i have been blessed in my life with an extremely large extended family -- my friends.
i realized one day that out of all these women, i can count on one hand the number of them who have not had an experience with abuse in some form or another.
i realized that i had spent a large portion of my childhood in hospital waiting rooms, watching a close family member endure numerous operations and countless health problems due to the acts of one malicious, psychotic attacker.
i realized just how widely spread this epidemic has become.
and then i decided to do something about it.
i don't have the qualifications to assist in a professional, controlled environment, but i do have passion and an ability to express myself artistically, and i began to brainstorm a way in which i could combine those two things in order to make an impact.
and now, several years later, that dream has come to fruition. through the efforts of not only myself but my wide circle of kindred spirit chosen family, we have joined our voices together as a chorus for change.
and, thus, the emancipation of artemis was born. right now it is a single benefit that will be held at the york st. cafe in newport, ky on friday, june 5th (7 p.m. - 10 p.m.) and will feature a photography exhibit, live music, poetry readings, guest speakers and an art sale. the talented people in the 'contributing artists' section have all donated their original work to be sold, and the individuals in the 'performers' section of 'the event' menu will be lending their talents during the show.
every single dime raised will go directly to RAINN so that they may continue to do the amazing work that they do for people all over the united states.
but my dream is for artemis to become a global organization; for artists around the world to hold their own events and raise money for groups such as RAINN that help those who need it most. and, in light of what has been accomplished thus far, i believe that dream is an attainable one.
eight women have bravely come forward and opened themselves up -- they've shared their story and shown their face. they are not victims. they are not dreary, they are not tragic. they are triumphant. they are survivors. they are warriors.
they are living proof that we are so much more than just the sum of our experiences.
Since you'd figure it out anyway when you go to the Artemis site and click through the gallery, I'll just tell you: I am one of the eight women whose portrait and story is part of the exhibit.
Getting out, getting away, going home, I had help. I reached out, and so many hands reached back to me. Among them were Jennifer's hands, loving and fierce. She is a beautiful soul, a very talented artist, and this work she is doing is of immense importance.
And if you're struggling like I was, or at all, don't be afraid to ask for help. Or, be afraid if you have to be, but ask despite the fear. It's worth it, I promise you.
The Emancipation of Artemis: Artists United to End Violence Against Women
Friday, June 5 2009
7-10pm (music begins at 8pm)
York Street Cafe
National Domestic Violence Hotline
HopeLine - 1-800-SUICIDE