ECO Fund - Get your application in now! 2017 Educational and
Cultural Opportunity Awards
Did an art or writing opportunity
recently present itself and then you thought to yourself, “Darn! I
just don’t have the cash right now?” Or has a project come to mind
that would be fun, interesting, and challenging? What about a piece
of equipment or supplies that you need to create your art? Have you
found an interesting workshop that you’d love to attend? Is there a
distant location in which you could create beautiful art or
Opportunity is knocking on your
WiVLA’s ECO Fund scholarship awards will be
chosen at the April 18 Meeting. The application is on the website,
and can either be sent via email (save the form on your computer,
fill it out and attach the form to your email), or by mail.
All applications must be received or postmarked by Friday
April 7, 2017.
There are certain
specifications to having an accepted application, so read carefully.
Applications are reviewed, and all names whose application falls
within the guidelines are placed either an “artist” box or “writer”
box.One name from each box will be chosen at random at the April 18
meeting. Everyone who has entered has an equal chance of being
The program that evening will be
presentations by the 2016 scholarship winners. Then, drum roll……,
the new awardees will be chosen. It is always a fascinating and
Donna Johnson Gives March Program
, “Writing the Poetic Truth
Top: Donna Johnson with
rapt audience of 36 members and guests. Bottom: Johnson signing
Holy Ghost Girl
for happy members
childhood spent traveling around the country with a revivalist
preacher and his tent retinue, including her organist mother,
provided a colorful and layered past in which author Donna Johnson
sought the truth of her early years.
But she had
difficult and different truths to consider in writing the memoir.
Facts didn’t take her far enough; the more facts, the deader her
writing became. She wanted to tell the truth about her experiences
and maintain the emotional connection between the story and the
reader. She declared this goal as the “poetic truth” and showed us
how this type of writing digs deeply into the hidden narrative of
the past. Writing Holy Ghost Girl,
(she called it
“unpacking my childhood”), she knew she had to get rid of the “sense
of facts” and break through details, facts, and events to find the
Why is story
important? Story can
reach people, change the brain, increase oxytocin, and lead to more
empathy. Donna referenced Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved
citing that although it is a fictionalized life of a slave, the
power in Morrison’s writing altered Donna’ consciousness of the
historical time and the slave experience. Toni Morrison had turned a
tragic slave narrative into story.
Story, Donna helped us
understand, renders fact into felt experience for the reader or
listener. Thus, she knew she had to get readers to have empathy for
the preacher and his followers in order for the readers to arrive at
the universal truths and the human frailties in the story of her
young years. She had to fill in the bare, bald facts with poetic
details and deep feeling; she had to create scenes and, more
importantly, re-create her emotional truth so her life would feel
real to the reader.
Some people say that the
world doesn’t need another story, but Donna reassured us that when
we write the story
of our innermost lives, that action
brings us together in wisdom and understanding.
talk was followed by a lively and thoughtful question and answer
period with warm and inspiring conversations continuing as attendees
purchased copies of Holy Ghost Girl
and talked with Donna
Johnson as she signed the books. ###President's
“It’s not how far I can go….it’s about how many
I can bring along with me.”
(from our very own Zita
We are abundantly thrilled – WiVLA hosted a very
successful show, Abundant
, at the Cloisters
Gallery. Forty-five works of art were displayed beautifully, efforts
of love and energy created by twenty-three of our artists. Opening
night was a festive affair, complete with our poetry-reciting juror,
John Runnels, a table laden with delicious treats from Judy Shamp’s
kitchen, and many friends and acquaintances who came to view and
discuss the bountiful art.
It is abundantly
clear to me that we are a community of artists, writers, and
creatives who support, invigorate, teach, and enjoy each others'
journey along our creative paths. It’s the way we bring each other
along with us, and how we all grow in the process. It’s the way that
one artist’s work will incite another artist’s ideas, and, even in
Texas, they will snowball, gathering more depth and complexity along
the way. We bring each other along and become heroines for one
And so we move forward, with a WiVLA future that
is full of possibilities. The ECO Fund drawing will be held in
April. We will bring two new lucky members along with us to further
their creative lives. Come to hear last year’s ECO Fund winners,
Lilibeth Andre and Lee Steiner, report on their projects and then
celebrate as they pick the 2017
a show at
the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center in August, will help
the community mark the rebuilding of the surrounding community
during the recent years’ floods. WiVLA has been invited to join the
commemoration and celebration of the neighborhood community with
visual art and literary pieces that reflect that theme. See the
article and link for the prospectus.
meeting was an opportunity to hear memoirist Donna Johnson speak
about “Finding the Poetic Truth” in one’s writing. She spoke
eloquently and later signed her memoir Holy Ghost Girl
will return next fall for a WiVLA writing workshop. See the
article about her visit.
word. Join us for Cultured Cocktails at Bar Boheme on April 20
for an evening of spreading WiVLA’s word – literally and visually.
