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I am a painter with a classic art school background. Three years ago, reading MS Magazine I came across an article about Judy Chicago's book Through the Flower and was so intrigued that I ordered it immediately. I read it without being able to put it down, feeling an immense release as those words acknowledging the existence of a female sensitivity came into my consciousness. I knew it was right and made plans to come to The Summer Art Program. 

Aline Lapierre

Women's Community Galleries

The Woman's Building Community Galleries make women's art visible on a continual basis, illustrating the multiplicity of an emerging women's culture. New artists are sought and exhibited, and frequent thematic shows are produced to represent specific areas of the women's community. In addition, an Open Wall Gallery is available for Woman's Building members to exhibit their work on a sign-up basis.

The galleries, which are the only alternative exhibition space of their kind in the country, have been influential in creating a new climate of opportunity for women artists.

[[image: a black-and-white photo of several people in a large room, looking at displays featuring words and images]]
Women's Community Galleries

Women Against Violence Against Women

Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) is a national organization dedicated to stopping the gratuitous use of images of physical and sexual violence against women in media, and the real-world violence it promotes. They maintain their Los Angeles office at the Woman's Building.

The Lesbian Art Project

The Lesbian Art Project is a program to explore and create lesbian culture and sensibility through research, consciousness raising, art making and celebration. Activities of the project include an educational program, extensive research on historical and contemporary lesbian creators, and the creation and publication of a book presenting information and theory about lesbian contributions to culture. Administrated by Arlene Raven and Terry Wolverton, the project is open to participation by all women, through involvement in classes and workshops.

The Woman's Building is a powerhouse of female energy. Imagine! A place where the most dynamic artists, dedicated organizers and radical visionaries converge to create women's culture together! 

Terry Wolverton

Design is problem solving, not slick skill. Especially here in the graphic center, where one is allowed to be the create-her and not a student pushed into any set particular style. Paradise is in the eye of the beholder. Especially here in the graphic studio, where we tackle the impossible with success.


Summer Art Program

The Summer Art Program at the Woman's Building is a 7-week intensive program for women of all ages, backgrounds and skills. It is a unique opportunity for women to learn skills, experience their creativity, move out of their isolation, and make their art public all within a supportive feminist community. It is recreated each year by women who have participated in the Feminist Studio Workshop.

[[image: one woman stands at a camera on a tripod, while another crouches and holds a mike.]]  [[caption]] L.A. Women's Video Center [[/caption]]

Slide Library and Registry

The Woman's Building Slide Library and Registry contains over 8,000 slides providing a comprehensive overview of women's art. The registry, which is available for review by galleries and museums, includes an historical section with art by women from the 16th century to the present, a performance registry, with slides of conceptual and performance art by women, a contemporary registry, which is an open registry and contains women's art from all over the world, and a documentary section on feminist art and education which traces the development of the Woman's Building from its inception—documenting events, educational programs, shows, and construction.

To use the slide library for your own research, to find out about ordering slide packets for classes or presentations, to submit slides, or to rent or buy individual slides, write or phone the slide librarian at the Woman's Building.

to participate in the Woman's Building

Social Art Project

This year Ariadne: A Social Art Network is being initiated at the Woman's Building by artists Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz. Ariadne will form a communications and action network between women in the arts, in government, in Feminist organizations and in the media. It will focus on social/political art in all forms—performance, video, film, graphics, and writing—that is directed towards ending violence against women. An important aspect of the project is its educational structure housed in the Feminist Studio Workshop and the Extension Program at the Woman's Building. Ariadne will offer classes and workshops for women to learn feminist political theory and strategy, social/political art forms and production skills.

Graphics Center

The Women's Graphic Center is a printing facility and educational program in graphic design and production. Classes, lectures and workshops are offered in all phases of offset printing, letterpress and silk-screening. In addition the Graphic Center has made possible the self-publication of many books by women artists and poets. Feminist Studio Workshop staff member Sheila de Bretteville, well-known for her work as a graphic designer, coordinates activities at the Women's Graphic Center.

[[image: black and white photo of five women looking at a light box.]]  [caption]] Women's Graphic Center [[/caption]]

Feminist Education Workshop
In the Feminist Education Workshop the staff of the Feminist Studio Workshop teach the methods they have developed for enabling students to overcome blocks that constrain women's creative talents and prevent students from realizing their full potential. The nine-day workshop is designed primarily for women who teach in colleges and universities, but is open to anyone interested in feminist education.

