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July 2, 2018

Beginning | Women’s Campaign International | Kalina Winters ’18 BFA PT

by kalinawinters

I have been in Philly for 11 days now acclimating very fast. Everyone along the way has been extraordinarily kind and helpful; as I was navigating the subway here, I accidentally left the station at the wrong stop and the transit employee let me back in for free. 🙂

My project has had a few changes which was predicted, however the shape is something completely foreign to me. I had originally proposed to host an art exhibition and now I am in charge of a symposium for 4 artists here in Philly. I really think this is the best thing that could have happened (right now anyways) because I now am forced to learn a new format in which to give the ideas of my art practice to an audience. Along the way though, I have met many arts organizers and artists who have given me resources and encouraging words to not only make my symposium happen at the end of august,  but my original proposal for an art exhibition as well.

The NGO I’m working with, Women’s Campaign International, has been very supportive of my project, but one struggle I have is that in their nonstop dedication and effort to their various missions around the globe, I am taking on some of the office work to meet deadlines. The problem isn’t that I have to be doing the extra work, but I want to help them so badly because their causes seem so much more important than what I’m doing!!! For example; They are working with Bill Siemering (who helped start NPR, and All Things Considered), in Tanzania to set up a radio network that is all female operated and all female broadcasters. 80% of farm workers in Tanzania are female, and this would be content for these women BY these women, giving them technological skills they can build off of and use for whatever they like in the future.

I Currently have 2 Philly based women identifying artists who have agreed to be on the panel:

Holly Trostle Brigham and Melissa Joseph.

I have met with them both and they are <3 absolute S2 dumplings <3 🙂

They have deep roots in art institutions so for balance I am currently working on finding some craft/outsider artists, or women who have never been to an art institution/are less established.

For now its a whirlwind of tasks and research that seems endless, but Something kindof beautiful happened yesterday that made me feel really good: I had just gotten back from NY by bus, and upon arriving back to Philadelphia, I was greeted with a gospel choir singing on the Independence Hall Lawn. I got off the bus and walked 20 feet to the concert where I sat and enjoyed the music (and honestly cried a little because music just really moves me and I was exhausted from NY). The experience left me even more in love with Philadelphia then before, and feeling so happy fortunate to be where I am and doing what I’m doing.

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