BRAMA celebrates Bedford Domestic Violence 20th Anniversary

On Tuesday October 24 Bedford Domestic Violence will be celebrating their 20th anniversary of service to this community. The ceremony will begin on the steps of the Courthouse at 5:30 pm with a reading of a remembrance poem. The community is invited to join in the silent candlelit walk to the Memorial Park on Bedford Avenue, next to the fire station. Leighton Langford, Former DSS director, will speak about founding the program and Dotti Stone will speak briefly about the memorial mosaics project designed in remembrance of the victims and to support the BDVS mission. The Vigil will be followed by releasing purple balloons to honor victims and a reception at Bower Center for the Arts across the street from the park.

The Mission Statement of Bedford Domestic Violence:

We believe that domestic violence is an intentional pattern of abusive behaviors used by one individual to exert power and control over another individual in the context of an intimate relationship. We are dedicated to the empowerment of victims of domestic violence and their children. We are committed to work toward the elimination of violence in our community.

Dotti Stone, of Bower Center and Chair of BRAMA Blue Ridge Area Mosaic Artists, the mosaics artists group that created the memorial mosaics will share background information about this gift. This was a coordinated effort involving many. It was spearheaded by Sara Braaten, former director of Bower Center for the Arts who retired in 2016, who was aware that the BRAMA group was interested in working on community projects. Sara received a seal of approval for mosaics in the park from then town manager Charlie Kolakowski, and then contacted BDVS Director, Heather Jones, who expressed interest. Heather met with BRAMA members to discuss the type of mosaic project and design elements, and the preliminary work began. Mitchell Bond, of Goose Creek, created a 5-panel design incorporating the familiar purple ribbon and certain words and designs, relevant to the mission of domestic violence organizations, that were suggested. When the 5-panel series (5-24” squares) and two 36” square designs were approved the fabrication work began by BRAMA members: Mitchell Bond, Janet Chalker, Bonnie Kinnaird, Pat Malotte, Perri Mason, Marjie Milligan, Dotti Stone and Sergei Troubetzkoy. L T Skinnell, of Otter Hill Forge, created and donated the hardware for installing the mosaics. Rusty Mansel, of Bower Center’s Board of Directors, heads the team who will install the mosaics on the garden fence a few days before the vigil.

The picture shows the 5-panel series, the enlarged HOPE panel is completed, the STRENGTH with the tree is nearing completion and the remaining three are awaiting grouting. The two larger panels are nearing completion – one is a STOP Domestic Violence sign and the other has a large butterfly.

Celebrate the work and the importance of this organization for our Bedford community and come together to work towards change and hope for a future free of violence.