Sym·bi·o·sis.noun \ˌsim-bē-ˈō-səs,\: a cooperative relationship; an intimate association or close union of two dissimilar organisms.
In the Words of Womyn = body of womyn writers. Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural = transformative arts space & community center. ITWOW + Tia Chucha’s = symbiosis.
ITWOW began with an experience…a resounding void of womyn voices on the mic at a weekly open mic event. That experience turned into ideas and vision. Those ideas turned into dialogue. And dialogue turned into action: the creation of a womyn’s writing circle workshop on January 15, 2010.
Since 2010, In the Words of Womyn has held six 10-week workshop sessions connecting with over 60 womyn from all over San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles County. During that time, more womyn are stepping up to the mic each week at open mic; ITWOW showcased five womyn poets at Tia Chucha’s 2011 annual Celebrating Words Festival; in 2011, ITWOW teamed up with singer/songwriter Tapia Corel to create a quarterly event called Womyn’s Words and Music Night showcasing the talents, artistry, strength and beauty of womyn musicians and writers; and ITWOW website has published over 75 poems, stories, and memoir excerpts.
While the vision for ITWOW began as mine, it has become a community vision adopted not only by the many womyn inspired by and empowered by ITWOW, but also by Tia Chucha’s without which this vision never would have had a place to be planted and BLOOM!
I am so thankful to Tia Chucha’s co-founder Trini Rodriguez along with her incredible staff who have enthusiastically supported the ITWOW vision and mission from the very beginning. Tia Chucha’s has lavished gracious hospitality in allowing ITWOW to be held at the Centro weekly and has also created countless opportunities for womyn writers to be inspired, nurtured, and empowered. I have been deeply transformed by the people, the art, the opportunities and the community of Tia Chucha’s–both as a writer and as an individual.
Tia Chucha’s has the incredible opportunity to create a documentary and book highlighting the transformative work accomplished in the Northeast San Fernando Valley through arts programming. Tia Chucha’s is a non-profit independent bookstore and community cultural center. Not only is it the only bookstore for miles…and miles around, but is also one of the only spaces in the area offering FREE workshops and programming in music, art, culture, gardening, healthy living, and much more to kids, youth, and adults.
I’m inviting you to join with In the Words of Womyn to support the incredible work being done through spaces like Tia Chucha’s, where art and minds meet for a change and where Art Transforms Communities. If you, or someone you know, has been inspired and transformed through the presence and programming of Tia Chucha’s, please offer up your gratitude and support by donating. Whatever amount you can give–from your heart to Tia Chucha’s–will be sown into fertile ground and the harvest will indeed be bountiful!
To learn more about Tia Chucha’s and to donate, please go to their website. For those of you who already know and love Tia Chucha’s, check out this video clip and information about the Art Transforms Communities documentary/book project; you can donate there as well.
Thank you friends, family, and community!
With much love and respect, ~Jenuine
I miss that place where you can be
Anybody and Nobody
You look at people
and can’t believe some
of the shit they wear Damn lady, comb your kid’s hair!
Strolling down the boardwalk
napchunga in the air
Grandma rollerblades in her bikini
not caring that she ain’t skinny
Have a slice
Enjoy the view
it’s usually really nice
to sell you their blood, sweat, n’ tears
using their art
to release their fears Does anybody REALLY know what time it is?
tagging is Art
Freaks are Normal
A place where you can be Anybody
and Nobody will care
In the distance I hear a familiar sound
Like Beats of my heart
the Drum pulls me in
it takes me away
the different Cultures of Drums
the melting Pot of People
all dancing to the beautiful sounds
lets me see that we can be free
the lost teenager
the skater dude
the business man
the raver girl
and feel the warmth of humanity
for just a moment in time
round and round they dance
without taking a second glance
at the human next to them
the sand massages their feet
one by one
letting go to the beat
but when the Beat drops
We’re Robots once again
On the daily routine
they all look back like this was all
just a vivid dream
where the salty air hits your face
you can be
Nobody will care…
I’m truly grateful for these God given eyes
with moon shining high, i see the stars align
Guys i realized i need to hold on to mine
when I rhyme, I feel fine, and i thank the divine.
Granted with love planted my ego shall die
Passionate bout what feelings i dare find
These emotions I will no longer try to hide.
So Trust me, I’ll love thee my Dear I do not lie.
Baby wipe thy eyes, & show those teeth that shine
You & I let’s recline and have a bottle of wine.
Rewind, ‘nd chit chat about how life passed us by.
no more sadness it’s happiness those eyes will cry
You ask how i know this, & keep questioning “why?”
