Sunday, July 5, 2009

Women artist support groups

For more years than I can count, I led a group called “No Limits for Women in the Arts.”

It was amazingly powerful for all of us – we got to know each other very well, we listened to each other’s big dreams for our art work and art lives, we got to explore feelings that got in our ways - and we got support to just move right through those.

(Wouldn’t it be great if that’s all it took, i.e., there was no oppression of women artists or artists in general in the real world – you could just get rid of the internalized stuff and poof, you could be seen, heard, appreciated, and paid!)

Actually I am thinking back to that No Limits group because tonight I attended another women artists group – one that has met for also probably 20 years or so. I am a new, and actually peripheral member, attending rarely the once a month meetings. I am not the leader of this one, so I go with the flow. The flow usually allows for a lot of back and forth conversation about life and art, and eventually people have time to share what they’re doing artwise. My tolerance level is low for lots of chit chat and talking over each other – just pushes some buttons I guess – not fair, no attention for the quiet ones, etc. Some people enjoy that setting, and for 2 hours that was it. But then – so little time left.

I made a suggestion: take the last hour and divide the time equally, giving each woman equal time to talk, be listened to and share art. And voila, it worked! They even seemed to appreciate the structure. And I got to hear from women who are still fully behind their art, as I am. Thank God!

Why was this time-sharing a new idea to these women? There is too much in life I don’t understand.

1 comment:

  1. Was just searching on the web for women artist support groups and found your post. I don't think there is such a thing in my area, so I would have to start one. I definitely would not like the "chit chat for two hours" format!