Friday, December 18, 2009

Vintage Aprons

(See Blog below)

Thursday, December 17, 2009


WMG Bake Sale Puts the "D" in Delicious
Yield$ Moola For Cambodia Girl- Project!

"Your ability to resist that tempting cookie depends on how a big
a threat you perceive it

to be, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research."
(-from Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, U of C)

My December 13 Christmas concert in Evanston, IL was a full house.
Great music. Great community. People sang along, and we got 2 standing O's!
You can hear some of the songs at www.myspace,com/jamieoreillymusic

Folksinger Anne Hills, who shared the bill with me, brought her apron collection— 35 homemade, appliqu├ęd and embroidered beauties — found in thrift stores over the past few decades. The colorful, one-of-a-kind aprons, tied together, hung like the flags of nations – over the table of Women’s Media’s OLD WORLD BAKE SALE,
a vast array of handmade, exquisite sweets, (and even dinner rolls.)
It was something to behold.

(Many thanks to May Melvin, the bake sale coordinator. And Stuart Rosenberg and Jake Samuels at SPACE. Thanks to the people who baked for us.)

Maya, Cat and I were talking the other day about the significance of ‘THE HOLIDAYS’
in women’s lives – the cooking, baking, cleaning, sewing, decorating, (napping?), and caring for loved ones this time of year. Sure there is a pull when we consider the downside of our herstory - the drudgery of housework not shared, the serving with no time to yourself, the censoring of a woman’s intellect as she was relegated to the kitchen.

How have times changed…or how have times changed?

The kind of effort I saw Sunday celebrates women’s talents – and renews my appreciation of the decorative arts, and of women’s heritage. I reflect on the tradition of the family recipe – handed down – family to family, and the distinct way our various cultures celebrate the ‘season' with FOOD and decoration.

The image of our Christmas concert – the happy faces of the audience when they entered the room and saw the abundance – and the generosity of folks – stays with me today as I celebrate Christmastime with my daughters. For we the O’Reillys, there’s always the music – singing – our great family tradition, handed down from my grandmothers and aunts, along with the stollen, the herring and the gingerbread.

In the great tradition that is FEMINISM, at this time of year, we also raise awareness about the important work outspoken feminists, like Anne Elizabeth, do to empower young women here and abroad, and enable them to find their voices and create their own herstories.

FYI, WMG raised $300. for the Cambodia Girl Project –
Anne Elizabeth Moore’s Project I described in last week’s Blog.

As for the work of WMG, over the holiday break, and into January,
we’ll be listening to, and further editing, the programs we recorded this year,
as we shape our series for 2010. We may even post some YouTubes.
A shout out to Cat Jarboe, our editor.

Watch for us on Facebook.
And join in the conversation.
Comment on our BLOG!
We look forward to seeing many of you on JANUARY 18 2010,
when we screen Isa: the People’s Diva film at Facets in Chicago.

In the meantime, enjoy your holidays. Happy New Year.

Jamie O’Reilly & Maya Friedler
Women’s Media Group, Chicago

Friday, December 11, 2009


"It must be an art for the great mass of people." -Isa Kremer

Women's Media Group & Facets Multimedia Present
Isa: The People's Diva, chronicling the remarkable,
complex life & artistic legacy of a singular performer and activist

Facets Multimedia
Monday, January 18, 7:00 PM
1517 W. Fullerton, Chicago
$10. Donation
(PH) 773. 281-9075 ext 4 box office
Advance tickets online after Dec 15,
Women's Media Info (PH) 312. 458-0822
A Film Ffrom Women Make Movies

"Here was a person whose life in the 20th century encompassed and reflected some of the greatest
and worst moments, tragedies and triumphs of the human soul...
and yet she continued...
to be true to her beliefs and to continue to create art.
If this isn't a lesson about the power of the arts,
I don't know what is."
(-Babette Inglehart)

ISA KREMER's life was marked by a fierce talent, independent mind and firm determination.
Her passion was Yiddish music - birthed in the kitchens in Russia.
The language of the lullabies mothers sang to their children. Isa was the first woman to bring
Yiddish songs to the world concert stage, and an incredible singer in 24 languages.
The documentary chronicles her life through footage, photos, and interviews with those who knew her.
Isa: The People's Diva profiles her remarkable career through five decades of turbulent world history
in a remarkable number of cities including Belz, Odessa, Constantinople, Berlin and Paris

Don't miss this film, produced by Lois Barr and WMG's Maya Friedler.
Discussion Follows.

Military Mom: What About the Children

This Blog was submitted by Caroline Innes for WMG.
Tell us what YOU think about
the rights of mothers in the Military.

