“At every step of the process—whether conceiving, designing, making, maintaining, or repairing—we must always be concerned with the whole….We look at this wholeness, absorb it, try to feel its deep structure. We ask, Which kind of thing we can do next that will do the most to give this wholeness the most positive increase of life?”
—Christopher Alexander, cited in The Nature of Poetic Order
Since we began Women Writing for (a) Change in Jacksonville five years ago, we’ve conducted writing circles for hundreds of women, girls, and even a few boys and men! It’s been a rich and rewarding experience, and my only desire is to do more, with an even more diverse and widespread audience.
But whenever I’ve considered this before, there’s always been one thing that stops me in my tracks: My own limitations. I am just one person! And as Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” So if I want to reach more people with diverse backgrounds and experiences, I need help.
Supporting the Whole, Holding the Center
A non-profit structure will enhance our outreach by providing a stronger financial and organizational structure for our work and helping us to add trained facilitators who can offer more classes. The good news is, I’m already getting great support from the community to do this.
First of all, the law firm of Holland and Knight (see the view from their offices, above!) has agreed to assist us pro bono to establish our new corporate entity and apply for tax-exempt status. So grateful! Secondly, our own local arts supporter and woman writer Lisa Goodrich has offered the use of her non-profit LMG Cooperative as our initial fiscal agency. With her help, we can immediately offer donors a tax-deductible contribution option while we apply for our 501(c)3 status.
Third, I am grateful to a thoughtful group of visionary women who have agreed to serve on our Board. In addition, I’ve got a growing circle of local and national advisors providing wisdom and guidance during the conversion process. Many folks are working behind the scenes to guide us to a new whole that holds the center. They are committed to the importance of this work, and for that, I am most grateful.
Why This Work Is Important
I wrote a piece a couple years ago about my experiences conducting writing circles with incarcerated women and former addicts, as well as with the wider community of women who have been in my circles these past five years. Their growth and transformation have given me a VERY clear imperative to move forward.
Exciting Ways You Can Show Your Support
We will be launching an official fundraising program very soon, but, in the meantime, you can help right now in two ways:
- Attend our upcoming Art Show Opening and Fundraiser on Friday, Sept. 7, from 5:30 to 8:30. We will feature local female artists and writers in a show titled: The Craft of Art: A Feminine Approach. The focus is on how women use art to process our lives. Artist-attorney Deborah Reid is curating the show. Committed artists so far include UNF Professors Jenny Hager (sculpture) and Sheila Goloborotko (printing ) plus Mary Atwood and Barbara Fryefield. Artists will sell small pieces and donate a portion to our non-profit.
- Please consider supporting our work with incarcerated women now by making a donation! We need pens, journals, paper, ink, toner and more! Any help you can provide would be most appreciated. Just donate what you can here and designate it for WWfac Jacksonville.
Register for Fall Classes Now!
We’ve got a fabulous line-up of classes already posted for this fall, and the Early Bird Deadline is August 1! Our theme is The Art and Craft of Writing, with On Writing Well as our text. You can register now for the Sampler or the Fall Series. Special events include a Fourth Friday writing circle at Yellow House on Aug. 24, a workshop on craft with Lynn Shapyak-Harlin, and a collaboration with Jax By Jax.
Writing In Community Is Needed
Many of us use writing to shape our lives and thoughts, but not all of us have a supportive community to nourish our creative spirit. Using the platform of our new non-profit, we can provide more opportunities to nurture voices that often go unheard. I do hope you will consider participating in some way, either as a writer, artist, donor, supporter, or friend who shows up and listens to our words. I hope to see you in the circle soon.
—Jennifer Wolfe, Owner, Women Writing for (a) Change, Jacksonville