Mother Jones Goes on Tour!

$2,150 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 25 people in 44 months
"Pray for the dead, but fight like hell for the living."
~ Mother "Mary Harris" Jones

My name is Mary Gannon Graham. I am an actress/singer/director/and teacher of drama in Northern California and I, along with my fellow cast mates and musicians are raising money to take our show, Mother Jones in Heaven, to the Dublin Tiger Fringe Festival in Ireland in September of 2016.

 Mother Jones was an iconic feminist activist, a community and labor organizer and an Irish immigrant who stood up for the rights of coal miners, factory workers, women and children, helping to shape the child labor laws that we as Americans hold up today as a standard to the rest of the world.
Mother Jones lost her husband and four children to the yellow fever epidemic of 1867, then in 1871, she lost everything she owned to the great Chicago fire.
She found her way to the Union Halls and there she started her life’s work of helping and fighting for those in need.

The story: Mother Jones has died and wakes up in Heaven, which to her delight turns out to be an Irish Pub. She defends her life and tells her tale through music and storytelling. 

 Written by Si Kahn, civil rights activist, labor and community organizer and founder of The National progressive organization, Grassroots Leadership, and performed by Mary Gannon Graham, award winning actress and teacher, along with musicians, Jim Peterson, Tim Sarter, Roxanne Oliva, and Rebecca Richman, this is an important performance piece honoring the Work of Mother Jones and the legacy of all immigrants and working people.

 Sonoma County is home to an amazing, award winning community theater culture. As theater in Sonoma County continues to grow and develope new audiences, projects like this are important for three reasons; the promotion of our local talent, to bring the spotlight on the artistic development inherent in Sonoma County Theater,  and the cultural exchange of ideas with the national and international community. Main Stage West exemplifies and is striving for all three, by producing high quality plays, supporting artistic exchange, and allowing local Sonoma County talent to shine as it brings forth new works.

 The funds we raise will help take this cast and crew  to the Fringe Festival in Dublin, Ireland. The monies will go for entrance fee to the festival, the cost of finding a venue, plane fare and accomodations for the two weeks we will be in Ireland.
We are hoping to raise $35,000.00 by August 31st 2016.

 I do not send this GoFund me request out lightly. I understand that we all work hard for our money and save what we can just to live in this world.
But I believe strongly in the transformative power of art, theatre and music to change the world, to open minds and hearts, to give people a new experience, new ideas and ways of seeing the world we live in and the positive changes we can make together.

Few people get out of this life without pain and suffering. But it does not have to define us. It can instead inspire us.
Mary Harris Jones, aka Mother Jones, is a great source of inspiration for me. I have not suffered as much as she did, but I have known great loss and despair.

Losing my beloved Husband Thomas two years ago on July 23rd was a turning point in my life, he was everything to me, and suddenly he was gone. Everything now is identified as before and after that event.

Mother turned to the Unions Halls, they became her sanctuary, her church. I turned to the Theatre and music, my sanctuary, my church.

To me this play is not only the story about one of the greatest, bravest and most prominent labor and community organizers in history; it is a hero’s journey. Courage, as I am reminded everyday, is not about not having fear, it is about being afraid and doing what needs to be done anyway.

Mother asks us to be accountable, to stand up for what is right, to fight against what is wrong, and to help those in need.

There is so much change happening in our world right now, so much awakening and at the same time so much fear and ignorance causing harm to innocent people and communities. We are deeply out of balance as a society, we have swung so far off course in one direction, that perhaps we need to swing the other way to come back to center.
I was lamenting to a friend recently that I wished I could be more of an activist, she said I was an activist because I am an artist. My theatre is my protest, my stand, my wooden box. So here I am trying to be the change I want to see in the world one play at a time.

 I wish to thank you, with all of my heart, for any contribution you can make to help us share this important story of a woman, who against all odds, transformed not only her world, but the world around her.

Thank you.
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Dear Family and Friends of the Mother Jones in Heaven Project, November 3, 2016

Well, as most of you know we did not make it to Ireland. But it was a fun dream and a wonderful experience to strive for something so exciting and far away.
It just wasn’t meant to be.
We had two fundraisers and a GoFund Me account that collectively raised about $5000.00 dollars, which is still waiting for us to put to good use.

The Cast has had a few discussions as to what to do next, which direction we’d like to go, and we’ve decided that as much as we love this project, it’s time to move on. We all have other projects we’re currently working on plus big busy lives.
We still hold this production in our hearts and hope that someday we will remount Mother Jones in Heaven again in Sonoma County or in the Bay Area, but for now we’ve decided it’s time to do something with the funds that we raised.

We have decided to pay it forward. We will each pick a charity, a cause, or a non-profit that we feel Mother Jones would have supported and we will donate the money to that cause.

We would like to thank all of you for your help and support. It meant and continues to mean a great deal to all of us.

We will let you know if and when we decide to remount Mother Jones in Heaven. For now, know that your generous donation is now helping others in our community.
I can’t help but feel that Mother would approve.

With Sincerest Thanks and gratitude,
Mary Gannon Graham and the Cast and Crew of
Mother Jones in Heaven
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Hello Dear Mother Jones Supporters!
Thank you again one and all for your constant support and generous donations.
We started this campaign before we knew for sure we would be accepted into the Tiger Fringe in Dublin , we felt we needed to get a head start, but sadly we were not accepted this year.
We've had some setbacks, so where do we go from here?
The band and I are meeting to discuss our options, which are many, a possible tour of the States where Mother Jones got her start, the Union Houses of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and a possible College Tour as well. There are also many Fringe Festivals right here in our own backyard. So many possibilities to share this great womans story.
We will be reorganizing our efforts and making new plans and as soon as we do we'll keep you posted!
Again, Thank you one and all for your contributions and support.
Mother Jones' work is far from over!
+ Read More
Hello Friends and Supporters!
We have begun! Thank you to those of you have donated and continue to spread the word.
We have made some changes to our goals due to availablity of cast members, and have made the decision to focus only on getting to the Dublin Tiger Fringe Festival in Dublin Ireland this year. It's a wonderful
festival and we're very excited about it. It runs two weeks in September, the 10th -25th.
We're also gearing up for our first local Fundraiser here in Sonoma County on March 1st at Lagunitas Beer Sanctuary in Petaluma! It will be a concert version of the show with a silent auction, yummy food and great beer! Watch for ticket info and more details to come!
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$2,150 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 25 people in 44 months
Created December 31, 2015
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$100
Anonymous
39 months ago
SM
$50
Sara Meyer
39 months ago

Go Mary go! Love, Patrick and Sara

RB
$75
Rhonda Bowen
39 months ago
MS
$25
Mary Sefton
41 months ago

Godspeed!

HY
$50
Heloisa Young
42 months ago
MN
$25
Molly Noble
42 months ago

GO MARY, JIM and all the angels!!

AB
$30
Aphrodite Bellochio
42 months ago
KS
$50
Kris Spangler
43 months ago

Go, Mother!

DR
$75
Dan Ransford
43 months ago

Go Mary!!

ST
$100
Sheila Tracey
43 months ago
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