WE HAVE AN ONGOING PROBLEM: The Status of Women in All Strata of Societal Relationships (professional, personal, with organizations, government and self) is problematic due to the broad adherence to/expectation of adherence to rigid gender roles. Co-current hierarchies of race, class, immigrant status, sexual preference, non-binary gender identification, and disability status/ablism, further destabilize women’s relationship with others and with themselves, making healthy, happy and economically sustainable, self-directed and actualized lives difficult to impossible. Furthermore, the narratives of women are suppressed by the mainstream, mirroring the trends of inequity and status of women in society. This leaves the majority of society’s experiences unspoken, unshared and therefore un-addressable.
Women is to be understood to include cis-gendered women, transwomen, individuals who are gender neutral or gender queer and anyone else who does not adhere to the male or female categories of the gender binary
OUR GOAL: Provide physical space for women to convene, express themselves creatively through narrative and literary arts (storytelling in many forms), discuss, create, teach and learn about each other and themselves through the creation of intersectional community of women, allies and supporters, as a means of creating an alternative and innovative social justice business model, addressing the gender gap in literary and narrative arts that exists in both the local literary scene and the national publishing industry, challenging the international false assumption and prioritization of the white male narrative as universal, and modeling progressive arts showcasing and practices.
Through having a physical space specifically for women, transgender women, people who identify as gender queer, gender neutral or are otherwise othered due to gender perception or identification outside of the male/female binary, housed in the historically diverse, locally- focused Allendale district of the nationally controversial portion of Oakland that is known as East Oakland, LIMINAL uniquely located to affect change. LIMINAL provides a community hub for the preservation of culture in the area through the detrimental effects of gentrification, societal trauma and the ongoing impact on health and well being of the gender gap at the familial and societal levels that underlies all of these. As Oakland is a nationally known location, for its history, it is a location that has been and remains in the spotlight. Currently, it is also a tourist destination. Oakland has become both a place to be scared of and a place to covet and come to as a creative or progressive person. This makes modeling of progressive and innovative change in the arts especially poignant at this point in time and in this specific locale. We can affect broader change around whose narratives matter.
To bring awareness to the narratives of women is to bring needed awareness and consciousness to the experiences of the majority of the population, as the population’s majority identifies as female. This awareness will highlight and contribute to changing the existing rape culture, unequal policing & law enforcement, the pay gap and the restrictive gender roles as they exist in society at present. LIMINAL’s alternative business model stresses the payment of writers, performers and instructors for their expertise and hard work, setting a precedent that is counter to the current attitude that the honor of performing is payment enough, when in contrast, all other mediums of art have monetary value. LIMINAL also challenges the underpayment of instructors of creative writing and narrative arts, by placing the instruction and sharing of literary and narrative arts on par with the expertise of those who work in all other mediums, additionally underscoring the on-the-ground therapeutic value and depth of the work, since teaching and holding space for the exploration of creative arts is a community-level, more widely accessible equivalent to more proprietary and often stigmatized approaches and applications of modern psychology.
LIMINAL empowers women to be writers, performers, instructors, creative entrepreneurs, community members and role models. LIMINAL supports and promotes the voices and narratives of women through programming that is responsive to the needs of the individuals who make up its growing community.