In This Issue: Celebrating Mother’s Day!
Two Allende Videos!
Novelist Isabel Allende
Allende Speaks to Women Artists
8 minute video,
Allende Speaks About Mothers & Daughters
On Being A Mother
Pamela Tanner Boll discusses her film about women artists who are mothers. To read the interview, please click here>>
Watch the Trailer for
See the Film
As part of SWAN Day 2009, the San Francisco Women’s Film Festival presented the film Isabel Allende, a documentary about the award-winning novelist directed by Paula Rodriguez Sickert (available from Filmakers Library).
Isabel Allende attended the screening and did a video interview with SWAN Day’s co-founder Martha Richards.
In the interview, Allende talks about how she was inspired by writers in the women’s movement. Her first novel, The House of Spirits, was published when she was 40, and she reveals that it was rejected by several publishers until she finally found a woman agent who was willing to fight for her.
She also makes a powerful argument that women artists need much more funding. She points out that for every iconic work of art, there are millions that no one ever sees, but the masterpiece could not exist without the others. She says, “We need to support the arts fully . . . Nature spends generously in everything, and that is the way art works. . . The only way that women can be represented and have a voice and start telling their own stories. . . is by doing a lot, and let’s see what hits the mark.”
Finally, she urges women artists to “be connected.” Although Allende has had her share of difficult times, including a coup in Chile where her uncle was ousted from the Presidency, she believes the key to survival is to stay connected with other women. She says that even if you are living in difficult circumstances, “If you can connect to other women, you can feel the energy, you feel the force, you are not alone.”
To watch the 8 minute interview with Isabel Allende, please visit:
Isabel Allende Speaks about Mothers & Daughters
As a special treat for Mother’s Day, we have added a short video where Isabel Allende speaks about her mother and daughter.
To see this Mother’s Day video, please visit:
Pamela Tanner Boll is an artist, writer, filmmaker, activist and mother of three sons. She co-executive produced the Academy award-winning film, Born into Brothels: The Kids of Calcutta’s Red Light District. We interviewed her for this issue about her her latest film, Who Does She Think She Is? The film follows five women who are navigating the economic, psychological, and spiritual challenges of being both mothers and artists.
From Hawaii’s Big Island to the suburbs of Ohio, from New York City to the deserts of New Mexico, we watch as these women—ranging in age from 27 to 65—fight to honor their vision and their families every day. Interviews with experts like Riane Eisler (The Chalice and the Blade), Maura Reilly (Sackler Center for Feminist Art-Brooklyn Museum) and the Guerrilla Girls add a cultural context for the women’s journeys.
We asked Boll how she chose this topic. She said that as her sons grew older and began to separate from her, she started thinking more about the challenges of being both a mother and an artist. She realized that many women feel they have to choose between mothering and working; their children’s well-being and their own; economic responsibility and self-expression. As she interviewed women artists for her film, she discovered that creativity and care-giving are not mutually exclusive, in fact, they are deeply connected.
Although the film is winning awards at festivals, Boll had to overcome the initial skepticism of her family and friends, and she had a hard time finding investors and editors. Her success is a tribute to her persistence, and she urges other women to keep doing their work too, no matter what the response. She is more convinced than ever that, “We need the voices of women. We need their wisdom.”
To read the full interview, please visit:
Watch the Trailer: To see the film’s trailer and press kit,
See the Film: To find out if the film is coming to your area, please check the list of upcoming screenings on the blog at: wdstsi.wordpress.com
How We Heard About this Film: Who Does She Think She Is? was presented as a SWAN Day event in San Jose, California by MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, an inclusive contemporary arts space grounded in the Chicano/Latino experience that incubates new visual, literary and performance art in order to engage people in civic dialogue and community transformation. (See www.maclaarte.org)
We are happy to announce that the Lincoln Center SWAN Day event organized by the League of Professional Theatre Women (www.theatrewomen.org )was covered by NBC News 4 New York on the 6 O’Clock News. Like most women’s causes, SWAN Day events struggle to get attention from the mainstream media, and this clip represents our first network TV breakthrough in the tough New York market. Thanks to the League for their great work in organizing this panel. To watch the 30 second video, please visit: www.womenarts.org/swan-day/videos/swan-day-nbc-video/.
As a special Mother’s Day treat for you from our friends at MomsRising.org, please enjoy and forward this customizable Mother’s Day video to all the “Moms” in your life, or to people who may want to send it to their Moms. You enter the woman’s name you want to celebrate, and this video becomes a tribute to her. Moms deserve no less! (Thanks to the Women’s Media Center for sending us this news item.)
Tell Us About Your SWAN Day Event!
In the coming months we will be featuring interviews with artists who have organized SWAN Day events. If you would like to be covered, please be sure to write to us about your SWAN Day event and send links to any photos or videos to info@SwanDay.org.
About The Fund for Women Artists
SWAN Day is a project of The Fund for Women Artists, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women artists get the resources they need to do their creative work. There is an overview of our goals and services in the About Us section of our website at www.WomenArts.org/share.
SWAN Day 2009 is made possible by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Starry Night Fund of the Tides Foundation, the Leo S. Guthman Fund, the Sister Fund, and by gifts of time, energy and money from artists and arts supporters around the world.
The Fund for Women Artists is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Federal Employer I.D.
#04-3257661. All contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
Please feel free to reprint any portion of this newsletter, but please give credit to The Fund for Women Artists. (©WomenArts.org 2009) This newsletter was originally published on May 8, 2009.