I’m writing about a special project near and dear to my heart. If you watch this video, you’ll know why.
Asking for Your Support
We need your help. We need to raise $10,000 to publish our new annual anthology, (a) river rising, a beautiful collection of art and writings from the past five years of conducting writing circles and art shows here in Jacksonville. It features 57 writers and 29 art artists, each of whom either participated in one of our writing circles or one of our art shows. Our hope is that with this anthology, we not only share this good work with our audience but also build a stronger community, connected by our stories and our shared experiences.
Publishing costs include $4,000 in printing, $2,500 for our professional staff—who have each spent untold hours on this project, plus other expenses like a website and other start-up costs for the ongoing publishing of an annual anthology. We’ve all invested so much in this project. Now we’re hopeful that by launching this Kickstarter campaign, the wider community will help us cover our costs. We hope that includes you!
Here’s our ask: Would you be willing to donate to this campaign, at whatever level is comfortable for you, to help us reach our goal and encourage others to donate as well?
I would be overjoyed if you would!
If you believe in women’s voices, in the stories of our daughters as well as our sons, this is one actionable step you can take, one drop of water that you can contribute, that will honor them and make sure diverse perspectives are heard and valued in the world.
And remember…if we don’t make our goal, we will have to give all the money back! So please help us reach our conservative goal of $7,500, and our stretch goal of $10,000, or beyond!
The donation is fully tax-deductible, according to our accountants. We will send a letter documenting your donation by year-end.
I’ve been conducting writing circles in Jacksonville for the past five years as an affiliate of Women Writing for (a) Change, a group my brilliant sister Ruth Anne Wolfe suggested I get involved with, sending me the book the founder wrote, encouraging me to be an affiliate, and even introducing me to the Executive Director, her personal friend.
It worked! It was a beautiful match, and I’ve changed and grown tremendously since first undergoing the training to open this affiliate, first as a for-profit and now as a non-profit. During this time, I’ve worked with literally hundreds of women in Jacksonville, and heard so many beautiful stories—including those of incarcerated women, Mayo Clinic doctors and nurses and students, poets, women of color, immigrants, women recovering from breast cancer, parents of sick and dying children, and many, many more. Much of that outreach work has been as a volunteer, funded by myself.
Adding Art to the Mix
In addition, I learned recently that according to industry insiders, only 2 to 4 percent of all art in our national museums is by women! When I took Art History in 1983, the 2-inch tome we used as our textbook for the course did not have a single woman in it. Not one! The sad thing is…I didn’t even notice it. That’s how normalized it is, even today! It was not until 1986 that this textbook even began including a few women—though they have been making art since the beginning of time. It really stunned me to learn these facts.
Therefore, I decided to turn my home not only into a place for women to write, but also into an art gallery featuring the work of local women artists. This I’ve done, and we are now in our fifth season of exhibitions, most recently completing two shows titled RISE and SHINE.
Celebrating (a) river rising
After five years of doing this work, the Board and I decided to celebrate by publishing an anthology of the words and art we’ve been exposed to over these years. We created a publishing arm to our non-profit called Hestia Press, hired a professional editor and designer, and developed a diverse team of editors and writers from our regular circles to ensure a thoughtful mix of perspectives. We made it inclusive by allowing anyone who had participated in our circles over the past five years to submit something to the publication, curating it to fit with our overall theme. As a result, we have a gorgeous book with a diverse selection of beautiful stories and artworks, each enhanced by the way that it interacts with the other works in the book. You can check out a copy of the cover here so you can see how beautiful it will be.
I am grateful to those of you who have already contributed in many ways to the work we’ve been able to do here in Jacksonville, and I greatly appreciate, as does our Board and our editorial team. If on top of that, you’ll consider making a financial contribution as well, it will mean so much to so many.
Women Writing for (a) Change Jacksonville