The Women's Collective

The Women’s Collective (TWC) is a leading community health and human service agency in Washington, D.C. providing culturally-competent, girl- and woman-focused, and family-centered HIV/STD prevention, education, care, support, and advocacy services. Our mission is to empower women, girls, and their families by providing them with the skills and linkages to meet their self-defined needs, increase their access to care and support, and engage them so that they are best equipped to ‘own’ their health outcomes, improve their quality of life, and protect their rights.

We asked Jennafer Kwait, Director of Programs, to talk about the artwork the Women’s Collective received through ACCR and to share some of the staff and clients’ experiences surrounding the placement.

Staff and clients alike love the artwork – both the fun and beautiful pieces themselves, but also as a symbolic validation of the importance of our work, how much we value our clients, and the idea that physical surroundings matter to health and well-being. The pieces start conversations among staff and between staff and clients.  It is great to have new and vibrant artwork in our already colorful space – it perfectly complements the framed photos and posters that remind everyone why we are all here together. The artwork creates community, while also encouraging introspection and reflection.

We love all of the pieces, but the one in which staff became most possessive was Fefe! Everyone wanted her on the wall by their desk, so we compromised and she is hanging behind the front desk. Everyone is greeted by her wise and beautiful face as we enter our offices.  What is she thinking?

 

We had one staff member who loved Fefe so much that she was willing to move a large photo of her daughter as a child that she had placed on a wall across her desk, to another wall in hopes of having Fefe placed by her.

We placed HOPE in our client resource room -- I guess you can say for obvious reasons.  We are all here to keep hope alive.

In speaking about her experience, Pat Nalls, Founder/Executive Director of the Women’s Collective commented,

“The generous donation of art and the wonderful support of Julie and her visiting board members were important in so many ways – including just the incredibly  essential reminder and confirmation that EVERYONE deserves and needs art and beauty in their lives.”  

Images (top to bottom): Roberta Shute, Encounter; Victoria Rouse, Fefe; Marsha Hall, Hope; Cara Ober, Make Believe