We’re a creative organization
A little bit about us!
Women’s Wisdom Art
-supports artistic and spiritual growth
-provides a safe, nurturing environment for women of diverse cultures
-builds confidence and coping skills
-offers a variety of affordable art experiences in an informal setting
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Every person involved in our organization brings original perspectives and experiences to advance our mission to provide art, writing, and wellness programs for women.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion practices are at the heart of our daily work as we strive to listen, learn, and respond.
Laura Ann Walton founded “The Wisdom Project” in 1991 as part of Maryhouse, a daytime hospitality shelter for homeless women and children. The program was designed as an art empowerment program for women overcoming poverty, homelessness, violence and abuse.
Women’s Wisdom Art, as the program is now known, operated under the wing of The Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services from 2000 until 2012. Beginning in June of 2012, the organization began operating as a non-profit corporation under the umbrella of Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC), receiving additional small grants and depending mostly on private donors to fund the program.
In June of 2015, Women’s Wisdom Art became an independent 501.c.3. The organization’s artist and writer participants include a diverse range of women from across a broad spectrum. They gather in our supportive community to create art as they forge new friendships, recover from or manage illness or loss, avoid isolation, and become empowered to transform their own lives and the lives of others in their families and communities.
Since March 2020, Women’s Wisdom Art has been teaching several virtual weekly art, wellness, and writing classes, reaching participants via Zoom, email, USPS, texts, phone calls, social media, and social-distanced visits. We conduct one-to-one outreach for vulnerable participants, and mail art and writing supplies as needed. All women are welcome to join our free classes and supportive community.
See our Board of Directors Below.
A Message From Our Founder
WHY THE ARTS?
Art demands the involvement of the whole person: body, mind, emotions, imagination, spirit and, it requires unrelenting self-reflection and self-discipline. No matter what her condition in life, level of education, degree of physical, emotional, or mental health, any woman can participate in art, can assume the identity of “ARTIST.” Engaging in art is the primary survival skill of the human spirit.
~ Laura Ann Walton ~
BOARD AND STAFF
We are a team of artists, educators, and activists dedicated to empowering women through engagement in the arts in a welcoming, affirming community.
Roberta Beach, B.A., M.A.Treasurer
Roberta worked as a social worker and used art therapy with her clients. As a long-time volunteer with Wisdom, Roberta joined the board in 2011. She notes the exceptional benefits the program provides women, and the importance of having a safe, welcoming place where women can participate in an arts program. Roberta is glad to have the opportunity to serve as a board member, where her goal is to help Wisdom grow financially stronger and enhance its standing as a respected and recognized asset to the Sacramento arts, health, and general communities.
Vicki Boyd, B.A.Vice Chair
Vicki grew up as a military brat, and came to the area when her family transferred to the Antelope area during middle school. She left for college and lived in several major cities while pursuing a career in the Creative Arts. Since returning to Sacramento a couple years ago, she’s been actively involved in several political and community organizations. Vicki wanted to learn more about Women’s Wisdom Art after she saw a “beautiful eye catching postcard, painted by a member artist that spoke to my creative soul.” Women’s Wisdom Art combines the passions for which she advocates: art, education, and health. Vicki joined the Board of Directors to help support the organizations mission and the life affirming, creative outlet it provides for women of all walks of life in Sacramento.
Amelia CarrilloBoard Member
Amelia Carrillo is an entrepreneur born in Guadalajara, México. She graduated from college with a degree in accounting. Amelia moved to Sacramento in 2010 where she created a family with her husband. She is the mother of three children. Amelia enjoys art, gardening and movies. She strongly believes in her mother’s wisdom, “Simple things in life brings more joy to your soul.” She is passionate about making a difference in her community, especially with women and children.
Yvonne Evans, M.A.Advisory Council Member
Yvonne currently works as an Education Programs Consultant with the California Department of Education. She began taking classes at Women’s Wisdom Art during the summer of 2014. As a board member, Yvonne’s desire is to help further the mission of Women’s Wisdom Art by sharing the program with diverse groups of women. Yvonne loves being in the presence of art and artists as it inspires her to create. Women’s Wisdom Art is a place of creativity, adventure, fun, inspiration and empowerment. Yvonne hopes to further the mission of Women’s Wisdom Art and help women express their inner creative self.