Look I, can’t seem to pull correct words to reply
to be honest, i don’t know oh my
But Keep in mind that it’s all in the past
For the better of myself, i will not go back to that
characteristic It all just came so quick and slipped away, i see how
much i’ve decayed but
no more will i let the game play me, this whole time i see how dazed
was my being, I believe
in what’s wrong cause i’ve seen the light,
for the better of the universe, i choose to do what’s right
Only tears of joy in this new year,
so this time i’ll step up and face my fear
I won’t put it to a rest this chance to be my best
and be aware of anything that may come next
no, i will not pass up this test, with a growing opportunity you have
been blessed yes
watch the suffering fade away and quite this lame blame game for all
your feelings of pain
If you want to make that change, best rearrange.
This Lifetime is too short to stay in the same spot,
observe yourself and look at what you got
So Keep to what is truth and rid of what is not
authenticity and love, are from beyond mind and heart.
our works, life, and story, is a creation and that is an Art.
I’m holding a logo contest for In the Words of Womyn. You–and anyone artistic that you may know–are invited to submit original artwork for consideration.
I’m looking for a sharp design to be used as a brand logo for the ITWOW project (which I hope will one day [soon] become its own non-profit project). I have some thoughts in mind about what I’d like the logo to look like, but I also don’t want to limit anyone’s creativity…so I’ll let you have free range of your canvas and we’ll see what transpires!*
The selected design would be used on printed materials (fliers, workshop handouds, business cards), online (website, facebook page, newsletters), and various other things (shirts, bags etc).
The design should be versitile in terms of: ablity to be scaled to various sizes; looking great in black and white, and in color; and fostering a universal image of womyn.
Your design may include ITWOW’s motto, “to give sound to her story and volume to her voice.” You are welcome to submit more than one design and/or more than one version of your design.
All designs should be original artwork and must be submitted in digital format to: inthewordsofwomyn [at] gmail [dot] com. Please be sure to include the following information:
How I can contact you (Please include: phone, email, & snail mail address)
What influenced your decision to enter this contest?
Are there other ways you’d like to support or be involved in the ITWOW project? Please specify.
**NOTE** your design will not be judged based on your answers to the last two questions, I’m just curious!
The selected logo design would become property of In the Words of Womyn while credit would remain yours (so feel free to work in your own initials/signature descretely into the design).
Important Things You Should Know
I’ve never hosted a logo contest before so I am open to suggestions on various details and guidelines.
WHO MAY ENTER: This contest is open to womyn and men of all ages, races, religions, orientations, abilities, etc…
PRIZE: The Prize will consist of a batch of signature baked goods from my kitchen–think of this as bartering your art for mine! The winner will have the opportunity to select what kind of baked good is exchanged and when. I promise you won’t be disappointed You will also receive heaps of my gratitude and that unmistakeable sense of satisfaction that comes with putting your talents to use by supporting a grass-roots effort to empower womyn through the use of written and spoken word arts…priceless!
DEADLINE: For this first round I’ll say that the contest will close by 11:59pm, Pacific Standard Time, on Monday May 31, 2010. **Contest will continue indefinitely until a logo has been selected**
SELECTION PROCESS: Each design will be considered based on the following criteria:
Does it capture and convey the mission of ITWOW to empower & celebrate womyn?
Will it translate well to various mediums?
Is it unique?
NOTIFICATION: Winner will be notified no later than June 7, 2010 by 11:59pm and baked goods exchange will be arranged thereafter. **Date subject to change based on final deadline**
DISPLAY: The winning design will be announced and featured on this website in an article about the artist; all runner up designs will be featured and credited as well in a gallery posting here.
Okay, I can’t think of anything else at the moment. I hope you will consider this project; I’ve seen the work of many of you and I know you are vastly gifted and I would cherish your talents being part of this project so dear to my heart. Thank you also for your willingness to participate inspite of the meager prize/compensation I have to offer at this point.
Please email or message me with any questions, suggestions, or comments that you have: inthewordsofwomyn [at] gmail [dot] com.
Thank you !!
*I decided that I had too much of an idea of what I’d like, so I am posting my mock-up here for your inspiration. I hope this does not hinder the creative process but rather give a bit of direction. This is what I came up with as my sort of vision for the logo; I’d love to see your variations on this theme.
I am the mother of my poetry
for each new poem is a labor of love
each one is conceived
and woven together
in the womb of my soul
each one flutters and kicks inside me
dancing into being
each one is pushed forth into life
there is pain
there is rending
there is a grueling labor
the kind that lets hours escape
while you gaze upon that
which is made up of the very pieces of you
the kind that makes you weep at what beauty
can come out of such a dark place inside of you
and is brought to life through such pain
the kind that erupts in irrepressible smile
out of the blue to daydream how
this new creation will move through the world–
I love my poetry
with a conviction I cannot comprehend
with a loyalty I cannot name
with a tenderness I cannot explain
I am the mother of my poetry.