Friday, November 6, 2009

A Room of Her Own

I am honored to be a featured artist on the site A Room of Her Own, a Foundation for women writers and artists. My art " Storm over Plowed Fields" below is on the site. Scroll down about 2/3 of the page.

In July 2000, shortly after her mother’s death,
Darlene Chandler Bassett arrived at Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico for a women’s retreat, a box of Kleenex and a copy of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own in her backpack. She retired from her career of twenty years as a corporate executive for entrepreneur Eli Broad five years prior, and had been seeking new passion and direction ever since.

Also arriving at Ghost Ranch was Mary Johnson, a woman who had recently left quite a different career, having served the same twenty years as a nun in the order founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The parish church where she worked sent her to the retreat for a week of continuing education. The first evening Mary announced, “This retreat was my fifth choice. It’s very difficult for me to trust older women, and I’m not sure why I’m here.” Ghost Ranch’s oddest couple had just met. During an evening session focused on midlife possibilities Mary told of her desire to write her story, asking the universe for “a room of my own and the opportunity to write.” At that moment Darlene found her passion, Mary found a benefactor, and A Room of Her Own Foundation found its beginning in the realization of Virginia Woolf’s words, “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write.” Recognizing a new calling, Darlene offered to fund Mary’s pursuit of a fine arts degree if Mary would help her create a template for an organization that would offer other women the privacy, finances, and creative support to pursue their work. Just like that, A Room of Her Own Foundation was born. “I decided I would finance Mary’s art, and if I could do it for her, we could do it for other women,” Chandler Bassett said. Together they developed a model for a foundation which would give creative women the money and space they needed to pursue their creative vision.

Poetry and art aren’t luxuries, they are integral to any culture’s evolution.
A Room of Her Own Foundation (AROHO)
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing a unique arts program that will impact the development of our culture. Our passion is for helping women writers and artists go the full journey from inspiration, through creative production, and on to the marketplace. AROHO is dedicated to furthering the vision of Virginia Woolf and bridging the gap between a woman’s economic reality and her artistic creation. We bridge this gap by offering generous financial support to women of diverse artistic expression—the written arts (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting), as well as the visual arts (painting, sculpture, and photography). We further Woolf’s vision by providing moral support and professional guidance to independent creative women who are committed to their art. Through the $50,000 biennial Gift of Freedom award, unique Writers' Retreat experiences, and the AROHO Book Club and blog, A Room of Her Own Foundation empowers women and educates the community about the important work of female artists and writers.

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