It's all happening on women's day

ENJOY a day of exciting recreational and interactive workshops, activities and entertainment. The line up for International Women's Day includes some well known people who are taking the workshop slots at Cumbernauld Theatre.

Stu Who, the comedian, brought the original Funny Farm to Cumbernauld Theatre which included Fred MacAulay, Sandi Toksvig, Parrot, Bruce Morton and Craig Ferguson. Stu will be appearing in the Old Fruitmarket venue on March 11 with Fred MacAulay. The Arts Forum has already experienced a delightful afternoon with STU when he gave a talk on his travels in China. He is taking an interactive session called "His-Story" ......"why does mental start with men?"

Corrina Hewat is part of the Trio, Grace Hewat Polwart who have performed in Celtic Connections and many other gigs, recently alongside Unusual Suspects and Carlos Nunez. Corrina who plays harp has an album out called Harp I Do. Corrina is presenting a singing/voice workshop which promises to be fun and you don't need to read music.

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The event includes some of the talented and interesting members of our community: Tricia McCormack takes a Drama session, Hing Fung Teh demonstrates and involves you in holistic and highly beneficial Tai Chi, Kilsyth's Sulamen Chebe brings drums and percussion for a lively hour, Jenny Laurie of Strathclyde University an interesting session on Writers, Linda McDowell presents an interactive discussion on the Value of Voting and Brian Miller has lined up one of his dynamic looks at some amazing women.

All these choices plus entertainment and an art exhibition. If you haven't made your choices yet hurry along to the theatre to hand in your registration...first come first served!

International Women's Day (March 8) is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. The first International Women's Day was launched in 1911 in Denmark.

The International Women's Day website shows just how INTERNATIONAL the event is. The vital part is the fact that women on all continents come together to show solidarity by celebrating their Day. They can look back to a tradition of at least nine decades of struggle and campaigning for equality, justice, peace and development and for many women the struggle continues. In 1893 New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. In the UK, women over 30 got the vote and in 1918 and in 1928 they got voting equality with men.

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Women in other countries did not enjoy this equality and campaigned for justice for many years. The theme for 2010 is Equal Rights, Equal opportunities, Progress for all. These issues affect men too and this is illustrated in the words of the song Bread and Roses we battle too for men for they are women's children....the rising of the women means the rising of the race.

Sara McIlraith, organiser of the Cumbernauld Theatre event says: "I became aware of IWD some years ago through my daughter's involvement with a group who celebrated March 8th with a TIME OUT theme in London where Tea and a huge Cake were set up in a shopping area to give women shoppers a chance to rest, take a free break and chat. It was greatly appreciated."

"In later years I went to venues in Stirling and Falkirk which involved workshops and debates which were lively and relevant to the issues with which we struggle and I felt it would be valuable if our community in Cumbernauld got the chance to take part in similar events."

"These interactive discussions can be conscious-raising, and give the participants a chance to put their points of view in an informal, friendly setting and the arts-based workshops are a taste of activities which can be both confidence building and fun. If people enjoy them they might want to take things a little further. That would be good."

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"Our Studio Arts Forum are grateful to the Scottish Community Foundation Women's Fund and North Lanarkshire Community for helping to fund our event and for Cumbernauld Theatre for giving us the space and time. Their help has enabled us to organise this day."

For more information or to reserve a workshop at the event please contact Cumbernauld Theatre Box Office on 01236 732887.

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