Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts and the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee Present Journeys of Women Exhibition
Art comes in many forms and we are limited only by our imagination. -Becky Chapman, Artist
The Journeys of Women annual art exhibition will be free and open to the public August 31st – September 8th at the McKinney Center. Sponsored by the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee, the exhibition serves as a fundraiser for the organization whose vocation is to positively alter the lives of low-income women in the 25-county service area where the East Tennessee Foundation operates. The Women’s Fund, a national organization with state and local chapters, helps women of all ages gain access to things such as; health care, guidance to education and career paths, support in transition from welfare to work, as well as many other challenges women may be faced with. Partnered with the Town of Jonesborough’s McKinney Center, the East Tennessee Women’s Fund created this fundraising exhibition to shine light on the incredible talent of regional artists and to spread the word about the Women’s Fund and the work they strive to accomplish.
The art exhibited will be for sale and all proceeds will go to the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee. The nonprofit has awarded grants to the Red Legacy Recovery Program in Elizabethton offering help to women dealing with substance abuse issues, the Boys and Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County’s career preparation and life skills training program, and a summer program at Tusculum College for low-income high school girls. Over the past five years the Women’s Fund has awarded 23 grants in total, providing more than $300,000 to 16 organization in the area.
Currently the only fund in East Tennessee devoted to gifting revenue to organizations focused on improving the lives of women, the Fund works to be flexible, proactive and receptive in addressing the changing needs of the women they help. The Fund is also widely community driven, which allows individuals to be as involved as they desire within the Fund. This creates a genuine connection, not only to issues, but solutions as well.
Theresa Hammons, Director at the McKinney Center expresses how the Journeys of Women exhibition acts in sync with the center’s own mission:
One of our many goals here at the McKinney Center is to enhance the quality of life for our community. Artists, in their own way are community activists. They observe, and experience and overcome problems throughout their own lives whether it be losing a job, addiction, family issues, or a health crisis. They take these experiences and express it in their art work. I see students young and old at the McKinney Center transform throughout the semester as they take our art classes. Some students come in very shy with low self-confidence. They learn skills in art, music, and theatre, and finish their class with a new level of confidence that is inspiring. Adults that have had extensive careers come into the center and find a new found since of creativity and joy. A partnership with the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee was a natural one for the Town of Jonesborough and the McKinney Center. We have a common mission to the help better our community.
I dream of a healthier and happier social structure, not moving backward but forward to ameliorate yesterday’s damages. – Glenna Elsea, Artist