Every year, Marie Eaton, Western Fairhaven College professor of Education and Humanities organizes an artistic performance to raise money to help first generation college students pay for school.
The “One Thing to Say: Celebration of Words in Three Voices – Song, Poem and Prose” performance will be at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 in the Fairhaven Auditorium. Tickets are $8 for students and seniors and $15 for community members. Tickets can be purchased at the Western Box Office, the Community Food Co-Op or Village Books, Eaton said.
The Conant Dodge Memorial Scholarship is renewable annually, and award amounts are approximately $1,000 per year. The scholarship is available to students of the Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies.
Eaton and her two brothers started the scholarship to commemorate their father, who strongly believed in the opportunity for education, she said. Eaton’s father gave money to many people in order to help them go to school. Four students each year benefit from the scholarship, she said.
Eaton, who is a musician, usually organizes a musical benefit performance. But this year, she came up with something different, she said. At a teaching workshop, she worked with a songwriter and a poet to teach lessons. She liked going back and forth between essay reading, poetry reading and music, she said. She thought it would be a fun idea to combine these elements into a performance for the benefit this year, she said. She asked her colleagues, Mary Cornish and Stan Tag, to participate in the benefit performance.
Fairhaven professor Mary Cornish will be reading from her book of poetry, “Red Studio.” The book reflects loss and the beauty of what remains in the things that are left, she said. Cornish said her late husband’s death is at the heart of the book.
“It’s a reminder that part of the human experience is that the world is restored to us and even made new again and again,” Cornish said.
Her poetry uses imagery to tell stories, Cornish said.
“It feels kind of painterly in a way,” she said.
She originally wrote children’s picture books, which influences the way she writes her poetry, she said.
The artists will sell items at the benefit performance to raise money for the scholarship, she said. CDs from Eaton’s band Motherlode and Cornish’s book, “By the Sea,” will be sold to benefit the scholarship.
“All of us [participants] firmly believe that everyone should have a chance to go to college, and that money shouldn’t be what stands in your way,” Cornish said.