Chelsey JohnsonSocial Media Specialist
Chelsey is an innovative artist and crafter. She’s majoring in design at Sacramento State University, and producing social media content for herself and for other organizations. Follow Chelsey’s creative work as an innovator and renovator at @thecreativeswitch
Sharon Liberatore, B.S.N.Fundraising Chair
Sharon has been living in Sacramento since the late 1970’s. She is an Air Force Veteran, honorably serving for seven years. Sharon worked as a Nurse Practitioner in private practice until 1998, moving to clinical research before retiring in 2010. Her time now is spent working to preserve and expand the arts in Sacramento. Sharon is involved with two local community theaters, and has been an active volunteer with Women’s Wisdom Art for the past four years. She joined the board in January 2016, bringing her passion for the arts, creative energy, and tireless enthusiasm. She is a mosaics artist, teaching the mosaics class.
Ali Lichtenstein, Ph.D.Board Chair
A Denver native, Ali moved to Sacramento from New Hampshire in late 2014. She taught women’s/gender studies, literature, and writing at Keene State College for nearly 20 years. As a textile artist, Ali has taught fiber arts in the U.S., India, China, Vietnam, and Peru. Ali brings years of experience serving on non-profit art boards in various capacities, including member-at-large, secretary, and chair. She is the mother of four grown children. Ali teaches writing, fiber arts, and mixed media classes at WWA, and ESL with Sacramento ESL. Visit alilitchenstein.com and alichtenstein.typepad.com for my blog.
Elizabeth Mendez, B.A., MT-BCAssistant Program Director
Elizabeth grew up in Sacramento. She was introduced to the power of art through her older sister, Caroline, who is Autistic and intellectually disabled. Elizabeth witnessed how music gave Caroline the space and tools to express herself emotionally, socially, and verbally. Elizabeth studied Music Therapy and Psychology at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, and completed her clinical hours in San Diego, CA. In 2018, she received her board certification and started her own business, Elizabeth Mendez Music Therapy (EMMT) the following year. She is a master’s candidate in the Child and Adolescent Development program at Sacramento State University. Elizabeth is eager to pursue her passion of increasing accessibility and inclusion through art,writing, and wellness programs at Women’s Wisdom Art.
Renukadevi PoovendranSupport Staff
Renukadevi was born in Madurai, India, and moved to Sacramento in 2011. She enjoys cooking, sewing and other practical arts. She teaches in her native Tamil language. Renuka likes all kinds of art, especially toy making and other fiber arts. She is committed to helping women improve their lives and find inner happiness.
Jaymie Pressley, B.S.Program Manager
Jaymie grew up in Northern California. After high school, she lived in Mexico, Alaska, Connecticut, and Peru before heading to Utah for college. She graduated with a B.S. in Public Health and settled in the City of Trees in August 2020. Jaymie was introduced to Women’s Wisdom Art when she worked with Ali at her previous job. She liked Women’s Wisdom Art’s mission, which coincides with her own beliefs about the healing benefits of the arts and the need for them to be accessible to all. In her part-time capacity, Jaymie looks forward to helping impliment Women’s Wisdom Art’s vision while pursuing graduate work as a MSW candidate.
Laura Ann Walton, B.A.Advisory Council Chair
Laura Ann founded Women’s Wisdom in 1991 to provide an arts empowerment opportunity for homeless women as well as for women of all backgrounds. She is a poet, artist, activist, and author. A native of Sacramento, she served and advocated for the homeless throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. Laura Ann is active in the poetry community of Sacramento, publishing God is a Lion in 2015 and Lift it Tenderly, as editor and contributor, in 2017. These books are testimony to her conviction that engaging in the arts can transform us at the deepest level of our beings. Visit Lift It Tenderly and godisalion.com.
Sandy Fong Whetstone, M.A.Secretary
Sandy is a native of Sacramento. Her travels throughout Asia and Europe led her to her passion for teaching English as Second Language, which she does at Sacramento City College. She is a visual artist, having studied ceramics with Yoshio Taylor, Robert Schumacher, and Mark Boguski, as well as painting with Michaele LeCompte, and printmaking with Emily Wilson and Chris Dacre. Her focus has been on ceramic sculpture, but she has recently been developing her skills as a printmaker. Sandy’s work is inspired by nature, and is mostly whimsical and fun, but at times she explores more serious issues. Sandy shows her work locally at the Sparrow Gallery and at the Crocker Museum Store, as well as in Nevada City, Davis, and Winters. She is excited to be part of Women’s Wisdom Art, and to help bring art to Sacramento women.
quilling paper art,
painting on glass
glass bead mobiles, jewelry
Into the Soul Wisdom Cards
Davida Feder and Flo Grossenbacher
Ali Tucker Lichtenstein
AWA writing, fiber arts
drawing and watercolor
mixed media fiber arts
folk art, Zentangle
Laura Ann Walton