Founded after the 2016 election, The Woman Project uses art to connect activists across Rhode Island. “The election was a wake-up call that we need to be more involved,” says co-founder Jordan Hevenor. “We thought that if we used art and activism, we would be able to engage more people.”
Now in its second official year, the entirely volunteer-based group has meetings twice a month, hosted around the state. Their main goal is to foster the passing of The Reproductive Health Care Act, which would codify Roe v. Wade on the state level. “We thought if we had one piece of legislation to focus on, we could give it a boost,” she says.
To raise awareness about this issue, the organization has used artistic activism, events, and installations to highlight the support for reproductive health care in the state. These initiatives have included a postcard campaign, petitions, and The Petition 2.0 Quilt Project. In the quilt, each piece represents an individual who supports reproductive health care. This year, the group is working to complete the quilt and include signatures from people all over the state.
“We have about 1,400 squares that have been signed so far,” says Hevenor. This month, TWP will also travel around the state on a quilt tour, visiting all five RI counties. “Hopefully we can meet new people and help them learn about the status of reproductive health in RI,” she says. “It’s an awareness tour and we think it will encourage and engage people.”
Hevenor feels the state has enormous potential if they can bridge the gap between different towns and cities. “You can go almost anywhere in the state in under an hour, and that’s pretty impressive,” she says. “We could be really connected.”
Overall, they’re looking forward to the new year and building on their progress. “It seems like we have been successful at creating a dialogue about reproductive health care,” she says. “And that’s really the goal – to hear voices you might not hear all the time because we just haven’t had the space for that. I think The Woman Project is definitely going to continue and keep creating those spaces.”