"To help marginalized women/femme creatives gain accessibility and visibility in the arts to facilitate personal healing."
- Claire Jones and Amaranthia Sepia
Mother-Daughter Team & Creators of Sista Creatives Rising
Claire (on left) and Amaranthia (on right) are both holding a collaborative work, "Curls and Curves" showing three dark-skinned Black women with stylized multi-hued hair.
CREATIVE, WRITER, WOMEN SURVIVORS ADVOCATE, CANCER SURVIVOR
In one week in March 2022, days after launching Sista Creatives Rising with her daughter Amaranthia, Claire lost her mobility by the hour. Enduring emergency surgery to remove a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma from her spine, she let go of all delusions and illusions about her health. Claire is now within the 1% category to walk again after such surgery. Now in remission, Claire redetermined to help marginalized women gain inner strength by accessing their artistic side.
A Buddhist and Frances Perkins Scholar, Claire's journey to scholarship began during her childhood in Barbados when she sought relief from the chaos of living under domestic violence. Claire uses her creative works and writings to encourage women trauma-survivors to utilize art for self-improvement. In the 1990s, standing at The Door of No Return in Senegal, where enslaved people last saw their homeland, she reaffirmed her purpose: to overcome intergenerational trauma.
ART COORDINATOR, CREATIVE, MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE
Amaranthia Sepia feels it's critical to use her voice to facilitate representation of marginalized women. As a Buddhist Black, invisibly disabled woman with C-PTSD, panic disorder, and agoraphobia, she highlights unconventional experiences through art. Amaranthia, along with her Mom, Claire, is the co-founder of Sista Creatives Rising, home of virtual charitable art event "Art & Mind," which helps marginalized women/femme creatives gain accessibility and visibility in the arts to facilitate personal healing. Currently she's a resident of Socially Distant Art, a residency focusing on disabled creatives.
Returning to America after spending her childhood in Japan, Sepia was severely bullied. Creating works based on fond memories of Tokyo taught her the healing power of art. Since 13, she's coordinated art events on anti-bullying advocacy, BLM, disability, and women's mental health. Now 23, she provides women tools for utilizing their creativity to gain confidence to make a difference in their communities.
FEEL-GOOD AMBASSADOR, EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL (ESA)
Meena-Serenity is a four-year-old white rescue cat who's fueled by cuddles, kisses, hugs, and playtime. She loves to race around the house and gallop while playing chase. She is Amaranthia's ESA, but Meena also deals with anxiety and PTSD symptoms. Meena and Amaranthia have the same birthday. Meena loves to sit in windows and often invites her Big Momma, Claire, to watch. Claire has to pretend she is excited about seeing nothing as Meena purrs contentedly while sitting on her stool. She loves to cuddle with Little Momma, Amaranthia under the blankets every morning.
Meena is a rescue we found online through Rutherford County Humane Society in 2019.
"With greater accessibility and multi-genre art spaces, we would see not only more representation in media and leadership roles for marginalized women and femmes creatives… this would translate into greater tolerance and increased visibility of race and gender diversity in today’s culture."
~ Sista Creatives Rising~
Awareness, Education And Inclusivity Through The Arts
In March 2022, Claire was losing her mobility by the hour. Doctors' told her she had a cancerous tumor wrapped around her upper spine like a donut. With a 50% chance of paralysis, she underwent emergency surgery. Against all odds, when she woke up, her legs were moving. Through this workshop, Claire shares her miracle story and how others can utilize diaries and journaling as a healing tool.
A 50% Chance of Paralysis: How I Utilized Journaling as Self-Reflection During Cancer Treatment
I Know Who I Am: How The Art of Storytelling Can Help Overcome Self Sabotage
For older women who've struggled with impostor syndrome with an interest in using creative writing for self-reflection
How to Create Art Accessibility For The Mentally Ill
An opportunity to learn how galleries and art events can use virtual opportunities to be inclusive of marginalized and creatives with emotional/psychological disabilities.
Emo Bunny: Character Design As An Expressive Tool For Mental Wellness
For young creatives looking for a positive healthy outlet to express their negative experiences and struggles. Learn how Amaranthia Sepia's original character, Emo Bunny, helps her face her struggles with panic disorder and C-PTSD.
Using Artivism in Communities (Art-Activism) to Form a Healing Space for Creative Women
For women/femme creative activists who want to expand their voice in the arts.
The 2021 Art & Mind project generously chose our nonprofit as a beneficiary. They gave us a chance to get back to our community, and I'm so grateful to Amaranthia, Claire and their volunteers for that. The documentary and video work was excellent and showcased all different and super talented artists.