Support Structure

Personal Commitment and Group Support

Commitment to work is required. There is a responsibility to produce art by a specific time for a specific exhibition venue. For some participants, particularly women, fear sometimes becomes an issue–fear of not being able to complete the work because of family demands. It is a struggle for many to commit even a minimum of 16-20 hours per week, for several consecutive months in the face of life demands and becomes even more difficult as the exhibition grows near and the time commitment intensifies.

Some even feel terror (which is the other side of excitement) that their work will not be completed in time at the level of excellence necessary for public exhibition. At this point, the facilitator changes her or his role from questioning the feasibility of the work mode, media, and format to a support and empowering role in which the facilitator pushes, pulls, and cajoles with encouragement, “You can do it!”

The group can also provide support to each other by providing encouragement and by helping with resources and their expertise.

Video: Shirley Harlan speaks of her commitment to her work documenting the Envisioning the Future project in the Pomona Arts Colony, California.

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