History Of the Washington Women's Arts Center

The Washington Women’s Arts Center (WWAC), located at 1821 Q Street NW, then at the Lansburgh Cultural Center, was created in 1975 as a non-profit organization to provide professional support and opportunities for women in the arts. Throughout its history, the WWAC produced exhibitions, sponsored speakers, produced literary and visual arts journals, and collaborated with other organizations to raise the profiles of women artists in the Washington area and around the country. The WWAC was staffed by volunteer members who managed everything from the administration to the maintenance of the Center.

LATITUDE: The Washington Women's Arts Center 1975-1987

Latitude features art works of former WWAC members and exhibitors. Curated by Françoise Yohalem, it showcases 90+ art works produced between the years 1975-1987, some of which are iconic of that time. The show brings back the energy, passion, and talent of members when the WWAC was, for many, “the only show in town.” Recent art works by WWAC artists will be featured in a slideshow.

Follow this link for names of the artists and more information: https://www.american.edu/cas/museum/alper/latitude.cfm (scroll down for the Latitude Exhibition)


VIDEO: Voices from the Washington Women's Arts Center

In the 1970s the Washington Women’s Arts Center gave women artists in the DC area opportunities to build careers in the arts along with a much needed exhibitions space. Today the Latitude exhibition recognizes the importance of the WWAC contributions to the Metro D.C Area Art Scene and to the women’s artist movement.  WWAC was more than a center; it was a community.

Voices is meant to give context for the art works of the exhibition. As former members share their memories on videos, they give life to those days. 

The interviewers, Lucy Blankstein and Ellouise Schoettler, former WWAC members during the 1970s, used their iPhones to film 18 women. All these women contributed to the success of  the Center. 




WWAC 2018 Interviewees:

Judith Benderson, Barbara Berman, Lucy Blankstein, Ann Congdon,

Zita Dresner, Barbara Frank, Marilyn Horrom, Gail Rebhan, Margaret Paris,

Sandra Reischel, Ellouise Schoettler, Lila Snow, Abbe Steinglass,

Sarah Stout, Ronnie Tuft, Claudia Vess, Josephine Withers, Ann Zahn 


Producers' Notes & Thank-You's

Lucy Blankstein and Ellouise Schoettler, Producers

We had never heard of  iPhoneography but after using our iPhones for the interviews we have taken to calling ourselves iPhoneographers.   

During the hours of collecting and editing interviews we were fueled by laughter and the joy of sharing everyone's memories. 

We hope these videos will ignite others to tell their memories.  Our history will live through our stories.

Grateful thanks to:

Jack Rasmussen, Director, American University Museum,

Kristi Anne Shaer. Associate Director, American University Museum

for including Voices as a part of the Latitude exhibition.

Special thanks to Alexis Arnold, AU student, for her skills as the digital assistant and web editor.