May 20, 2018
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2nd annual Beautiful Day celebrated at Trescott

Women gathered in a circle at the start of Saturday's 2nd Annual Beautiful Day, held at the Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott. They introduced themselves and told their stories, sharing what they believed made them and their journey special. The event, which drew about 40 participants from Maine and Canada, was a celebration of the beauty of women and girls and featured empowering workshops and creative sessions. BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY SHARON KILEY MACK
By Sharon Kiley Mack, BDN Staff

TRESCOTT, Maine — Empowering women and girls was the goal Saturday at the second annual Beautiful Day, a daylong series of gatherings, workshops and creative sessions offered at the Cobscook Community Learning Center.

One of the most telling moments of the day came early, when a group of 40 participants stood in a circle to confirm their individual beauty.

The activity leader invited all grandmothers into the circle’s center, and about eight women came forward. She then invited all women who had been to last year’s Beautiful Day, and another 10 or so came into the circle.

But when she invited any woman who had ever been told she couldn’t do something — anything — because she was female, nearly everyone stepped forward.

“We are all so different, yet so similar,” organizer Charley Martin-Berry of the CCLC said.

The group ranged from teenage girls, to mothers with babies in arms, to senior citizens. They were teachers, gardeners, artists, photographers, business women and waitresses.

But their differences paled and their similarities emerged as they spent the day discussing the strength and empowerment of women, how to raise empowered daughters, and the steps on their personal growth journeys.

Chloe Dowley, a participant and instructor, commented, “No matter who we are or what we do, we are all beautiful.”

The keynote address was provided by Katie Mae Simpson, executive director of Emerge Maine, a six-month training program that inspires women to run for political office.

Other events included workshops in music, art, activism, political engagement, dialogue, outdoor skills, traditional and practical skills, and more.

The day concluded with the showing of the film “What I Want My Words to Tell You,” which was created at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York. Through a series of writing exercises, female inmates search for healing.

“We specifically chose this film for Beautiful Day because it depicts the transformative power of art and words and puts it in the context of how this process takes place in women’s circles,” Kara McCrimmon, CCLC director, said. “It was a great way to end the day, which celebrated circles of women, their strengths and their voices.”

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