After working so hard to give women the opportunity to serve their country by being active
In the Military is it coming back to bite us? Consider the following story about the predicament
of a young military mom.

A 21 year old single mother has been separated from her 10 month old infant and confined to Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. Army cook, Specialist Alexis Hutchinson may face criminal charges after refusing to be deployed to Afghanistan when she couldn't arrange adequate care for her son. Hutchinson originally said her mother would look after the baby while she was away. However, after caring for the infant for two weeks his grandmother felt overwhelmed and said she was not up to the demands of full-time baby care for a year, the length of Hutchinson's deployment.

Angelique Hughes admits she initially agreed to take little Kamani while her daughter was away. But Hughes also cares for her mother and sister, both of whom are ailing as well as another daughter, of her own, with special needs. In addition to all this Hughes runs a daycare center out of her home in which she cares for 14 young children during the day. Hughes says she is at the breaking point and simply cannot take on anymore "This is an infant, and they require 24-hour care. It was very, very stressful, just too much for me to deal with."

Hughes returned Kamani to his mother, Specialist Hutchinson; of Oakland, California a few days before her Nov. 5th scheduled deployment. Hutchinson advised her superiors of the situation and requested a 30-day extension to make other arrangements for child care. Hutchinson said that her commanders originally agreed to the extension, but then something changed. Hutchinson's civilian attorney, Rai Sue Sussman, said that one of Hutchinson's superiors told her she would have to place the baby in foster care and deploy as scheduled.

Kevin Larson, a spokesman for Hunter Army Airfield, said he didn't know what Hutchinson was told by her commanders, but he said the Army would not deploy a single parent who had nobody to care for his or her child.

And yet, the baby did indeed spend time in Child Protective Services. According to Rai Sue Sussman, Hutchinson, with a friend by her side, turned herself in, "The Military Police arrested her and wouldn't let her friend take her child and so they took him away and put him in Child Protective Services" said Sussman Hutchinson is facing a number of charges including AWOL, missing movement, desertion, failing to have a family care plan and disobeying an officer. When Hutchinson's mother heard of this turn of events she immediately flew to Georgia to pick up her grandson and take him back to California with her, where he remains at this time.

Should the Army deploy her to Afghanistan to serve her year of service and then court martial her upon her return, where she could spend as much as a year in a military prison, Hutchinson could potentially not see her son again until he is almost three years old.

It is difficult to discern what the Military's childcare policy actually is. A cursory online review wielded a confusing array of answers.

As stated the Military allows new mothers four months before deploying them to active duty. That's a pretty limited policy and as we're seeing with this particular case points out the obvious shortcomings with respect to a lack of concern for the mothers and children for whom childcare options are limited or unavailable.

It begs the question...What about the children?

(Written by Caroline Innes)

Women's Media Group Old World Bake Sale Sunday, Dec 13

Happy Holidays from Women's Media

December 13, at SPACE - Proceeds go to the Cambodia Girl Project
(Anne Elizabeth Moore is featured on today's WMG Blog)
Bake sale takes place during
The Jamie O'Reilly & Anne Hills Christmas Show

1245 Chicago, Evanston
Sunday Dec. 13, 7 PM
Doors Open at 6:30 for the Bake Sale
Tickets (PH) 847.492.8860

Email for more info

Meet Our WMG Friends in the Blogesphere

Jamie O'Reilly here, WMG's Creative Director & Communications-Go-to-gal.
I'll be posting our updates and WMG News.

Meet Our Friends in the Blogesphere
Anne Elizabeth Moore was on our GLOBAL SISTERHOOD panel.
Anne - an unstoppable force of nature, is all-over the Blogesphere. Read Her:

In winter of 2007/2008, Culture Critic, Blogger and Artist
Anne Elizabeth Moore began a collaboration with 30 some young
women college students in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
She lived in their dorm, taught self-publishing, and initiated an
international dialogue about human rights and
young women in developing nations. The women created 'zines,
and wrote hand-bound books, rewriting the longstanding moral code of girl law,
now "New Girl Law." Anne returns in December to continue this
work during a time of tremendous need. She'll see a second dormitory opened,
(One of only 2 'safe havens' of this type, in a country of over 8 million!)

Meet Molly Bires. This young woman has a handle on what floats the
boat of emerging feminists, and writes about it - fast & furiously.
Hear Molly on some of our podcasts (
asking our guests the BIG questions. You go girl!

(Molly: We'll be chatting about her identifying with Janis Joplin)
Check Molly out:

AND read my Cultural Arts Blogs @