April 2023: President’s Message

from Laurie Schechter, 65th President of The Ebell

April 3, 2023

There are several theories about how the month of April got its name.  The first is that the name is rooted in the Latin Aprilis, derived from the Latin aperire meaning “to OPEN” and possibly referring to the blossoming of flowers and trees in this fourth month. The second theory is that it is named after the goddess Aphrilis, derived from the Greek Aphrodite, the Goddess of LOVE. And around the fifth century, it appears that the Anglo-Saxons referred to April as Eostre-monath, a reference to the goddess Eostre, whose feast was CELEBRATED during the month.  OPENESS.  LOVE.  CELEBRATION.  Let us explore these themes and their meaning to The Ebell.

OPENNESS: At The Ebell we are open to new ideas and change, and we open our doors and our hearts to all.  Our September 2023 Open House is already on the calendar!  We aim to promote a culture of inclusion, belonging and transparency, and embrace members and guests across ethnicity, race, culture, age, religion, educational backgrounds, perspectives and interests.  Over the past two months we have welcomed 12 new members, bringing our total membership to 529 up from 414 in September of last year. Greetings to all our new members! Each new member is now receiving a welcome package, and we will be introducing monthly orientations in addition to our Cup & Saucer mentorship program.   We are committed to improved transparency and communications, experimenting with various methods, channels and formats.  Our next Town Hall will be on April 17, at which time we will be introducing the slate of upcoming nominees for the Board as well as proposed changes to our Bylaws.  Did you know that all Board meeting minutes are available to Ebell members upon request?

LOVE:  There is much to love about The Ebell – its history, its campus, its collections, its members, its staff, its programs, its volunteers, its mission, and more.  These past months I have appreciated how our Board members have collaborated in addressing challenging issues as we grow, change and plan for our future.  I love that we can comfortably express our differences, but still care for and treat each other with kindness, empathy and respect.  I cherish our members’ passion and willingness to share their talents, resources and stories.  I am grateful for our community of partners, such as Writer’s Bloc, that in the coming months will bring to The Ebell a host of fascinating women speakers including Elizabeth Winkler, Aurora James and Sandra Tsingh Loh.  I love our many and diverse programs, such as the Phoebe Beasley Monday Lunch that was part of our Black History Month programming and The Power of The Female Lens art exhibit in honor of Women’s History Month. (The art is still up and available for sale, by the way!).  What do you love about The Ebell?

CELEBRATION: At The Ebell we make and celebrate HERSTORY!  128 years of women’s history lives and breathes within our walls, and we continue to make our mark.  Last month we premiered The Everywhere of Her, an Ebell-commissioned musical story of three remarkable women who each shaped Los Angeles.  More than 2,500 Los Angeles students came to our theatre to see the production and learn about these unheralded trailblazers; approximately 20 Ebell members volunteered as ushers and all Ebell members were invited to meet the all-women creative team over lunch after the final performance.   In April at our annual RCA luncheon we will recognize our 2023 grantees that help at-risk women and children in Los Angeles; in May we honor our mothers at the annual Mother’s Day brunch.  And throughout all, we build and celebrate friendship, as we give of ourselves and our resources to make all lives better.

This month, let us open our hearts, love each other and celebrate all that is The Ebell.  Happy Easter. Happy Passover. Happy April!