The Women's Focus Week Committee presents: On The See-Saw: Women Balancing Family, Art & Career

The Women’s Focus Week Committe presents: On The See-Saw: Women Balancing Family, Art & Career
This year, Rhode Island School of Design’s Women’s Focus Week will include a film screening and discussions highlighting the topic of women in the arts, and the challenges women face in balancing art practice, career and family responsibilities. Given that many laws, organizational policies, and social customs in the United States still rely on a traditional family model of a stay at home mother and working father, working women—and especially single parents—face many hardships. In this series, we hope to give voice to female artists and designers who face many tough decisions, including if and when to start a family while building a career, how time should be divided between childrearing and studio practice, and the societal stigmatization of working mothers and women’s art. As women now enter and graduate from art and design schools at a much higher rate than men, we must work with new urgency to find creative solutions to these longtime problems or we will end up with a society of women artists who feel forced to choose between a successful career and a meaningful family life. Finding ways to balance work and family would make working women’s lives more fulfilling and ultimately benefit society as a whole. Through listening and discussing the stories of women who have struggled with these issues, we hope this series will be a step in that direction. We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on our blog at

(The following dates are also listed on the Academic Affairs events calendar separately, by date.)

(M)otherhood Tea Social

WHEN: Monday, March 22, 12-1pm
WHERE: Location: Ewing House, 41 Waterman St.

DETAILS: Topic of discussion, “Motherhood or Otherhood”: Students and members of the RISD community are invited to a lunchtime tea to discuss questions of gender, art and parenting. What are the factors and complexities that a 21st century female must negotiate regarding career and family? Come share your thoughts over tea, cakes, and finger sandwiches.

Open to members of the RISD Community.

Relax, Relate, Release Spa Night

WHEN: Tuesday, March 23, 7-9pm
WHERE: Location: Upper & Lower Met, 55 Angell St.

DETAILS: Health Services brings to RISD students pampering, free mini sessions of nail and hair care and demonstrations and samples of facial products made from ingredients right in your kitchen. Come join the fun?

Open to members of the RISD Community.

Film Screening: Who Does She Think She Is?

WHEN: Wednesday, March 24, 6:30-8:30pm
WHERE: Location: RISD Auditorium, 17 Canal St.

FEATURED GUEST: Angela Gonsalves
DETAILS: Film screening and discussion.

About the film: “From the producing team, that won an Academy Award for Born Into Brothels, “WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS?” examines some of the most pressing issues of our time: parenting and creativity, partnering and independence, economics and art. The film follows five women artists as they navigate the challenges of making work outside the elite art world.”

About the featured guest:
As a child, Angela Gonsalves was introduced to the performing arts by a traveling children’s theatre. From that moment on she has sought opportunities to inspire others in the same way. She later went on to major in Theatre Performance at Rhode Island College while performing professionally in New York and acclaimed New England Theatres. Mrs. Gonsalves is the Artistic Director of Talent Development Group providing successful creative arts programs and workshops for Schools, Clubs, Churches and Community Centers. She was last seen as Mayzie LaBird in Seussical at Wheelock Theatre in Boston. As well as Fan/The Narrator in Trinity Rep’s production of A Christmas Carol. Other roles include: (Rose) in The 60’s Project directed by Richard Maltby Jr. at Goodspeed; (Woman #1) in Foothill’s production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. (Sister Mary Hubert) Nunsense, Providence Performing Arts Center; (Grace Farrell) Annie, Trinity Rep; (Narrator) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Theatre By The Sea; (Aida) Aida, Ogunquit Playhouse; (Belle) Beauty and the Beast; Wheelock Family Theatre; (Maria) The Sound of Music, Wheelock Family Theatre. Angela travels nationally performing her cabaret show as well as singing songs from her debut Gospel CD.

Free and open to the public.

Panel Discussion: From Her Perspective: Narratives of Work and Family

WHEN: Thursday, March 25, 7-8:30pm, reception to follow in Chace lobby
WHERE: Location: Chace Center, Metcalf Auditorium, 20 North Main St., Providence, RI

DETAILS: Artists, designers and scholars from the RISD and Brown communities address the topic of females balancing, art practice and career.

GUEST PANELISTS: Mairead Byrne, RISD English Dept.; Gail Cohee, Director of Brown’s Sarah Doyle Women Center; Wendy Edwards, Brown Dept. of Visual Art; Lucinda Hitchcock, RISD Graphic Design Dept.; Deana Lawson, MFA ’04 PH and Keita Turner, BFA ’91 AP.
Panel will be co-moderated by Jennifer Prewitt-Freilino, RISD Professor of Psychology and Ariel Bordeaux, artist and mother.

Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Women’s Focus Week Planning Committee, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Office of Student Life, Liberal Arts Division Humanities Fund, Division of Fine Arts, Painting Department, Alumni Relations, Library, and Health Services.

Angela Gonsalves, Who Does She Think She Is?, Women's Focus Week

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