Seattle Women’s Chorus sings for domestic violence prevention

The Seattle Women’s Chorus will perform “Reel Women

The Seattle Women’s Chorus will sing odes to women of the silver screen in a fundraising event for individuals in crisis.

The concert, “Reel Women,” will feature an array of songs in honor of some of the “most famous and scintillating” mavens of the movie industry from the beginning of film cinema to the modern era.

It is a benefit for Citizens Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse (CADA).

The show will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15 at the South Whidbey High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets cost $25.

Flying House Productions, the organization that is home to both the Seattle Men’s Chorus and the Seattle Women’s Chorus, is composed of 650 singers and more than 50 volunteers and associate members. The organization offers 30 outreach events — including several in advocacy for the LGBTQIA community — and 19 main stage performances annually, according to the website.

Both the Seattle women’s and men’s choruses have visited Whidbey for CADA benefits in years past.

CADA, located in Oak Harbor, offers services to individuals who are experiencing trauma from domestic or sexual abuses.

Services include a crisis shelter for women and children, counseling services, referrals to treatment programs and social services, and prevention and outreach efforts.

Cynde Robinson, executive director of CADA, said that the center serves about 20 individuals a week. It is the only one of its kind in Island County, and is often pressed for resources. Often, she said, they are forced to send individuals to shelters in nearby areas such as Marysville, Mt. Vernon or even King County due to a lack of space for women and children and lack of a crisis shelter for men in the area.

Last year’s Seattle Men’s Chorus concert generated $18,000 for the nonprofit.

This year, Robinson said the goal is to raise between $10,000 to $12,000, she said, as the Seattle Women’s Chorus concerts tend to attract a somewhat smaller audience.

“It is a major fundraiser for us each year,” said Jan Pickard, vice president of CADA and mental health counselor. “We’re very fortunate. …We cherish that relationship; we’re very proud to produce concerts on the island of that caliber.”

“CADA is a vital resource for the community in South Whidbey Island, and we are pleased to be able to help them raise support for their organization and the community,” wrote Matthew Arnold, director of development and marketing for Flying House Productions, in an email to The Record.

Arnold explained that the chorus chose the “Reel Women” theme because of their desire to present a show that is enjoyable as well as relevant and informative.

“The show not only highlights the considerable achievements by women in film, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes,” wrote Arnold. “It also tells the story of some of the gender inequities in the industry. Many familiar, catchy tunes are performed, along with some fun facts about how the industry can be improved.”

Education is also essential to CADA’s mission, said Pickard and Robinson.

The majority of funds raised will go towards the organization’s prevention, education and outreach programs. These programs do not receive government funding and get comparatively little from donors.

Pickard explained that there are prevention specialists, social workers and counselors in each school district. This is not a mandated resource, she said, but one which is provided through domestic violence organizations throughout the state.

The “Use Your Words” campaign in elementary schools is one example of the prevention programs CADA sponsors. The campaign teaches children to use their words to communicate feelings, rather than hitting or otherwise acting out against others.

At the middle and high school levels, there are healthy relationship and anti-bullying classes to educate students about subjects such as communication and respect.

Robinson said that much of what she and her cohorts do at the center is assist individuals in making decisions to better their lives.

“It’s not necessarily always leaving an abusive relationship, but working with somebody to find what is their vision of what they want their lives to look like and helping them make those connections,” said Robinson.

Tickets for “Reel Women” are available for purchase at Wind and Tide Bookshop in Oak Harbor, the CADA office in Oak Harbor, bayleaf in Coupeville, Useless Bay Coffee in Langley, Moonraker Books in Langley, and Pickles Deli in Clinton