Several years ago when I was writing the application for my first Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grant I took advantage of one of the information sessions that they offer for each cycle.
This gives you an opportunity to have your proposal reviewed before you send it out. If available, this is highly recommended for any grant you may be applying for. I thought working with this underserved group of new mothers was aligned Leeway’s mission to “promote artistic expression that amplifies the voices of those on the margins, promotes sustainable and healthy communities, and works in the service of movements for economic and social justice.”  

Turns out it was, but I had to rethink, and repurpose how I approached my proposal. A shift to truly seeing the power of Art for Social Change. 
When I wrote my first draft in 2010 for the printmaking workshops with YoungMoms, I initially set out to teach these young mom new skills and offer a place for community and self expression.
Sounds good, right? Not quite. What Makes a Leeway ArtistThe difference I learned is that it is not so much about teaching with its implications of status and power, but more about sharing and building community. And once that shift happens, that is where grace slips in and the real social change occurs.

Justine and Bridge with their sculpture- The Power of Love

We see each other as equals, empowered and uplifted by each other’s stories, insights and experiences.

Putting on the finishing touches

And that is exactly what happened with our YoungMoms Women of Courage and Influence project that wrapped up this week. To read more about the project in Chester County Press click here.

Volunteer Barb Proto packing it up and heading out…

The projects completed during these workshops will be on exhibit at the YoungMoms 3rd Annual Community Brunch Hope Blooms on Saturday, April 26. 

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