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
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' coop 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 501c3. 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 6th year as a free-standing arts program. 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. Our goal is to operate Women's Wisdom ART on a full time basis with paid staff positions and stipends for Artist Teachers. 2017 marks our 26th year in operation. 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 - Paid staff to support program needs
  2. Board Members - 3 to 4 additional Board members
  3. Volunteers - Artist teachers, volunteers to support needs of the program
  4. In-Kind Donations - Professional legal and financial expertise, art supplies, paper products, computer ink, computer paper
  5. Space: Office or Other - Goal of securing our own studio and gallery space
Current Women's Wisdom Board Chair, Ali Lichtenstein states, "Women's Wisdom ART opened in 1991 and as of 2017, celebrates its 26th year of promoting the art of women through art instruction (classes), and through art shows and sales of their art. Over 2000 women have benefited from Women's Wisdom ART since 1991. We currently serve 30 regular participants each year. Our goal is to expand our participant numbers with continuing outreach to more diverse populations of need within the Sacramento and surrounding communities. We are establishing strong community partners to assist with this goal. Our Board of Directors is also committed to the goal of adequately paid staff, small teacher stipends, and expanding our Board. Women's Wisdom ART adds an immense cultural richness to the Sacramento community, and we ardently hope that the arts supporters in our community will join us in our effort."