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What is V-Day?

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What is V-Day?

Eve Ensler celebrates the 10th Anniversary of V-Day

© Scott Wintrow/Getty Images
Question: What is V-Day?
A global movement to stop violence against women and girls by raising funds and increasing awareness, V-Day has its roots in Valentine's Day, February 14, and the award-winning play The Vagina Monlogues, written by Eve Ensler.
Answer: An activist and playwright, Eve Ensler founded V-Day on February 14, 1998, when she organized a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues in New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom. The event sold out the 2500-seat venue and raised $250,000 for local NYC anti-violence groups. Among the 20 actors performing in the first V-Day production were Glenn Close, Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Winona Ryder, Calista Flockhard, Margaret Cho, Gloria Steinem, and Eve Ensler herself.

In 1999, V-Day launched its College Campaign with 66 participating schools across North America performing The Vagina Monologues; over 20,000 people attended V-Day events. Over in the UK, a benefit performance at London's Old Vic Theatre featured Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Isabella Rosellini, Christiane Amanpour, and Gillian Anderson.

In 2000, the College Campaign expanded to 150 colleges and universities around the globe. In 2001, a February 10th V-Day performance in New York City's Madison Square Garden sold out 18,000 seats and raised $1 million. Also that year, the Worldwide Campaign took off; V-Day events in over 40 cities raised over $350,000 to local organizations.

By V-Day's tenth anniversary in February 2008, thousands of benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues (including a run on Broadway) had raised over 50 million dollars for anti-violence programs around the world. Over 120 countries have staged V-Day events.

Although V-Day is most closely associated with Valentine's Day, V-Day events typically take place anywhere from February through April.

According to the V-Day website, "The 'V' in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina." The V-Day logo is a simple graphic interpretation (using a standard computer/typewriter keyboard) of that portion of the female anatomy:

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Source: "About V-Day at Vday.org

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