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The Neo-Political Cowgirls, The Retreat And East End Community Rising Up Against Domestic Violence

Nicole Barylski

One Billion Rising attendees unite during a group dance with The Neo-Political Cowgirls Founder Kate Mueth. (Photo: Kate Gilroy)

The Neo-Political Cowgirls, a not-for-profit dance theater company committed to exploring and honoring the female voice, and The Retreat, the East End's only domestic violence agency, are inviting the community to join them and stand in solidarity against the exploitation of women during One Billion Rising.

"The Neo-Political Cowgirls are once again proud to join our community in celebrating The Retreat while raising awareness about domestic violence through Eve Ensler's global movement, One Billion Rising," shared Kate Mueth, The Neo-Political Cowgirls Founder.

Katherine CHE performed during a previous One Billion Rising. (Photo: Kate Gilroy)

The One Billion Rising campaign debuted on Valentine's Day 2012. The call to action is the largest mass action to stop violence against women in history. It's based on the horrific statistic that one in three women will be beaten or raped during her lifetime, and with the world population at seven billion, this equates to more than one billion women and girls.

On Sunday, February 12th, local singers, songwriters, poets, writers, and other community members will gather at Guild Hall in East Hampton to show their support for the campaign alongside the Neo-Political Cowgirls and The Retreat. The empowering afternoon will feature written words, song, and dance.

Josh Gladstone also performed during a previous One Billion Rising. (Photo: Kate Gilroy)

"This year we are taking a slightly different approach to the presentation while still maintaining the spontaneous - community spirit," explained Mueth. "We encourage everyone from all walks of life to come and be part of garnering energy and involvement to help put an end to violence that destroys so many of our community members' lives."

In 2015, The Retreat served 3,400 clients and had 149 people stay at The Stephanie House, their shelter. "One Billion Rising is an incredible opportunity for the community to stand up together in support of the families affected by domestic violence," noted Loretta Davis, Executive Director of The Retreat. "It's a moving experience for everyone who attends. I encourage everyone to come out on Sunday and join us at Guild Hall."

The Lynn Blue Band. (Photo: Kate Gilroy)

Supporters from hundreds of countries across the world will "rise through dance to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that we have not been defeated by this violence" during their own One Billion Rising event.

"We believe the Arts to be a powerful tool to create change," added Mueth.

The global revolution's goal is to hold governments, institutions of authority and power, and other offenders accountable.

Sarah Conway. (Photo: Kate Gilroy)

"We must learn the art and practice of disruption. We must release the tentacles of our false securities and interrupt the world as we know it," explained Eve Ensler, V-Day and OBR Founder and Artistic Director, on One Billion Rising's website. "We must assume that anywhere we live or anything we are doing can change or disintegrate on a dime and we must practice changing and letting it go." By uniting, participants show they are not going to stand for this injustice. "Living as if there is no future but the one we are creating. Nothing guaranteed but our willingness to live as pioneers of a new consciousness and way. And we must become disrupters. That is the power of creative resistance," she added. "Interrupting business as usual, taking stands that forfeit our acceptance or economic elevation, risking disapproval and controversy, participating in actions that loosen our grip on the suicidal givens and push the tyrants to fall.  Disrupters, fighting and dancing with all our might for life over comfort."

Admission to One Billion Rising is free, but reservations are required. The event will begin at 2 p.m.

Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information, about the Neo-Political Cowgirls and The Retreat present One Billion Rising, visit www.guildhall.org. For more information about the global campaign, visit www.onebillionrising.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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