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Empowering Women in Nature Workshops
11 Sep 2013
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7 seasonal workshops were scheduled for Oct. 2011 through June 2012 and offered at no cost to participants. The programs involved artists Normandi Ellis (literary arts), Reba Rye (visual arts) and the organization kidsGROWkentucky, Inc. (outdoor experience). The workshops included canoe trips, literary and visual arts, and work with a wildflower naturalist and herbalist. We also worked with an educational consultant.  The experience is aimed at 20 women who could benefit in self esteem & self understanding from an outdoor experience. Professional outfitters/providers were be used for guiding the participants in such settings in a manner that optimized their focus on the natural world in a safe and green manner.

Workshop 1 – Saturday Oct. 15, 2011: The Shapes of Rivers and Trees -- the early autumn is a riot of color and the natural shapes of things begin to unfold. On this canoe trip, we will gather objects to make art of found objects and write concrete poems whose forms mimic the shape of that which is the poem's subject.

Workshop 2 – Saturday Nov. 19, 2011
: Making Tracks -- working with ideas of migration, of animal trails, and footprints. The winter is one of the best times to see the stark beauty of the natural world. Writing about where we come from and where we are headed. A good time to use nature meditation and change of year to ponder the new and the old.

Workshop 3 – Saturday January 21, 2012: Fish & Bird & Animal Dreams -- hibernating animals sleep, and so do we humans sleep more in winter, huddled up by the fire. What are the plants and the animals dreaming beneath the snow? In what ways do we hibernate and prepare ourselves for the coming spring? How can young women incubate a stronger, more confident future self?

Workshop 4 – Saturday Mar. 17, 2012: Seed Selves -- planting and making a positive impact on the environment, on our future, on the generations who follow us.  What is it that we want to grow in ourselves, in our communities, in our world as women? This gets women reconnected to their roots as the world's first gardeners and agriculturalists.

Workshop 5 – Saturday April 21, 2012: Wild at Heart -- searching through wildflowers and meadows and creek bottoms for fossils; using natural blooming and occurring materials to create art; poems exploring the question, “What is the poetry of place?”

Workshop 6 – May 19, 2012: What Paul Sawyer Saw -- canoeing down Elkhorn Creek and in the environs, making art with guest artist Reba Rye and writing with Normandi Ellis about the creek and its environs. The program acquaints young women with the idea of exploration of the natural world through sensory experience.

Workshop 7 – Saturday June 16, 2012: Starry, Starry Night -- an afternoon of workshops, mythic tales related to the constellations and an evening of star-gazing and poetry.

The artist or arts organization telling this story was supported in part by a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. KFW is based on the belief that when women and girls advance, so does Kentucky. For more information about the foundation and the social change artmaking being done by the individuals and organizations it supports, visit www.kfw.org." 

Art Fiction Found Art Multimedia Non-Fiction Poetry Agriculture Community Empowerment Gender Heritage Preservation Rural-Urban Women Youth Books/Writing Southeast Visual Artist Writer canoeing nature storytelling
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