Norman MacAfee, New York

May 3, 1998

The Redgraves: World Premiere – “Sarah Bernhardt Comes to Town”

“One of my great MIFA events occurred in 1998, when Vanessa Redgrave and her mother, Rachel Kempson, performed the Chekhov story ”The Lady with the Dog.” Miguel and I were fortunate enough to attend the post performance reception and meet Vanessa and Rachel. And during that season I accompanied Don Sanders and Vanessa Redgrave to lobby for more arts funding at the state capitol in Boston. Vanessa spoke before the legislature. With her white hair pulled back, and wearing a blue jacket and white pants and blouse, Vanessa seemed to have stepped down from one the murals on the legislature’s walls depicting the nation’s founders. She recalled how during the Second World War in England, even during the darkest days, what kept people going were three essential services: health care, education, and the arts, all funded heavily by the government. I believe the Massachusetts legislature came through with more funding for the arts.”