Meet The Founders!
Art by Amaranthia Sepia
CREATIVE, WRITER, DV SURVIVORS ADVOCATE, CANCER SURVIVOR
In one week in March 2022, 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 and recently diagnosed with smoldering multiple myeloma, 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 living under domestic violence. Claire uses her creative works, writings and her mother-daughter project Sista Creatives Rising to encourage women trauma-survivors to utilize art for self-improvement. In the 1990s, standing at The Door of No Return on Gorée Island, 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. 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 24, she provides these groups 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.