We have fun activities planned so that patrons who come to their
happy hour will learn about us and enjoy the great possibilities
that WiVLA exemplifies. We can bring them along to share future
meetings, events, possibilities and challenges. See the Cultured
Cocktails article for further details.
Juror John Runnels
welcoming reception attendees with poetry and remarks. Members and
treats by Judith Shamp.
Prospectus is ready times two -- Visual and Literary
is extremely excited to collaborate with the Evelyn Rubenstein
Jewish Community Center – “The J” -- in an event called One
Voice, One Vibe, Our Community. As many Houstonians are aware
that the greater Meyerland area was hit by devastating floods twice
within a ten-month period. “The J” became a hub for relief efforts
and continues to communicate with the community and local leaders in
the city and county. This has led to a renewed sense of pride and
excitement about the community. To celebrate the commitment to
connecting and rebuilding this vital community, “The J” is
sponsoring One Voice, One Vibe, Our
As the centerpiece of One Voice,
One Vibe, Our Community, “The J” is commissioning an original
anthem-like musical composition to reflect the resilience of the
greater Meyerland area, its Jewish imprint, and the Evelyn
Rubenstein Jewish Community Center. The WiVLA part of this will be
an art exhibit along with written work from our writers on the topic
“Renewal.” The composition will premiere at the Evelyn Rubenstein
Jewish Community Center on August 20, 2017 with local musicians and
singers. Earlier that afternoon, an opening reception will be held
with the WIVLA art work exhibited in The Deutser Art Gallery along
with a chapbook of the WiVLA written work.
As you ruminate
on the theme Renewal and what you want to create
for this significant event, please think in terms of a secular
approach to the topic. Because the work is to be presented
to the entire Meyerland community and its neighbors, it should
have broad appeal. Work with a religious slant will not be
appropriate for this show.
Visual Prospectus is here.
Literary Prospectus is here.
Sponsors Cultured Cocktails
April 20 5:00 to 8:00 pm
307 Fairview Street
Bar Boheme devotes every
Thursday Happy Hour to a different Houston arts or cultural group,
donating a percentage of the happy hours’ profit to that
April 20 is WiVLA’s turn! Boheme is described
as a “Montrose bar with an artsy vibe which offers wine, cocktails,
thin-crust pizzas & plenty of outdoor seating.” [Editor wants to
note that good beers are in supply as well.] Vietnamese fries are
another not-to-be-missed happy hour treat. http://www.barboheme.com/home
We will have a table near the door, complete with banner, brochures,
examples of our chapbooks and visual art. We need your help
“womaning” this table – meeting, greeting, and being friendly.
Please click here
to read the entire article and discover
exciting and fun activities that are planned the evening. Member
Tayyba Kanwal's sample letter to friends and family is in the link
as an example of how to promote WiVLA's Cultured
Please join us and tell your colleagues
and friends! Read on
Special Article from WiVLA founding mother Karleen
-- Writefest Highlights Journal Publishing
New member Elizabeth White-Olsen’s
organization, Writespace, hosted a literary journal festival in
March that saw more than 25 journal editors come to town to talk
about writing for them and writing in general. This is the second
year Writespace has hosted the event, called Writefest. Editors of
all genres come, from science fiction to poetry, friendly and eager
to share tips. Journals are often the door through which writers
enter publishing, but they are also a market for experienced
writers.Continue to full article here
- Regina Vitolo Mader, who is our Social Media
guru, gathered excellent information about Twitter and its uses.
To see her advice and resources, click here. For a one-page Twitter guide, click here.
- Looking for a
gift for a special friend? This lovely teacup and saucer set is
available for purchase for only $10 and is ALREADY WRAPPED. To
order, email email@example.com.
- Item #2 from Regina Vitolo Mader: Regina asks
that if members have photographs, especially of
WiVLA events, that you'd like to have posted on the WiVLA
social media accounts, please email her the
photos as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. General info
about the photos and identities of the people can be placed in the
- Item #3 from Regina: Do you want to post on
WiVLA's Facebook page? Click here for a short tutorial with easy-to-read
instructions and images. Many thanks to Regina!
- Cultured Cocktails - Thursday, April 20.
Fundraiser at Bar Boheme. A percentage of all sales during a
certain period of time this evening will go to WiVLA. 307
Fairview, Houston TX. See article in this issue.
- We acknowledge generous donations from members Zita
Giraldo, Leigh Owen, June Russell, Linda Ann Stelljes,
and Lillian Tharp. Click here to read treasurer Lane
Devereux's thank you to donors and helpful information
about donations to WiVLA via several options.
