Help Us Create a New Holiday for Women Artists
on Saturday, March 29, 2008
The Fund for Women Artists is inviting all artists, arts supporters, and scholars to help us create Support Women Artists Now Day, a new annual celebration for women artists in all art forms to be held on the last Saturday of March, which is Women’s History Month. The first Support Women Artists Now Day (SWAN Day for short) will be held on March 29, 2008.
The idea for SWAN Day grew out of a collaboration between The Fund for Women Artists and Chicago’s WITASWAN (Women in the Audiences Supporting Women Artists Now). WITASWAN is an informal alliance of women who are using their power as consumers to increase opportunities for women artists. Since WITASWAN was co-founded by Jan Lisa Huttner, a Chicago film critic, it was launched with a focus on women filmmakers. WITASWAN members make a commitment to see at least one film every month that is directed or written by a woman in a theater or on a DVD.
For SWAN Day, we are expanding WITASWAN to include all art forms. Our goal is to persuade as many people as possible to make a commitment to see at least one work a month created by a woman artist – whether it is a film, a play, a concert, an exhibit, or some other arts experience. This strategy has tremendous potential for increasing the opportunities for women artists by increasing the demand for their work.
Be A Part of the WITASWAN Movement
WITASWAN is a completely voluntary grassroots initiative. Members often get together to discuss the works they have seen, but there are no dues and no membership forms – it works on the honor system. We encourage you to make a commitment to see more art by women and declare yourself a member of WITASWAN right now.
Tell your friends to join too and start attending arts events together. Please feel free to create your own WITASWAN membership cards, t-shirts, and secret handshakes. Send us pictures of your WITASWAN creations, and we will post the best ones online.
* Wear SWAN Jewelry or Other Items – Since the abbreviation of “Support Women Artists Now” is “SWAN”, you can show your support by wearing jewelry and other items featuring swans. When anyone asks you, tell them you are wearing swans because you want to see more art reflecting women’s perspectives. These casual conversations are a great way to make people more aware of the discrimination faced by women artists.
* Design and Sell SWAN Items – If you have swan items that you would like to sell, please write to us at info@WomenArts.org and put “Swan Gifts” in the subject line. We would like to create an ongoing online showcase of swan gift items. We also encourage you to sell swan items on your own.
* Organize Events for SWAN Day 2008 – The Fund for Women Artists is looking for groups that are willing to organize special events featuring women artists for SWAN Day 2008. We want to create a sense of solidarity among women artists and a big news splash by having SWAN Day events all over the world. We will need your help to pull this off.
These events could be performances, exhibits, rallies, parades, auctions, or other activities that draw attention to women artists or raise money for women artists in your community.
If you are already planning to do a performance or exhibit on March 29, 2008, you can make it a SWAN Day event by adding a discussion with the audience about the status of women artists or by distributing flyers or making curtain speeches about the WITASWAN movement. The Fund for Women Artists will be developing materials for you to distribute.
If you are interested in organizing a SWAN Day event, please write to us at info@WomenArts.org and put “SWAN Day Event” in the subject line.
WomenArts Network Tops 1,000 Artists
There are now over 1,000 women artists from 24 different countries on the WomenArts Network, our innovative online directory of artists at: network.WomenArts.org.
The WomenArts Network makes it easy to learn about and contact women artists. You can search for women artists by name, theme, art form, geographic region and more. You can email any artist on the WomenArts Network by clicking on the email link under her name at the top of her profile page. If the artist has a website, there will be a link to her website on her page.
Any woman artist is welcome to create a free profile page on the WomenArts Network. Our website now has over 2,000 visitors a day, and many of them are finding women artists for their projects through the WomenArts Network.