A Celebration of Stan's Life, Nov. 11, 2020

October 13, 2020

Stan Edelson

A Virtual Celebration of Stan Edelson's Life

Wednesday, November 11, 2020
6 – 7:30 pm
Hosted by the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and Naomi and Rivka

Stan loved to celebrate his birthday with his friends. Thus, it seems fitting to host the postponed celebration of his life on his birthday this year. Please bring your memories to share verbally or in the chat. And we would love your photos/drawings to include in a photo montage of Stan’s life. How did Stan impact your life? Your stories should be short (1-2 minutes), and, as you wish, sweet, funny, about a creative act you did together or what you learned from him; We are eager to hear your thoughts about and experiences with our beloved Dad.

Please RSVP and send images to stanslife2020@gmail.com.

May his memory be a blessing
November 11, 1929 - February 4, 2020

Stan's Vision, Art Work, and Biography

A party celebrating Stan's almost 60 years teaching at Cambridge Center for Adult Education: Celebrating Stan Edelson (v.1) (2016)

A drawing class Stan led for seniors just last year (2019): Making Art With Stan

Stan's interviewed with the Yiddish Book Center (2012)

Stan Edelson was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1929. His talent as an artist started early. As a teen, he enrolled at the Art Students League, a major arts school in Manhattan, and joined an activist artist collective dedicated to social, racial and economic justice. During the McCarthy era, he spoke out against the wrongs of the times.

In 1960, he and his wife, Bobbi Ausubel, moved to Cambridge, MA, had two daughters, and became pioneers in the experimental theater movement. They started Caravan Theater in Harvard Square, Cambridge, with the financial support of the American Friends Service Committee. Their plays were socially relevant productions, including the original play, How to Make a Woman, one of the most influential plays of the second wave of the women’s movement. After each performance, they led some of the first women’s and men’s consciousness raising groups on the East Coast.

Stan taught acting and drawing at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education for almost 60 years, into his late 80’s. While there, he started the Diversity Lab Theater, focusing on actors and plays related to ethnic and racial diversity. Over the years, Stan inspired thousands of students who often became part of his large network of friends. Many of Stan's students say he was the person who changed their lives and careers.

In Stan's later years, he exhibited his art in numerous galleries, including several retrospectives of his life-long work. His primary identify was as an artist but it was so closely linked to making the world a better place that he often said that the word “act” in “acting,” is the beginning of the word “ACTivist” and “ACTion."

Tikkun olam, the Jewish concept to “repair the world” guided Stan. He was vibrant, outspoken, but softly spoken, and understood the history of the world, including its many injustices. He demanded and taught others to act in a humane way, with respect, patience, and kindness towards all people. He often talked with strangers and was interested in knowing their thoughts and lives.

He identified strongly as being culturally Jewish. He traveled to Israel several times also visiting Palestine. He did not believe in conflict and war, saying there always is another solution.

Stan is survived by Bobbi (who remained a close friend), Naomi (Marty), Rivka (Robert) and Rafi, his grandson. Following in his footsteps, his two daughters became strong advocates and leaders, focusing on their own social justice causes.