- Editor's Note: After the opening reception for the
Abundant exhibit, there was a series of thank you emails
among the volunteers. It was pleasure to read the heartfelt
comments about the beauty of the exhibit, the sincere thanks to
the many volunteers, and the grand support of all the artists and
tuned for upcoming events!
send in your news by the 20th of each month - art exhibits, literary
works, news, etc. - for inclusion in the following month’s
newsletter to email@example.com.
- donna e perkins' work will be on
exhibit at Archway Gallery from April 1 through May 4. The opening
reception is Saturday, April 1 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm with remarks
by donna around 6:30. Associated with the exhibit are special
events with choreographers jhon r. stronks and Alexandre Farris
Soares. Please visit the gallery website at http://www.archwaygallery.com
- Rona Lesser reminds
us that on Saturday, April 22 from 5:00-10:00 pm many WIVLA
artists will be participating in the Biennial Art Stroll and Sale
at Sawyer Yards studios. Rona Lesser herself will be at
Summer Street studio #101. Please visit for a fun evening.
Artist-designed bird houses will be for sale to benefit the
Frake invites all WIVLA members to the opening of her
show at the Jung Center on Saturday, April 8 from 5:00 to 7:00
Above, So Below: Inner and Outer Images of the Cosmos will
contain metal and enamel sculptures, wall pieces and jewelry. It
will run concurrently with photographer Leslie Field’s exhibit Field
Explorations. Both will be on view from March 31 to
- Jane Chance received news that her poem
“Enchanted Rock,” published by Dos Gatos Press in the 2016 Texas
Poetry Calendar in March and nominated for a Pushcart Prize, has
been selected for reprinting in the 2018 Best-of-the-Texas Poetry
Calendars. She has also sent it in as her contribution for
the Poetry at Roundtop 2017 Anthology. Note to interested poets
from Jane: If you attend the April festival of readings and
workshops you can submit a poem for the anthology.
- June Russell will sing with the chorus at the
Gilbert & Sullivan gala concert on April 8
at Houston Baptist University. The concert includes
selections from many shows, a production of The Zoo,
a rarely performed piece, food, and a silent auction. For details
- A continuing exhibit includes work by Rona
Lesser at the Watercolor Society International art show
at the WAS-H gallery on the corner of Mandell and Alabama Streets.
There are extended hours during March on Friday, Saturday, and
Sunday afternoons. Check website for hours. The exhibit dates
are March 14 through April 6. https://watercolorhouston.org/
- Lilibeth Andre has been accepted into the
Women's Caucus for Art's Vignettes Exhibition
during Dallas Arts Week, April 5th - 9th, at
the former Women's Museum Building in Fair Park (3800 Parry Ave,
Dallas, TX 75226).
- Social media tutorials and fact sheets by Regina
Vitolo Mader are under the NEWS heading. Many thanks to
Regina for clear and concise advice!
- Editors Note: We know a lot of you are showing your
work and getting articles and books published, so we ask you to
send the information to newsletter@WiVLA.org by the 20th of each month.
We want to support you and come to your openings and readings;
timely info to the newsletter gets the word to members and their
friends and contacts.
This is a fantastic opportunity to meet people from all over the
world, attend demonstrations, do sketchcrawls around the Chicago
area, and learn more about sketching. It is for all levels of
ANNOUNCEMENTS~ Inprint opens its doors at 1520 West Main
on the first Friday of every month from 9 am to 12 noon for a
writing cafe. Any and all writers looking for a pleasant morning
space in which to write are welcome. For information, click here. Be sure and use the link to confirm
the Friday availability. A few Fridays in 2017 are blocked due to
~ WriteSpace is offering
several workshops in April. For pricing, registration and more
information, go to the WriteSpace website or contact them. Please see the WriteSpace website
for details. In this issue, Karleen Koen tells us about the recent
second annual Writefest. See her article
~ Public Poetry announces a
marvelous month of events in April. They have a group going to the
Round Top Poetry Festival on a poetry bus and readings all around
the Houston area. Of special interest are: 1) Public Poetry alumni appearing at the 6th
Anniversary Reading at the Central Library on Saturday, April 15 and
2) Poets and Musicians at Night on Saturday April 29. "All Public Poetry members and anyone
who has read for Public Poetry at any time in the past 6 years is
invited to read at our 2nd annual alumni reading, celebrating our
6th Anniversary and the start of our 7th year in partnership with
Houston Public Library." http://www.publicpoetry.net/calendar~
Events and upcoming shows are noted on the Visual Arts Alliance's
(VAA) helpful website at http://visualartsalliance.org/ ~
Book lovers may want to attend MenilFest & Gulf Coast
indie book fest on Saturday, May 6 from 11:00 am to 5 pm. This is an
outdoor festival on the grounds of the Menil. More information at
web address here.
~ From Cori Austin -- Creative
Mornings Houston: Every month, creative people gather at a
designated place for a program designed to inspire and entertain.
