Literacy Project holding virtual Bloomsday celebration

  • A scene from a Wilde Irish Women performance in 2014. Contributed Photo

Staff Report
Published: 6/14/2021 3:59:47 PM

GREENFIELD — In an effort to draw attention to its work and mission, The Literacy Project is hosting its 12th annual Bloomsday event on Wednesday, joining others around the globe in cities like Dublin, Tokyo, Budapest and the literary enclave of Brooklyn.

The event will take place online at beginning at 7 p.m. A live link to the performances will be available on Wednesday, according to The Literacy Project’s website.

Bloomsday, observed annually on June 16, is a celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce, who wrote the epic novel “Ulysses.” A Literacy Project press release states Rosie Caine and The Wilde Irish Women (and Men) will offer lively readings and toe-tapping tunes during the virtual event.

“Bloomsday has turned into an annual event because it makes sense that a nonprofit, whose mission is to ensure that all our citizens are readers, should want to celebrate all things literary,” Executive Director Judith Roberts explained in the release. “And who better to help celebrate literacy than a public who deeply appreciates the joys of reading and literature?”

Like many nonprofits and educational programs that support low-income community members, The Literacy Project is facing a strain on its operating budget, the release states. Although there is no cover charge for Wednesday’s online show, donations to the nonprofit will be accepted.

The Literacy Project’s Bloomsday lineup includes local and nationally known actor, Mike Haley. Brook Steinhauser will offer vocals accompanied by harpist, librettist and composer Rosemary Caine, along with Michael Morgan, Chris Devine, Piper Prichette, Cady Coleman, Michael Haley, Stephanie Carslon, Moe McElligot and Nicky Whittridge. The releases adds that, in celebration of literature, songs and verses authored by James Joyce and William Butler Yeats will be included.

Unlike other Bloomsdays, however, The Literacy Project’s underlying motivation for bringing Bloomsday to Western Massachusetts for its 12th year is to make participants aware of its mission, which is to provide free adult learning services — basic reading skills; high school equivalency exam prep; and college and work readiness programs through classes and online learning — to residents of Franklin and Hampshire counties. Attendees of Wednesday’s virtual show will be introduced to some of The Literacy Project’s students.


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