A new social phenomenon appeared on the Boston scene in 2013: the Beacon Hill Women’s Forum (BHWF). Many
wondered, at the time, some dismissively, “What can it possibly be?” Five years later, BHWF is “Boston strong,” and the value and meaning of the group has emerged with greater clarity. Founded by brainy Beacon Hill resident Lisa Macalaster, the group was first described as “a cocktail party for women,” but has developed into a supportive social community of diverse women from all ages and stages of life, who meet through a wide array of social events. The simply stated goal of BHWF is “Connect, Inspire, and Enjoy”; yet it’s clear that the group is fulfilling a real need in town for face-to-face community in a world of smart phones, social media, news all day, and Netflix all night. Open to women living in Beacon Hill and surrounding neighborhoods, BHWF has been especially successful at welcoming new residents into Boston, including new mothers, professionals, and retirees seeking to meet like-minded persons. Finding a sense of belonging in a new community is not always easy, and BHWF offers camaraderie, laughs, deeper conversations, and food for body, mind, and spirit.
The core of BHWF is the Forum held on the 2nd Tuesday each month at Hampshire House on Beacon Street. This features talented local women speakers who share their stories of personal success, including the challenges of integrating education, family, and professional demands. The range of speakers has been impressive: celebrity chefs and journalists, artists, designers, scientists and researchers, entrepreneurs, architects, physicians, writers, educational and civic leaders, heads of non-profit foundations…the list goes on. Beyond the Forum, there are smaller social get-togethers each week, including lunches and dinners at local restaurants, local tours to unusual places in Boston, walking group, house parties, mothers outings (both with and without kids), “Rooftop Drinks,” bridge group, gourmet cooking group, reading club, offered during the day and in the evenings. These events evolve from year to year based on the interests of the members. To discover it all, one must visit www.beaconhillwomensforum.org. There you will find more information, and can join online. Membership pricing for 2018-2019 is $200 (ages 35+) and $100 (under 35 years), which includes admission to the Monthly Forum, Holiday Party, and Spring Fashion Show, as well as all BHWF activities. A Monthly Pass is available for $60. The first Forum this season is September 11, featuring Rosanne Thomas, speaking on You are Stronger than You Think: Tapping into Strengths to Push Past Shyness. Cash bar opens at 6 p.m., program begins promptly at 6:45, at the Hampshire House, 84 Beacon Street.