arts picked it for a matching grant, I doubted if I should pursue. Some of you might know this already, but six weeks ago I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. I was shocked and uncertain about what to do next. I am alright now; it was detected early and so I am getting the treatment I need, but the support and care of friends and family was what inspired me to stay positive! Cancer is an equal-opportunity ball-buster, but it is no longer the death sentence it used to be. Please be proactive and make sure you get yourselves tested. People have asked how they can support me through this journey of healing, and I've told them that they can support me by supporting this project!

    As cultural activists from marginalized groups, art is a way for us to create discourse, to build communities, and to help us make sense of the world we live in. It also gives us a sense of purpose and allows us to create meaning and identity for ourselves as society insists on defining who we are. For these reasons and more, I hope you will help me invite others to support "Night of the Living Moms"!!!

    Update 3: 81% Funded
    Posted on September 15, 2016

    Yayy! Thanks to your support, we are on our way to being 100% funded!!! We have less than 3 weeks to get there, so do please help spread the word. In the meantime, here's a little poem from an ex-foster now proud adoptive mom:

    Placement

    When a child comes to you, you are mistaken to think you have a choice.

    He has chosen you, the way kitty cats rub their noses against your face to leave a scent that says, "You are mine." The way your heart sinks at the sight of a beloved, or swoons over scents that remind you of holidays past: pine, roasted poultry, sugar baking in the oven, gunpowder, crispy paper bills. You are arrogant, even cruel, to think, "Yes, this one, and not that, pretty please with icing on top." No, this is not so. 

    A child comes and that is that.

    Your lives are linked from the moment he grabs your finger, walks with you with tentative steps to make known his presence, indelibly mark floors and ceilings with his being there, forever altering time, and space, and dinner plans.  You do not watch and wait to see if this works, like some Christmas present you immediately deemed "for re-gifting.” He does not come  with  a  gift receipt; no certificate of authenticity or two-year warranty; just a yellow carbon copy of a transfer form, a Husky garbage bag of clothes and sundry— a favorite action toy, shoes that are two sizes bigger, and yes, possibilities, and confusion, and night terrors.

    Update 4: Last 9 Days!!!
    Posted on September 21, 2016

     

    So so grateful to my community-- to family, friends, and co-workers who believe in me and in this project. Thank you!!! This is it! Artists in the margins can no longer rely on the city or state to provide funding for worthwhile creative endeavors. I've done my share of grantwriting in the past for different arts and community groups and for my own work; it's a lot of work for a measly amount, but with arts funding continually getting slashed, we need to find alternative ways to fund creative work that truly celebrates diversity and raises hard questions about what it means to be just and to be truly human.
    3Arts is one of the few organizations that provide talented artists in the margins with funding and recognizes them for the important work that they do. I am very grateful and proud to have their support as well. They have provided 1/3 of the funding to help me reach my goal. One more week to show <3 for these creative mombies!!! Please spread the word... and don't stop yourselves from giving more if you feel like it ;-). 
    Update 5: We made it!!!
    Posted on September 30, 2016

    100% funded!!!! I can't thank you all enough for taking your time and your hard-earned cash to show support for this project! True, there were moments when i wanted to give up, mostly because I lacked the energy to keep going. Or should i say stamina? Boy, Mr. Trump sure did annoy more women than he thought when he accused Sec. Clinton of not having enough stamina. Let me tell you about women's stamina, Mr. Trump. Working on this campaign and reaching my goal, while going through radiation for breast cancer and never ceasing to be a mother to two willful, beautiful kids, a teen and a tween -- well, that's stamina for you.

    Tonight the campaign ends before midnight, and so this is the last day you can invest in this project if you are wondering!!! 

    Again, thank you sooooooo much. Hope to see you next year at Free Street Theater when the women and I bring this project to fruition!!!

    Update 6: The Momsters Are Coming!!!
    Posted on April 28, 2017

    Dear Donors,

    I am proud and excited to announce that "Night of the Living Moms" will be live and on stage at Free Street Theater on May 18, 19, 25 & 26 at 7PM, May 20 at 2PM and, on May 27, 2PM, we have awesome Dads sharing their creative work, too!!

    For those of you who donated $100 and over, please let me know what days you would like to come and see the show, so I can reserve seats for you. Unfortunately for my long-distance donors -- I cannot afford a round-trip ticket for you ;-). However, I can send you a video of the show!

    For those who donated $50 and above, I have special limited edition posters of the play that I am premiering at the festival. The play is titled "Nanay" and features the Philippine monster called "manananggal." Do email me your address so I can send one to each of you.

    Please note that Free Street has a unique pay-scale to make good theater accessible to all. Do check out their website: freestreet.org and click on What's Playing. Let your friends know about it!!!

    Finally, I just want to reiterate how grateful I am for your support. This festival wouldn't be happenig without your love gift, along with the support of 3Arts Foundation and Free Street Theater. 

    I hope to see you all at the "Night of the Living Moms" Festival!!! Email me if you have any questions: lani.t.montreal@gmail.com

    Maraming maraming salamat muli!!

    Lani

    Update 7: Project Completed!!!
    Posted on June 14, 2017

    Dear Friends, Family, and Believers!!!

    I can't thank you enough for helping me get this project off the ground, and I am proud to report that "Night of the Living Moms" has had six wonderful performances at Free Street Theater, with most of the shows sold out! It was great to see some of you in the audience, and I hope you had a great time as well. For those of you who were not able to come or are based out of state, let me know if you would like a copy of the video we took of the show on the last day, and I would gladly send you a copy.

    My collaborators, mostly moms missing needed artistic stimulation, were elated and humbled by the turn-out! Such a diverse and receptive audience, indeed. There was a palpable sense of community at every show, as the audience and performers shared the space we created for these marginalized voices to be heard and validated. Now, as we trudge on back to our harried yet joyful lives as parents/caretakers, we look back on this experience with warmth in our hearts and hope that we get to do it again!!!!

    In the meantime, I hope to develop the short play I had premiered at the show called "Nanay," about a woman coming to terms with her mother's secret (and monstrous) identity. I've had such enouraging feedback, with some sharing how moved they were by the story... Do please watch out for it, as I intend to get the completed version back on stage!!! And, yes, I will get back to sending out posters and programs from the show as mementoes or as part of your rewards... please forgive me for the delay.

    Again, maraming, maraming salamat!!! Sa uulitin (until the next time)!!!!

    Much much love,

    Lani T. Montreal

    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Luis Bermudez

    • Melanya Aguila

    • M BAKER

    • Melissa Woo

    • Sharmili Majmudar

    • Beth Marrier

    • Pamela Crutchfield

    • Lovien Flores

    • Vickie Pagsanghan

    • Via Pagsanghan

    • Nimfa Rueda

    • Carole Heath

    • temple hemphill-chapple

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • kristina wong

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Angela Mascarenas

    • Michaelle Pureza

    • Greg Taruc

    • Rhoda Rae Gutierrez

    • Gizele Mirasol

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Sarah Macaraeg

    • anna kong

    • Tony Adams

    • ressie krabacher

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Riza Belen

    • Timothy Libretti

    • Jon Satrom

    • Silvita Diaz Brown

    • Morgan Halstead

    • Yoriel Marcano

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Michelina Fiordaliso

    • Neena Hemmady

    • Carleta Alston

    • Tamey Abad

    • Mely Tagasa

    • Je Nepomuceno

    • Kristina Mascarenas

    • Lisa Owens

    • Andy Gaston

    • Levi Aliposa

    • Ginger Leopoldo

    • Gabrielle Lingat

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Khadi King

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Allan Sargan

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