Pro­moter Ce­cile Lip­worth

Pasatiempo - - CONTENTS - CE­CILE LIP­WORTH Ce­cile Lip­worth out­side her home in Santa Fe, photo Elayne Lowe/The New Mex­i­can

“MY sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity leads to my worka­holism. When your of­fice is in your house, there’s never a door to shut,” Ce­cile Lip­worth said. “I’m very com­mit­ted. I don’t work in my pa­ja­mas. I get dressed and sit at my com­puter, and I don’t leave some­times for many, many hours.”

Lip­worth works in mar­ket­ing and pro­duc­tion of events and ideas that ad­vance so­cial change through cre­ative means. She co­or­di­nates pub­lic read­ings and talks for Col­lected Works Book­store in a free­lance ca­pac­ity, com­mu­ni­cat­ing with au­thors, pub­lish­ers, and pub­li­cists on sched­ul­ing and pro­mo­tion. If you’ve seen writ­ers on Face­book Live read­ing their work from the book­store stage, then Lip­worth is likely the woman be­hind the smart­phone. She has worked on lo­cal po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns and she co-hosts a weekly fem­i­nist ra­dio show, “Brave Space,” with Pa­tri­cia Tru­jillo on KTRC-AM 1260. She also owns the con­sult­ing com­pany Rip­ple Cat­a­lyst Me­dia, through which she has pro­duced art ex­hi­bi­tions and the­atri­cal per­for­mances.

Lip­worth, who was in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the late 1990s be­fore she moved to Santa Fe, got into mar­ket­ing for so­cial change while work­ing for V-Day, play­wright Eve Ensler’s in­ter­na­tional move­ment to end vi­o­lence against women and girls. She worked with Ensler for 15 years and served as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of V-Day from 2006 to 2015. V-Day pro­vides Ensler’s 1996 play, The Vagina Mono­logues, free of charge to groups who want to pro­duce it. Ensler es­tab­lished One Bil­lion Ris­ing in 2012, a mass dance ac­tion de­signed to draw at­ten­tion to the global prob­lem of vi­o­lence against women.

“At V-Day, I learned to be cre­ative to pro­mote the mes­sage that one in three women — which is one bil­lion women — are sex­u­ally vi­o­lated. So much about so­cial jus­tice is sta­tis­tics. Some peo­ple get so bom­barded by num­bers that it’s hard to touch their hearts. When peo­ple saw The Vagina Mono­logues, they were able to have con­ver­sa­tions they’d never had. At the be­gin­ning, the­aters weren’t al­lowed to put the word ‘vagina’ on their mar­quee, or print it on the tick­ets. We had to train peo­ple. We said this is what the play is called, and you have to use the word. Not every­one loves The Vagina Mono­logues. We were al­ways fine with that. We just wanted to talk about it. How can you say how you have been vi­o­lated when you can’t say where?

“I don’t think we’d have the #MeToo move­ment without th­ese pieces.” Rip­ple Cat­a­lyst Stu­dio pro­duced and pro­moted The Ab­so­lute Bright­ness of

Leonard Pelkey — James Le­cesne’s one-man show about the mur­der of a gay teenage boy — at the Adobe Rose Theatre in 2016. The same year, Lip­worth col­lab­o­rated with the Mary­land-based or­ga­ni­za­tion Art & Re­mem­brance to bring Stitch­ing Our Sto­ries to the Santa Fe Com­mu­nity Con­ven­tion Cen­ter. It was an ex­hi­bi­tion and work­shop se­ries that fo­cused on the story-cloth ta­pes­tries of Holo­caust sur­vivor Es­ther Nisen­thal Krinitz and those made by im­mi­grants liv­ing in Santa Fe. In 2017, she pro­duced Sibylle Szag­gars Red­ford’s per­for­mance art piece, The Way

of the Rain, at the World Sum­mit on Art & Cul­ture in Abu Dhabi.

The phi­los­o­phy be­hind Lip­worth’s com­pany name is that each per­son cre­at­ing change forms a rip­ple, and the rip­ples join each other as they ex­tend into the lo­cal com­mu­nity — and even­tu­ally con­nect to na­tional and in­ter­na­tional con­ver­sa­tions. She tries to bring a sim­i­lar sense of so­cial jus­tice ac­tivism to events and read­ings at Col­lected Works, branch­ing out in the last few years from stan­dard read­ings and sign­ings to in­clude con­ver­sa­tions and panel dis­cus­sions with writ­ers, artists, ed­u­ca­tors, ad­vo­cates, and lo­cal politi­cians.

The is­sue clos­est to her heart re­mains prevent­ing vi­o­lence against women and girls. “My ed­u­ca­tion through the work I did with V-Day re­ally changed my en­tire life. When women are able to thrive — when they are not strug­gling with is­sues in the work­place or eco­nomic in­jus­tice — then com­mu­ni­ties are strong,” she said. While cer­tainly there are im­por­tant is­sues that cre­ate dis­cord among fem­i­nists with shared goals that need to be dis­cussed — “white fem­i­nism and black fem­i­nism” among them, she said — there is a big-pic­ture piece that Lip­worth doesn’t want to for­get.

“I trav­eled all over the world for V-Day. What I found was that when women from dif­fer­ent coun­tries are in a room to­gether, their sto­ries are so sim­i­lar. We’ve had the same women’s ex­pe­ri­ences. I feel like if we could start the con­ver­sa­tion at 30,000 feet, then, truly, change could hap­pen. That’s what I work for ev­ery day — try­ing to get women to that point of be­ing able to talk through the mi­cro stuff, be­cause to­gether we have in­cred­i­ble power.” — Jen­nifer Levin

“When women are able to thrive — when they are not strug­gling with is­sues in the work­place or eco­nomic in­jus­tice — then com­mu­ni­ties are strong.”

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