The Arizona Women’s Collaborative is a group of female-identifying artists working synergistically across disciplines. Through cooperative composition, AWC seeks to foster opportunities for artists from different fields—including creative writing, dance, music, and the visual arts—to use their creative expression for positive change. In this spirit, AWCis facilitating cross-disciplinary partnerships between student-artists, alumni, and faculty, beginning by pairing students from the nationally ranked MFA Program in Creative Writing with DMA students in Music Composition and Music Performance. In recognition of the traditional underrepresentation of women in the fields of music composition and poetry, female-identifying artists will work from the theme Voices to the Voiceless, producing original writing to be set to music and then performed both aurally and visually at an event in early Spring 2019. In Spring 2018, AWC’s founding members—Stephanie Sadownick, DMA Candidate, Erica Glenn, DMA Candidate, Kalani Pickhart, MFA Candidate, and Jenny Irish, Assistant Director of Creative Writing—are holding planning meetings. The summer will serve as a generative period for collaborators. In Fall 2018, all creative-partnerships will finalize their pieces, and the performance order and format of the Voices to the Voiceless event will be determined. In early Spring 2019 Voices to the Voiceless will be presented as a celebration of artistic community, cooperation, and women empowering other women. The AWC views not only the event, but the process of creation leading to the Voices to the Voiceless performance, as positive modeling of what is possible for other artists at ASU and beyond: in response to limited visibility of women in specific areas of the arts, visibility is being created through methods that support both community and professional growth. The arts ask us to tap into creativity and activate a skillset that can only enhance all other aspects of learning—one of the most critical being a capacity to open ourselves to other perspectives, attitudes, and approaches, and to join conversations with the ability to consider thoughtfully opinions that are not our own. Through this experience we gain understanding we did not previously have, and through our increased understanding, we become capable of greater empathy. Participation in the arts, in short, opens us. Through this project, the AWC will create interactions at multiple levels of community—artists to artist, artists to audience, and audience in reply to artists—offering all involved, creator or viewer, an opportunity to grow through shared experience.
Arizona Women’s Collaborative