In the mid-2000s, I was a much-younger stay-at-home mom. I was also a visual artist, working alone in my studio, without any contact with other artists. I felt completely isolated. I founded MamaCITA with the goal of creating a group of women who could support each other as they navigated the challenges of being a serious artist and a mom: a group of artists who could give each other positive feedback and encouragement and could assist in finding exhibition opportunities for the group as a whole. The cooperative MamaCITA did just that and was responsible for the growth and development of many successful artist careers including my own.
It is over a decade later and my children are now 16 and 20 and my life has evolved and changed. I am still a mom and an artist but now, I am also a full-time worker. My free time is precious and most of my free time is spent working in my studio (also known as a “kitchen”).
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, technology and social media have become a lifeline. COVID-19 has upended our world – people have been forced to change how they live their daily lives. Congregating in large groups is a thing of the past; bars and restaurants are closed; church services and AA meetings have moved on line. On the surface, it seems like our worlds have become much smaller.
I argue that our world has become much larger. With social media and technology, we can now connect with people from EVERYWHERE! Opportunities for collaboration and connection have exploded.
MamaCITA is taking advantage of this new normal. Members are from all over the country and the world. Its members include, not only visual artists, but writers, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, and more. The creative spirit is one that all artists share – it is the heart and soul of every creative act. Collaboration among the artistic genres is the future of creativity.
MamaCITA’s core values are collaboration, inspiration, transformation and actuation. MamaCita provides encouragement of artistic growth and expression, and opportunities for collaboration to women in all stages of their artistic development. It also makes “giving back” to women’s and children’s non-profit organizations a component of everything that they do.