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Women’s Wisdom Art

By on July 22, 2015

Charity Spotlight: Women’s Wisdom Art

By: Serena Piper

Among the many resources for women and children overcoming homelessness, poverty, violence, abuse, and health conditions, Women’s Wisdom Art stands out as one of a kind. An empowerment program for women, it was established in 1986 to give women a way to not only distract themselves from the gravity ofWomen's Wisdom Art their situation, but to give them a way to express themselves through a healthy medium: art.

An affordable, safe place for low income women to go to begin a transition, the women who come to the program relearn social skills to integrate themselves back into society. Along the way, they are creating art that is leaving a lasting impact on their community. The founders of the Women’s Wisdom Art program believe art is the best mechanism for healing through creative self-expression. The program offers various kinds of art experiences for the women who attend, including water color, acrylics, poetry, and mosaics. Teachers volunteer their time to provide art womens wisdom artinstructions, and any art created in the studios can later be displayed in an exhibit. Because Women’s Wisdom Art operates on a tight budget to offer classes and art supplies, any donations and volunteers are immensely appreciated. Although the money from each art sale goes directly to the artist, at least 25% of it is passed on to the program to help pay for supplies.

The program has become a catalyst for those hoping to break out of a depression, who are resigning themselves to their homes, and for those trying to come back out of a shell.”I’m learning to like the one I see in the mirror,” one attendee said. Program Director Helen Plenert began as an acrylics teacher in 2002, teaching one class per week. “I knew nothing about the healing powers of the arts until I saw transformation in the women I was working with,” she said. “In some cases I didn’t recognize them from one week to another.”

Art proceeds are paramount in keeping the program operating. When first established, it was supported by a grant, and founder Laura Ann Walton and the staff continually applied for them. Eventually, grant resources were no longer available, creating a challenge to keep Women’s Wisdom Art going. 11103029_1592987417642667_3471760942013603442_oSacramento Food Bank and Family Services took the program under its wing, modifying the already empowering program and assisting the artists in showcasing their work at quarterly art shows.

Women’s Wisdom Art has become the haven many women have needed to start a journey of recovery, and the help of the community has more than contributed to keeping that going. “The response from Sacramento was one that embraced us as a necessary program for this community,” said Plenert.

To find out about volunteering or donating: (916) 482-2608 or visit

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