Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Get in with the New Placements

Trying to decide where to volunteer next year? The Junior League of Washington (JLW) has 46 placements that give back in a variety of ways – through direct work in the community, through fundraising, and through League programs that help cultivate and develop our volunteers.

In 2017-2018 – our 105th anniversary year – JLW will have four new volunteer opportunities: 105th Celebration Committee, Member Communications, Washington School for Girls, and The Reading Connection.

Read on to learn about what each of these committees will do, and don’t forget to participate in this year’s placement fair – running from May 1-26.

105th Celebration Committee

The Junior League of Washington is getting ready to thrive in 105! 2017-2018 marks our 105th anniversary, and we will celebrate throughout the League year. The Celebration Committee is a special anniversary year committee that will be responsible for coordinating a year of celebration and recognition of JLW, our members today, and our bright future. The committee will be managing communications campaigns throughout the year, as well as a birthday party in the fall and a day of service in the spring – so members involved with specific events will be busier around those dates. If you are dedicated to JLW and passionate about celebrating the fantastic work we do, don’t miss out on this placement – because it probably won't be available again until our 110th. If you have additional questions, please contact Erin Buechel Wieczorek.

Member Communications Committee

Be a connector and join the Member Communications Committee! New for the 2017-2018 year, this in-League placement addresses how JLW communicates with its members to share news of events, Membership Credit opportunities, League information, and other important news. It's perfect for someone who wants a smaller, more intimate committee (4-6 women, plus the chair) and the flexibility to do work on your own time. You'll also get to know JLW well because you'll work with all committees and councils to help communicate their opportunities and activities to members. Potential volunteers should have solid communications skills, flexibility, and creativity. The monthly time commitment is around 4-8 hours with monthly meetings. Additional questions can be direct to Jennifer Lim.

The Reading Connection Committee

JLW is pleased to announce our newest partnership with The Reading Connection (TRC). In the 2017-2018 League year, we will be volunteering with TRC’s Read-Aloud program, which inspires children (and volunteers) through the power of reading aloud and a love of great books. This program trains and deploys community volunteers to serve children living in shelters and other housing complexes – situations where parents are likely to be too stressed to read for the fun of it. At each Read-Aloud, JLW volunteers will read quality, age-appropriate books to the children, encouraging engagement and interest, then coordinate activities and conversations based on the theme of the books. Every child selects a book to keep after every weekly session – because when kids enjoy a book, they’ll want more. Volunteers will be expected to plan and attend one Read-Aloud session per month with a team of four to five of your JLW peers. For more information about this placement, contact Christina Prevalsky.

Washington School for Girls Committee

Let’s hear it for the girls! Another new community placement for the upcoming year is at the Washington School for Girls – which is currently the recipient of a multi-year, targeted grant. This committee will work on literacy skills with girls grades 3-8 during their Saturday School Program (9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.). Volunteers will have the opportunity to help improve literacy in the DC ward that needs the most help. The girls are bright and eager to learn, and many don’t have much opportunity to work with an adult one-on-one regularly. Potential volunteers should be comfortable around kids of all ages and different socioeconomic levels as well as have the ability to generate excitement and motivate children to learn. WSG is in Anacostia; the location is easy to find and offers free parking. If you have additional questions, please contact Jennie Kronthal.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Celebrating Women’s History Month at NMWA

On Sunday, March 12, the Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) Esprit and National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) Committees teamed up to celebrate Women’s History Month by co-hosting a museum tour and brunch. NMWA is the “only major museum in the world solely dedicate to recognizing women’s creative contributions,” according to the museum’s website – an ideal place to celebrate the contributions of women throughout history, as well as the powerful band of women who make up the Junior League of Washington.

The tours were led by two JLW docents, Sarah Bryant, NMWA Committee chair, and Jamela “Jam” Black. Attendees viewed pieces by Lavinia Fontana’s Portrait of a Noblewoman (1580), Amy Sherald’s It Made Sense… Mostly in Her Mind (2011), and many other great works in the NMWA collection. NMWA features pieces that span generations, styles, nationalities, and subjects, with more than 100 works by women from the 16th century to the modern era on display.

Bethany Poteat, a NMWA Committee member, attended the event and said, "Our docent (Jam) structured the tour around the theme 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue' and encouraged us to look at seemingly unrelated works from a different perspective. I loved hearing what thoughts and references the pieces evoked for different people."

Attendees pose for a photo in NMWA’s great hall before the start of the tour.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Keys, JLW President
After the tour, attendees enjoyed brunch at Momofuku and continued the conversation on women artists. They also discussed the artists and works featured on “See For Yourself” cards, packets that comprise a self-guided tour. JLW and NMWA volunteers help put the packets together.

Attendees at brunch pose with “See For Yourself” cards and discuss women artists and works they viewed on the tour.
Photo Credit: Jackie Frederick-Maturo

Attendees had a wonderful time learning about women artists and their accomplishments. You can join the conversation too! Join the initiative started by NMWA, use #5WomenArtists on social media and share photos of works by your favorite women artists.

NMWA incorporated as a private, nonprofit museum in 1981, opening its doors to the public in its current location on New York Avenue in 1987. JLW has been associated with NMWA since 1982; today, women from the League serve as visitor experience volunteers, staffing the Information Desk, leading Conversation Pieces, and supporting the museum at a variety of events.