Women's Wisdom ART


Women's Wisdom Art empowers women from all backgrounds by inviting them to engage in a diverse community dedicated to creating art. The images and words women create to express their experiences and hopes transforms not only their own lives, but also those of their families and of our entire community.

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Address: PO Box 162537
Sacramento, CA 95816
County or Parish: Sacramento
Primary NTEE: Arts,Culture & Humanities 
Sub NTEE: Visual Arts 
Executive Director: Ali Lichtenstein
Contact Email: Wisdomart@womenswisdomart.org
Primary Phone: 916-838-2981
Website: http://womenswisdomart.org/
Laura Ann Walton founded The Wisdom Project in 1991 as part of Maryhouse, a daytime hospitality shelter for homeless women and children. The program was designed as an art empowerment program for women overcoming poverty, homelessness, violence, and abuse. The women formed an artists' co-op and donated a portion of the proceeds from sales of their art back to the program.

Women's Wisdom ART, as the program is now known, operated under the wing of The Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services from 2000 until 2012. Beginning in June of 2012, Women's Wisdom ART, comprised of a small Board of Directors and a large group of volunteers, operated as a non-profit corporation under the umbrella of Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC), receiving additional small grants and depending mostly on private donors. Although many artist participants are on fixed incomes or have low paying jobs, they have contributed to the cost of the program since 2012 by paying a small monthly fee. The artists are also involved with community fund raising events, like Race for the Arts and Big Day of Giving.

In June of 2016, Women's Wisdom ART became an independent 501(c)(3). The organization's artist members now include a diverse range of women from across a broad spectrum with two things in common: they are all women and artists. They gather in community to create art as a way to escape isolation, recover from illness or loss, forge new friendships, and become empowered to transform their own lives and the lives of others in their families and communities.
Women's Wisdom ART is entering its 7th year as a free-standing arts program. 2018 marks our 27th year in operation. We participated in the Big Day of Giving from its first year. From 2012-2015 we used the fiscal sponsorship of SMAC's Friends of the Arts. In January, 2016 we completed the process of filing for our own 501(c)(3), we doubled our 2016 Day of Giving amount from the previous year to raise over $16,000. In 2017, our Big Day of Giving amount was over $20,000. Our goal is to operate Women's Wisdom ART on a full time basis with paid staff, volunteers, and a dedicated Board of Directors. We have had a tremendous positive impact on the lives of over 2,000 women, their families, and our communities. The artists of Women's Wisdom ART are determined to see the program continue; we support that determination as we strive to raise the funds needed for a growing, full-time quality arts organization.
Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Program - Program funding to expanding course offerings. Additional paid staff to support program needs
  2. Funding: Unrestricted - Upgrade and expand studio space
  3. Volunteers - Regular classroom assistants for specific classes, administrative assistants and social media expertise
  4. In-Kind Donations - Professional legal and financial expertise, quality art supplies, computer ink, computer paper, 4-6 drawer locking metal filing cabinet, drafting table, comfortable desk chairs and PA system
  5. Technology - Internet access and service
"Women's Wisdom ART opened in 1991. As of 2018, WWA celebrates its 27th year of empowering women through art instruction (classes), public art shows, public readings, and sales of art. Over 2,000 women have benefited from Women's Wisdom ART since 1991. In 2018, we increased our regular participants by 50%. Additional 2018 successes included: Published "Bites of Time:New Works by Wisdom Writers and Artists",hosted a public chapbook reading; created an Instagram page for art; and secured our own studio and gallery space.

Our primary goal is continued expansion of participants served through outreach to diverse populations of need within Sacramento and surrounding communities. We are establishing strong community partners to assist with this goal, including My Sister's House, Women's Empowerment, Wellspring and Mercy Housing. In 2018 our Board of Directors increased paid staff, secured our own studio and gallery space, and expanded our Board. Women's Wisdom ART provides a unique service, and adds an immense cultural richness to the Sacramento community. We ardently hope that the supporters in our community will join us in our effort to empower women through the arts."

Ali Lichtenstein
Board Chair
Women's Wisdom ART