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The New Bedford Feminist Reading Group!


Andy Anello with Liya Hoshi and Groundwork! co-founder Dena Haden at the New Bedford Book Festival.

It’s obvious that no matter where you stand, since Nov. 8, 2016 there has been almost visceral reaction to this year’s presidential election outcome.That reaction is different depending on where you fall on the political spectrum. If you fall towards the end where, say, the cast of “Hamilton” reside, then you are pretty much preparing to be fundamentally engaged in civic and cultural life in new ways.

Such seems to be the case with many people in our area, one of whom is performance artist Andy Anello. He calls The Ropeworks in New Bedford’s north end home and has been featured on this blog before for his quarterly performance art happenings called Lunar Teeth. For Andy – as for others – this election broke something open inside him. But, that’s a good thing.

Anello posted something about organizing a feminist reading group on Facebook several months ago. We here at Groundwork! immediately reached out to him about hosting it. He agreed and hopes to launch the group by empowering it from the get-go as a strong grassroots effort.

“I love the idea of meeting with other like-minded readers and thinkers in New Bedford to engage with texts through a feminist lens. I can’t think of a better place for such a group to meet than Groundwork, a progressive and inclusive space, founded by women, in the heart of New Bedford.”

The first meeting of New Bedford Feminist Reading Group will take place on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 at 3:00 p.m., right here at Groundwork!, 1213 Purchase Street. That’s not only because the place has become a cultural hub in the city. It’s also because so many dynamic, accomplished women are at the co-working space every day – including its two founders, Sarah Athanas and Dena Haden.

Women and men who are interested in joining the group should plan to attend the first meeting. At that meeting, participants will set the agenda and reading list for the group going forward.

Andy explains, “The structure and format of the group will have to be determined by the group. My preference would be for everyone to take turns choosing what we are going to read/look at. That way, we all get a chance to decide the focus of the group.”

There’s no doubt that feminist thought and solidarity are more important now than ever. This moment of heightened awareness and engagement represents an opportunity to come together and share knowledge, insight, and camaraderie with other feminists in your community. Let’s keep that spirit alive at The New Bedford Feminist Reading Group at Groundwork!

*If you would like to be on a list to receive future announcements about the group, email Andy Anello at

Steven Froias