In 2007, the Center for Women & Work hosted its first ever Women’s Works event as a celebration of the creativity of UMass Lowell affiliated craftswomen. Five years, the annual Women’s Works event has expanded to celebrate the creative lives of women artists beyond the borders of the university grounds. This year, the event is boasting nearly 40 female artists and performers, all gathering to celebrate the often private world of women’s creative pursuits.
The Women’s Works event has three major goals. The first is as a fundraiser for the Center for Women & Work, a University research center committed to the advancement of women and diversity in the work force. The Center for Women & Work is comprised of an interdisciplinary team of dedicated scholars and students invested in the exploration of the role of gender in work as well as a commitment to developing programming that addresses the institutional inequities faced by diverse groups. Women’s Works is one of two major fundraising events for the Center: vendors agree to donate 25 percent of their proceeds to the Center after the event.
The second goal of the Women’s Works event is to provide voice to the often private realm of women’s creativity. Most of the vendors featured at the event have a professional life that is entirely detached from their creative pursuits: a psychiatric nurse makes intricate handmade cards, an English professor designs colorful stained glass, and a retired optician knits wool hats. The skill of these crafts often remains under-appreciated as women consider them hobbies tangential to their professional work. The Women’s Works even provides a public forum for women to share their own work and celebrate the works of others in the context of acknowledging the personal and social value of such creative endeavors.
The third goal of the Women’s Works event is to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship among craftswomen. Some of the vendors have well-established small businesses dedicated to their artistic pursuits, while other vendors have never even considered that their skills could be financially lucrative. The Women’s Works event encourages women to recognize and be compensated for the monetary value of their work, and to network with other successful female entrepreneurs while considering the potential of their own crafts to move from hobby to business.
Like all the years before, this year’s Women’s Works event promises to be a vibrant, energetic opportunity for members of the Lowell community to explore the more creative side of many of the people we interact with professionally every day. The event is open to the public and we encourage anyone interested to stop by, check out the vendors, bid on a silent auction item and support the Center for Women & Work.
WHEN: Thursday, November 29th from 2-7pm
WHERE: UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center (50 Warren St., Downtown Lowell, MA)
5pm for Wine & Cheese with special performances