Support Women Artists Now Day

In the October Issue:

      Announcing the Second International SWAN Day 
      SWAN Day Fundraising Success Stories 
      SWAN Day Ghana Seeks Collaborators

      Your Letters Win NEA Support for SWAN Day 2009!
      Other Announcements

SWAN Day Ghana Seeks Collaborators

SWAN Day Ghana PhotoJamilatu Osman
SWAN Day Ghana

One of the most ambitious SWAN Day celebrations in 2008 was held in Tamale, Ghana.  To read more, pleaseclick here>>

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Learn More About The Fund for Women Artists

Announcing the Second International
Support Women Artists Now Day!

You are cordially invited to celebrate the second International Support Women Artists Now Day (SWAN Day for short) on Saturday, March 28, 2009 and the surrounding weeks.  Have fun and express your solidarity with women artists around the world by creating SWAN Day events in your community. Your event can be a party, performance, exhibit, rally, parade, auction, or any other activity that draws attention to women artists and/or raises money for women artists.

If you are interested in hosting a SWAN Day event this year, please send an email to with the words "SWAN Day Event" in the subject line, and we will send you information about posting your event or finding collaborators.

We are thrilled that this new holiday for women artists has captured the imaginations of artists and audience members around the world.  The first international SWAN Day was celebrated in March 2008 with 160 events across the U.S. and in 10 other countries on 4 continents.  The holiday was officially recognized by the mayors of New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and several other cities. We hope that SWAN Day 2009 will be even bigger!

SWAN Day is a volunteer effort that grew out of a collaboration between the founders of two grassroots arts organizations – Martha Richards, Executive Director of The Fund for Women Artists/ in San Francisco, and Jan Lisa Huttner, the moving force behind Chicago's Women in the Audience Supporting Women Artists Now (For more on WITASWAN, please

SWAN Day Fundraising Success Stories

SWAN Day events can help you raise more money for your creative work.  Several artists wrote to us over the summer about their successful SWAN Day fundraising efforts. One filmmaker raised over $10,000 through a gala screening of her film and a silent auction.  We heard from several other artists who raised over $1,000 each. They all said it was easier to ask people for money because they could tell them that their SWAN Day event was part of an international celebration. 

There is no requirement to do fundraising at your SWAN Day event, but
if you are interested in raising money for your own creative work or for other women artists, we would like to help you raise as much as possible.  We don't have the funds to provide cash grants to you, but we are posting materials to help you with your fundraising efforts at:  

We have already posted an essay about fundraising from individual donors ( , and a sample SWAN Day fundraising letter that you can use to request funds for your event (

Share Your Success Stories & Fundraising Questions

In the coming months, we will be doing newsletters that feature artists with innovative fundraising strategies.  If you have a success story that you would like to share, please write to us at and put "Success Story" in the subject line.  If we think your story will be helpful to others, we will feature you in an upcoming newsletter.

Also, if you are working on a SWAN Day event and have questions about how to make it an effective fundraiser, please send those questions to us and put "Fundraising Question" in the subject line.  We are starting a web page next month where we will post answers to frequently asked questions about fundraising.

SWAN Day Ghana Seeks Collaborators

One of the most ambitious SWAN Day 2008 celebrations was held in Tamale, Ghana.  The Rural Women and Children's Development Organization ( put together a month of activities under the theme "Empowering Women Artists As a Basic Element of Poverty Eradication."  They did a month of radio programs about women artists and held many community meetings to find out the concerns of women artists in their region. The month culminated in a large regional SWAN Day celebration on March 29, 2008, and an impassioned plea to their government for more funding.

Tamale, Ghana has wonderful cultural traditions in music, dance, weaving, carving, sign-painting, and many other art forms, but many women artists and other people there are living in poverty. They are working hard to improve their situation and they have asked for our help.  Please write to us and put "Ghana" in the subject line if you can help with any of the following:

Donation of Used Cameras – Many women and girls want to learn photography and filmmaking there.  They have important stories to tell, but they do not have any camera equipment. If you have used still or video camera equipment that you are willing to donate, please email us, and we will send you shipping instructions.  If you can tell us the value of the item, The Fund for Women Artists can send you a letter so that you can take a charitable deduction on your income taxes for your gift.

Student Pen Pals/Arts Exchanges – If you are a teacher and would like to establish a pen pal or arts exchange program between your students and students in Ghana, please email us and we will try to arrange that.

Help Identifying Craft Markets – If you have ideas about places that women from Ghana could sell their craft items or obtain marketing advice, please email us, and we will forward your suggestions to them.

Thank you for your help with this.  Any contributions or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Your Letters Help SWAN Day 2009 Win Support 
from the National Endowment for the Arts!

During the summer of 2007 we asked those of you who appreciate our services to write letters of suppor
t for our application to the National Endowment for the Arts.  Many of you wrote beautiful  and thoughtful responses, and we are happy to report that those letters worked!  After two years of being rejected, we received full funding of $25,000 for our proposal for SWAN Day 2009! 

Thanks so much to all of you who wrote on our behalf. It was so hard to write that proposal since we had been rejected two years in a row, but your letters lifted our spirits and reminded us that our work makes a difference.  We will use these funds to provide more advice and services to the organizers of SWAN Day 2009 events.

Thanks again!  It is an honor to serve so many talented women, and we really appreciate your support. 

Other Announcements

* SWAN Day is Featured In Round-Up

An article about SWAN Day by Martha Richards is featured in the current issue of Round-Up, the magazine of the League of Professional Theatre Women (Volume VIII, 2007-2008, pg. 29).  Thanks so much to editor Ruth Mayleas for inviting us to submit an article and to Alexis Greene for her thoughtful assistance.

* WITASWAN is Featured in University of Chicago Magazine

Jan Lisa Huttner and WITASWAN are featured in the September-October 2008 issue of the University of Chicago Magazine in an article by Ruth E. Kott titled "Trumpet of the Swan."  To read the complete article, please visit:

You can also read Jan's reviews of recent films written or directed by women in the Hot Pink Pen section of our website at:

* Visit The SWAN Store

Buy gifts for your friends that say "Support Women Artists Now." We have great t-shirts, hats, and mugs available at our online SWAN store at

* Support The Fund for Women Artists

Your gifts make it possible for The Fund for Women Artists to provide free services like SWAN Day, theWomenArts Network, and our free funding newsletters for theatre and film/video artists. Please help us continue by making a tax-deductible contribution. You can make a gift online by clicking here, or you can mail a check to: The Fund for Women Artists, 3739 Balboa Street #181, San Francisco, CA 94121. Gifts of any size will be greatly appreciated.

SWAN Day 2009 is supported by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Starry Night Fund of the Tides Foundation, and many generous individuals.

Please feel free to reprint any portion of this newsletter, but please give credit to The Fund for Women Artists. (© 2008) This newsletter was originally published on October 17, 2008. 
This email can be viewed online at:

The Fund for Women Artists
3739 Balboa Street #181 
San Francisco, CA 94121 
Phone: (415) 751-2202