Women in the Arts

successful creative women

Through our Creator Spotlight series, we celebrate successful creative women and girls by sharing their inspiring stories. The series also helps debunk the myth that you can’t have a successful career as a creative.

The Swan Dreams Project

A specific image stood out to Aesha Ash when she was studying to become a professional dancer at the School of American Ballet in New York City. The picture, hanging on a wall, showed Black ballerina Andrea Long who had been part of the school before Ash joined. On the toughest of days, Ash would …

kate allan

Bestselling author and illustrator Kate Allan put out the perfect book for 2020. Titled You’re Strong, Smart and You Got This: Drawings, Affirmations, and Comfort to Help with Anxiety and Depression, the work blends sunshine drawings and powerful words. The book not only provides a supportive voice for readers when they’re overwhelmed, it is also …

Clothing Designer Heather Marie

Growing up in South Bend, Indiana, Heather Marie often traveled to Chicago for back-to-school shopping. The fashion designer remembers feeling enchanted while looking at department store displays. On those trips her mother showed her how to buy items from different boutiques and blend them seamlessly into an existing wardrobe. Today Heather Marie understands clothing is …

Singer and Actor Piera Van de Wiel

As a young girl Piera Van de Wiel loved to sing. At eight she fell in love with the song “I Could Have Danced All Night” from MY FAIR LADY. With help from a little karaoke machine, she sang out the tune continuously. One day her grandfather came upon an inhouse performance. Van de Wiel suddenly …

perspectives of older adults

Picking up a camera. Seeing what’s around you. Giving people a voice. These are reasons Robin Baker Leacock loves documentary film. Her latest project, Stella & Co: A Romantic Musical Comedy Documentary About Aging, first aired on PBS in May and was inspired by Leacock’s 103-year-old mother Estelle “Stella” Craig. The film follows the lives of Stella …

teaching kids to embrace creativity

Three decades ago Las Vegan Kim Bavington started her business Art Classes for Kids. The company has gone on to inspire generations of young artists to hone their creativity and embrace a lifelong love for the arts. Bavington knows thinking freely is where kids’ minds intuitively roam, and she’s all about providing an environment for …

Jane Root

Jane Root was drawn to babies long before she became a mom. The founder and CEO of the production company Nutopia recalls seeing youngsters in strollers and thinking, “What’s going on inside your head?” and “What are you thinking?” Nutopia’s new series Babies explores those curiosities. Streaming on Netflix, the docu-series follows 15 international families …

Jenni Tooley

It is a lesson women in the arts share again and again, success does not happen overnight. Filmmaker, actor, producer, and writer Jenni Tooley stresses this reality for anyone pursuing a creative career. Last year the Texas native saw her feature film, STUCK, premiere at Women Texas Film Festival 2019. It took 20 years to …

artist Valerie Gillespie

When abstract artist and teacher Dr. Valerie Gillespie enters her classroom at Greenhill School in Addison, Texas, she is returning to the space that transformed her life. Years earlier Dr. Gillespie herself had been a student at Greenhill and spent time under the guidance of teacher Marilu Flores Gruben. In high school she had the …

independent businesswoman

Clothing creator Aluma’s small studio is light-years away from the hustle and bustle of London Fashion Week. The independent businesswoman likes it that way and prefers the slower-paced approach she now gives to her designs. Living in Tel Aviv, Aluma credits her mother with bringing sewing into her life. At 14 she proclaimed there was …

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