On The Road Again….

I am excited to be hitting the road for a number of speaking events over the next three weeks. I am sharing the list just in case you find yourself in the same location, or attending the same events. If so, feel free to TWEET to me @jackizehner.

Preparing for all the various talks is always very stressful.  I take each one very seriously, and  I do my best to prepare the remarks around the specific goals for that event.  Truly, I don’t know how it is possible that it takes dozens of hours to prepare a 20 minute talk, but it does. That said, I love it, because what an honor it is to have an audience who is there to hear my message, which is usually about how we use our resources in greater alignment with a vision for a more just, equitable and gender balanced world.

November 2, 2015

Impact Investing with a Gender Lens Conference in Denver, CO

November 5, 2015

Princeton Area Community Foundation Luncheon in Princeton NJ – Luncheon key-note

November 8-10, 2015

Oxford England Said Business School, Power Shift Conference in Oxford EnglandEvening key-note

November 12, 2015

Indian River Impact 100 in Vero Beach, FL – Luncheon key-note

 

With speeches over, I am going to a Summit event for the first time – Summit at Sea! Bon Voyage.

Women, Arts and Social Change

IMG_2349[1]What percentage of art currently on display in US museums was made by women? According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, it is 5%.   Even worse, less than 3% of the artists in the Modern Art section of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art are women, but 83% of the nudes are female. So hmm… it is 27 times more likely that a woman is featured nude in a painting, then to have been the featured artist.  Not good.

The statistics on women in art are staggeringly poor, yet not widely publicized. Even though I am known as ‘fact girl’, these were ones I had not heard until  I had the pleasure of hearing Susan Fisher Sterling, Director of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), speak at an art talk in Park City this week. I also learned that this museum is the only major museum in the WORLD solely dedicated to recognizing women’s creative achievements in the arts.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts has been working to bring awareness to the lack of women represented on museum walls and in collectors portfolios since 1981, when the museum was founded by Wilhelmina Cole Holladay and Wallace F. Holladay. In addition to advocating for women in the arts, the museum has worked to collect, preserve and display over 4,500 art works created by women. The Museum, which is located in downtown Washington DC, has 5 floors and over 80,000 square feet 100% dedicated to work by women. NMWA spotlights remarkable women artists of the past, while also promoting the best women artists working today.

My dear friend, and fellow Park City local, Susan Swartz, had her first major solo exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in 2011. It was called  Seasons of the Soul  and since that time her work has become international recognized.  She is but one example of amazing women artists whose careers have been enhanced and supported but this awesome institution. Another amazing woman to have a show at the museum is Carrie Mae Weemes. She is preeminent  photographer that I just happen to have in my collection. If you have not heard of her, please check out her web-site. One thing Susan Fisher asked in her remarks were “how many famous women artists can you name?” Think about it. The answers are likely a lot fewer in number than  for male artists, and that needs to change.  Thanks to this museum, it likely well.

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In 2014  NMWA launched a bold new programmatic initiative called Women, Arts and Social Change. Through a series of public programs, the initiative will highlight the power of women and the arts as a catalyst for solutions to society’s most pressing issues, particularly those affecting women and girls. I am really excited to see where this new initiative will take the museum and how it will continue to engage new and younger audiences about the importance of women in the arts. This aligns beautifully to the work I am doing with Women Moving Millions to promote documentary film as a tool for social next. Next week I will be in New York for a full day workshop, and I will travel to Dallas for a similar event on May 7th.

I invite you to suport NMWA  and please visit their website at http://nmwa.org/

 

Photo above – Robin Marrouche, Director of the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Susan Fisher Sterling, and yours truly.

 

Rudolph: The True Story

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I received this story in one of those random chain emails that I usually hit delete on before even reading, but this one had CHRISTMAS STORY in the title so I read on.  The story was so touching that after doing a little checking on the internet to see if it was true ( it seems to be) I decided to make this my  holiday post! I am sorry I cannot give credit to the writer but if this reaches you, thank you!  It is a story about love, commitment, creativity,  being different, generosity, and hope. It cannot get much better than that!

I hope it brings you some holiday cheer. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all!

The True Story of Rudolph

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his
drafty apartment window into the chilling December night. His 4-
year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob’s
wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.

Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never
come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why
isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?”

Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question
brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story
of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob. Small
when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was
too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called
names he’d rather not remember.

From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in.
Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was
grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward
during the Great Depression.

Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-
lived. Evelyn’s bout with cancer stripped them of all their
savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a
two-room apartment in the Chicago slums.

Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938. Bob struggled to
give hope to his child, for whom he couldn’t even afford to buy
a Christmas gift. But if he couldn’t buy a gift, he was
determined to make one – a storybook!

Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the
animal’s story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope.
Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with
each telling.

Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story
Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form.

The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The
name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a
big shiny nose.

Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl
on Christmas Day.

But the story doesn’t end there.

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little
storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the
rights to print the book.

Wards went on to print, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and
distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores.
By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million
copies of Rudolph.

That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights
from Wards to print an updated version of the book. In an
unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all
rights back to Bob May.

The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals
followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family,
became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving
daughter. But the story doesn’t end there either.

Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to
Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular
vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by
the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.

“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released in 1949 and
became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other
Christmas song, with the exception of “White Christmas.”

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long
ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob
May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that
being different isn’t so bad. In fact, being different can be a
blessing.

MERRY CHRISTMAS