Women Writers Series

The Women Writers Program at the Woman's Building is multi-faceted, offering weekly, weekend intensive and year-long opportunities for women to explore literature, writing and book publishing. Plans for the future include a series of theatre performances of women's work, Women Writers in Residence, and coordination with the graphics program.

The difference between talking to a mixed art-school class and one made up solely of women has to be experienced to be believed, but there sure as hell is a difference in the way women open up, become smart and imaginative and assertive—and better artists. Those who denounce such situations as "separatist" should just get a glimpse of the sense of purpose and the relaxed exhilaration at the Woman's Building. There, everything seems possible—including a nonseparatist future.

Lucy Lippard, Art in America

New Moves Program

Under the auspices of the Woman's Building, the New Moves Program is designed to provide scholarships and special workshops for disadvantaged women. New Moves programs have included Not As Sleepwalkers, in which young and old women collaborated on a theatre production, the Space Awareness Workshop for deaf women, and Art for All, taught by Gloria Hajduk. New Moves also provides scholarships for the other programs offered by the Woman's Building, such as the Extension Program and the Feminist Studio Workshop.

Performance Space

The third-floor Performance Space at the Woman's Building can be used for theater, film, lectures, fund-raisers, meetings, dances, and rehearsals. It has been used for professional productions as well as student performances. Its seating capacity is for 250 and rental information is available through the Building office.

[[image: black-and-white photo of several people, including one woman crouching and speaking to a seated woman. There is a ladder and a group of three people, including a child, in the background.]] [[caption]] Women building the Building [[/caption]]

The Los Angeles Women's Video Center

The Los Angeles Women's Video Center at the Woman's Building sponsors workshops, exhibitions, and productions designed to make video skills more accessible to women. The Video Center also does documentation for individuals and groups, and is currently involved in a project making public service announcements for television in conjunction with several Los Angeles community organizations.

In speaking of the show, Women In American Architecture:  A Historic and Contemporary Perspective, John Dreyfuss, L.A. Times Architecture and Design critic who reviewed the exhibition in May, 1978, said:
The Woman's Building was an unusual and successful site for the show.  Besides its appropriateness because it is a center for women's cultural activities, the Building was successfully adapted as an exhibition hall.
A further attraction was the warm welcome offered by women who work in the building.  They cared alot about their exhibition, and the caring was contagious.  The result was a feeling akin to the feeling one gets when visiting a friendly home.

The Extension Program

The Extension Program at the Woman's Building offers a series of courses and workshops by professional women from diverse backgrounds in the fields of literature, art, art history, design, graphics, film, video, performance, dance, music, health, psychology and spirituality. The program has been a very popular continuing education program in the Los Angeles community and new and unusual courses are offered each term. Women's Building members receive the Extension Brochure describing the classes and one-day workshops offered each term and reduced rates on classes as a benefit of their membership at the Building.

I never had a flying dream until I joined the Woman's Building.

Anne Phillips

[[image: black-and-white image of an older brunette woman sitting in a chair.]] [[caption]] Lutah Maria Riggs, Architect [[/caption]]

The Woman's Building is the room of our own, the private space where community begins. Here we can create a grammar corresponding to our experience; language to capture our intense joy and anguish. The Brontes, Plath, Perkins Gilman, Sexton, Woolfs were women writers injured by isolation and silence. I do not intend to be part of that loneliness. Instead we are writing the woman's words which are our culture. These words sustain us. 

Deena Metzger

This brochure was designed and produced collaboratively.

Join us as we carry the tradition of the 1893 Woman's Building into the future . . . Support the creation of women's culture in an immediate and tangible way . . . Become a member or sustaining member.

Your contribution may help fund an exhibit of women's sculpture, buy a piece of printing equipment for the Women's Graphic Center, or enable a woman to teach other women how to operate the letterpress.

Your membership will help to insure our continuation and expansion as well as providing you with reduced rates on classes and workshops, lower admission to our events, and our monthly newsletter, Spinning Off, delivered to your door with features, photos and up-to-date listings of women's cultural events in Los Angeles.



City   State   Zip


Membership in the Woman's Building is a tax-deductible contribution.

Regular Member $20

Student Member $12

Institutional Member $35

Sustaining Member $50

Sustaining Member $100

Life Member $

New   Renewal

Make checks payable to the Woman's Building and send to:

The Woman's Building

1727 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, California 90012

213 221-6161
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact