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Rebuilding Lives: Miriam Van Waters and the Framingham Womens's Reformatory

Event Details

Rebuilding Lives: Miriam Van Waters and the Framingham Womens's Reformatory

Time: November 5, 2009 from 7pm to 9pm
Location: Sherborn Community Center
Street: 3 Sanger Street
City/Town: Sherborn MA
Website or Map: http://www.sherborncommunityc…
Phone: 508-653-0770
Event Type: living, history, program
Organized By: Sherborn Library
Latest Activity: Nov 2, 2009

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Event Description

Libby Franck will portray Dr. Miriam Van Waters, Superintendent of The Framingham Women’s Reformatory from 1932 until 1957. Dr. Van Waters believed her task was to educate inmates (who she called “students”) for life beyond prison walls. During her tenure, most inmates were serving time for prostitution, extramarital sex or alcoholism. Her progressive programs included parenting and literature classes, a prison newspaper, sports, nature exploration and music. Fired in 1949, she successfully defended herself in a series of public hearings that made headlines in Boston newspapers for three months. Her supporters included luminaries such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Addams, Margaret Mead and Frances Perkins.

Ms. Franck will be joined by former “student” Lydia Anderson , portrayed by singer Deb Rocha. Ms. Rocha will perform songs such as “The Sherborn Women’s Jail” (The institution originally was within Sherborn’s borders.) and “It’s Only a Prison in Old Framingham,” a parody written by one of the women.

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Grand Prize for South Shore Grand Slam Story Slam generously donated by Nicolette Heavey and Stories In The Streets (A Maine Get Away)

Stories in the Streets in an outreach literacy program that focuses on families in at-risk areas and fosters community engagement in storytelling by: 1) Creating opportunities for public storytelling wherever families gather — a farmer’s market, laundromat, or food line; and, 2) Offering storytelling workshops that raise family engagement in literacy, cultural awareness and community understanding.  The program is currently active in Lawrence, Brockton and Randolph.


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