There is time for networking, visiting, meeting new people, and
having some kind of morning food and drink. I've been three times.
Each time has been totally different, but the common denominator (I
am a math teacher, by the way), is always interesting people having
interesting conversations. To join, sign up for the Houston
newsletter at https://creativemornings.com/cities/hou.
It’s always on a Friday morning and begins at 8:30 am. The location
changes each time.
Debbie Blumberg writes, "I'm the founder and co-president of the new
Texas Chapter of the American Society of Journalists and Authors,
ASJA, and would love to grow our group. Founded in 1948, ASJA
is the nation's professional organization of independent
nonfiction writers. Our membership consists of nearly 1,200
freelance writers of magazine articles, trade books, and many other
forms of nonfiction writing. Professional writers are able to
apply to join. In Texas, we're planning several events, networking
and career development opportunities. ASJA also has an amazing
yearly conference in New York. Anyone interested can contact me for
more information - firstname.lastname@example.org.
newsletter editor suggests you check out the Houston Writers Guild
webpage for useful links, workshops, contests, critique circles,
advertising opportunities, and news about their April conference.
The conference schedule is well-rounded and explores many topics.
Good info can be found at http://www.houstonwritersguild.org
Here's another editor's choice: Archway Gallery, known to all of us,
is having an exciting schedule in April. Along with member donna e
perkins' exhibit, there will be dance and literary events and a
special Palette to Palate Dinner. See the gallery's website at
www.archwaygallery.com.~ The Eighth International Urban
Sketchers Symposium will be held in Chicago this
3rd Coast Books is now accepting fiction and non-fiction
submissions in seven genres. Please go to: www.3rdcoastbooks.com
Houston is a new local magazine dedicated to all types of art and
they are seeking articles. For general submission guidelines,
contact the publisher at Art
Writers will find an abundance of resources on this new website created by writing coach Joan Dempsey.
for Entry: Visual ArtInclusion
in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend
you research each contest, and contact the sponsor(s).
Archway Gallery has an important link on their website: Call for
Artists for their annual juried show later this year. Click here to go to the
Member Leigh Owen shares an online resource for public domain
says, "I was amazed to read that the images are even okay for
Rona Lesser sends a notice about Breast Strokes: Hadassah
Bares All for A.R.T. -- Awareness, Research, and Treatment.
This is a unique artistic opportunity with a breast cancer
fundraiser. A page with information is here.~
"WAGE ON!" explores how women artists view the current economic
climate and its impact on wages, identity, and lives of women both
in and beyond the art world. Artists at all career levels are
invited to submit work for consideration on this timely topic. The
exhibition will be an integral part of the 2017 WCA conference that
runs concurrent with CAA and the TFAP day of
Magazine is an online venue dedicated to contemporary and fine
art photography. It brings together diverse bodies of work by
established and emerging artists from around the globe.They accept
from new and emerging photographers.~
FreshArts, of which we are members, has many opportunities for
artists listed on their website - check it out!~ Juried
Art Services has a digital jurying system. Click on the
link above for more information. ~
CAFE' for Artists! www.CallForEntry.org is
a website that lists calls for entry nation-wide. Descriptions of
type of art and theme are listed, as is a link for more information.
Deadlines are included. Calls
for Entry: Literary ArtInclusion
in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend
you research each contest, and contact the sponsor(s).
Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts announces its 2017
contests and awards. The literary journal was founded at the
University of Houston and holds an annual event with cash awards to
the winners and publication opportunities. Please click "Contests"
on their web page for full information and submission guidelines. http://www.gulfcoastmag.org~ Narrative regularly publishes fiction, poetry, and
nonfiction, including stories, novels, novel excerpts, novellas,
personal essays, humor, sketches, memoirs, literary biographies,
commentary, reportage, interviews, and features of interest to
readers who take pleasure in storytelling and imaginative
Poets & Writers has a great database of conferences and
residencies for writers. Check it out.
Winning Writers is another great website for writing
opportunities. Check it out by clicking here. Renew
Membership Now Make
2017 your opportunity for creative encouragement and
support by renewing your membership to WiVLA. This
year promises to be outstanding in programs, writing and visual art
opportunities, and friendships with interesting and creative women.
Keep your membership current by renewing today! You can do it easily
online: http://wivla.org/membership.htm or download
a membership form and send a check to WiVLA, P.O. Box 130406,
Houston, TX 77219-0406.You can also renew at the April meeting. To
facilitate this, please print the information form and fill it out
ahead of time so you don't miss the opportunity to visit
friends before the meeting! If you are a new member who joined at
the end of 2016 (September through December), your membership
will run through the entire year of 2017. If
you shop at Randall's, use the "Good Neighbor" code of 5341 and
WiVLA will benefit every time you
forward WiVLA Voices to all your friends who might be interested in
WiVLA. BRING A FRIEND TO OUR NEXT MEETING!