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Tuesday 02nd December 2014WoCA releases Indiegogo campaign for community arts programs on #GivingTuesday, December 2, 2014

Press Release
Lauren Cross
2902 Race Street, Suite 100
Fort Worth, Texas 76111
(817) 901-7135

WoCA releases Indiegogo campaign for community arts programs on #GivingTuesday, December 2, 2014

December 2,2014—Fort Worth, Texas—#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving back online, and a response to the consumer culture activities involved with Black Friday and CyberMonday. #GivingTuesday, with its social media tag,  was meant to encourage a global culture of not simply consuming but “giving” to important causes both locally and globally. So in partnership with crowd-funding platform, Indiegogo, Fort Worth-based art non-profit, WoCA Projects, has launched a campaign to encourage the local community to be not only givers but active participants in some new community arts programs.

So far WoCA’s initial campaign goal of $2500 was raised within a week before #GivingTuesday even started and now WoCA Founder, Lauren Cross, is ready to push the campaign to the next level. “I feel that it is a very important time in history and in our community to be a part of transformative change. We need change desperately, and creative action has always been one of the most affective catalysts for change.” WoCA’s campaign lists an ambitious list of new programs that will be piloted in 2015, including ongoing art-making activities for local children in need of creative development and exposure; a young curators program that mentors, trains, and develops young women ages 13-17 for careers in the arts, particularly curating; an artist grant for artists of color in the local community, and a creative entrepreneurship initiative that aims to train women experiencing great economic hardship with creative tools towards financial empowerment. The campaign even plans to hire local artists and creative entrepreneurs to teach select programs.

WoCA’s initial goal was raised through a soft launch one week prior to #GivingTuesday through personal emails and Facebook. “I am really blown away by the overwhelming support that we received within the first week. It was amazing to see so many people who believed in the potential of this project to make a difference. And now that we’ve met that goal we are just charged to do more.” WoCA has already made all of the necessary partnerships with local community organizations to bring art and creative entrepreneurship programs to the individuals the organization hopes to serve. “I completely believe in the idea of not re-inventing the wheel, and what we’ve found is that there are many organizations already serving the people that we want to reach who are just as excited about reaching the women and children they serve through art and creative practice just as much as we do. So I am just excited that we will be able to move forward. By doubling our goal it simply allows us to reach more people and support them with more resources.”

Though WoCA hopes to raise all desired funds on #GivingTuesday their Indiegogo campaign ends on December 22nd. “We are hopeful that we will not only reach our goal but surpass it. It will take a ‘village’ to do that” says Cross. For more information about WoCA’s Indiegogo campaign visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/art-in-community-programs-at-woca-projects/x/2813367#home

Posted on December 02nd 2014 on 08:09pm

Friday 11th January 2013


Lauren Cross
(817) 901-7135

Fort Worth, Texas–January 11, 2013–If you ask artist Lauren Cross what “WoCA” means, she'll tell you that “WoCA” is an acronym for “Women of Color Arts." Cross is the founding director and curator of WoCA Projects, new non-profit artspace opening in Fort Worth on February 15th.
The new gallery will be located in the Riverside Arts District, a budding arts district in the Fort Worth Riverside community.
The mission of WoCA Projects is to highlight contemporary art by emerging, mid-career, and established women artists of color. Cross conceived the space to be both artist-run and project-oriented, her charge is to expose the city of Fort Worth and the broader arts community to artists who are often left out of the art equation. Cross’ inspiration for WoCA goes way back and touches a very personal side of her own art experience.
While studying art in undergraduate school Cross noticed that the art and artists she was exposed to did not relate to her own experience. As an African American woman artist, she discovered that the art world was highly white-male oriented, and later discovered that there were women of color artists exploring similar issues to her own.
“It wasn’t until I studied overseas that I discovered works by artists of color in a classroom setting,” says Cross, who discovered artists such as Chris Offili and her later mentor Rene Cox while studying art in London, England. “The irony was that there were artists exhibiting in the United States ( as well as a cultural arts history), but I was never introduced to their work. When I went to graduate school I realized that there were women artists of color making work very similar to what I was making in the studio… that would have helped me earlier on in art school.”
As a result, graduate school inspired Cross to start initatives that highlight women artists of color. Cross' documentary film and accompanying exhibition,The Skin Quilt Project, explores the works of contemporary African American quilters, and her online site, CVAAD Projects, exposes viewers to contemporary artists of the African diaspora. “These projects were all inspired by my desire to create spaces where contemporary artists of color could be recognized,” said Cross, which later became the motivation for WoCA.
With the opening of WoCA Projects, Cross is taking on a new space—the exhibition space. WoCA Projects will feature community and cultural arts programming through exhibitions, film screenings, artist talks and lectures, and community arts education.
On February 15th, 2013 from 6-9 p.m., WoCA Projects will officially open its doors to the public with a grand opening reception, premiering new exhibitions that feature artists Linda Lucia Santana, Desha Dauchan, and Joy Ude. "I am excited to feature these artists in WoCA," says Cross, "the space aims to help diversify the contemporary art landscape." WoCA hopes to complement the programming that other cultural arts instutitions are offering to local communitities. Cross admits that "I could have benefited from WoCA when I was in art school...recently I've had the opportunity to talk with other women artists of color in the development of this project and its shocking that many young artists still feel that their experiences are either unacknowledged or misrepresented." Cross hopes that the exhibitions and programming at WoCA will make a signficant impact on the local arts community, while also reshaping the art world.
For more information on WoCA Projects and upcoming exhibitions and programming visit www.wocaprojects.com and follow WoCA on Facebook.

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