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What is the
Athena Charitable Foundation?
The Athena Charitable Foundation is a private foundation formed to
encourage, benefit and promote the arts, humanities, education, health and relief
of the poor. The Foundation is a sponsor of the Real Women Project and has purchased
two sets of the Real Women sculptures for national tours. The Foundation is
not set up to handle the processing of applications since much of the work
it does is on a local volunteer level, with the exception of the Real Women Project.
Proceeds from corporate sponsorship, underwriting, and sale of related products
for these exhibitions will be used to assist real women with real life challenges.
All proceeds from the sale of product related to the Real Women Project go to
the Athena Foundation.
To make a contribution to the Athena Foundation:
Mail your tax-deductible donations (no applications please) to:
P.O. Box 90669
San Diego, CA 92169
Why the "Real
In 1998 three women; Dr. Donna Brooks-a retired ob-gyn physician,
Cathy Conheim - a psychotherapist, and Dr. Barbara Levy - a practicing gynecologist,
gathered to share thoughts and pose this question " If we could change one thing
in women's health in the next century that would impact women the most, what would
it be?" The idea was clear and instantaneous- and it was then that the Real Women
project was born.
While it is true that each of us has the responsibility to play a role in the
rebuilding of society's view of outer beauty and inner wellness, it is the goal
of the Real Women Project to provide the necessary "tools" for each of us to make
that rebuilding possible.
L.C.S.W., a psychotherapist in private practice for over 25 years, is also the
head of FOCUS, a management consulting firm. Whether as a therapist, a management
consultant, a public speaker and a workshop leader, a radio talk show host, or
an author, she sees herself as an agent of change. Ms. Conheim is the prime mover
behind the Real Women Project, and dedicates countless hours to further its mission.
M.D, is now retired. Dr. Brooks' personal life has centered on healing. She was
first a physical therapist, then went on to become one of San Diego's most beloved
and skilled Ob-Gyn's. Upon retirement, she became a student of T.J.Dixon (the
Real Women sculptor) and is now a recognized figurative sculptor.
Levy. An Ob-Gyn. With a thriving private practice, Barbara Levy, M.D. is Medical
Director of the Women's Health Center in Federal Way, Washington. She is past
president of the American Academy of Laparoscopic Surgeons.The author of a book
on pelvic pain, Dr. Levy is a frequent lecturer and has been a guest on the Oprah
Winfrey show. As a physician, mother and daughter, her commitment to women's health
is deep and passionate.
A Message from the Founders and Producer
of the RWP
The series of 13 sculptures that are depicted on this site and are
at the heart of the Real Women project seek to unveil and celebrate the diverse
beauty of women. The pose each woman chose ultimately expresses her individual
experiences of living. The number thirteen reflects the thirteen moon and menstrual
cycles in a woman's year.
The dream behind the series is to use the power of art to aid in healing and
to challenge our blind adherence to rigid cultural ideals of body image. The presence
of these powerfully charged figures invites women into a personal dialogue with
their own beauty. We hope the Real Women Project and all of the tools we have
developed inspire you in new directions that improve your total wellbeing.
Donna, Cathy and Barb
Real Women Project
The Real Women Project illustrates that health and vitality are related
to self-esteem and are not solely dependent on medical intervention. It inspires
people to act on their own behalf for their own health. It reinforces the need
to respond to others in a community of caring, and to reshape public values and
perceptions regarding physical beauty and inner wellbeing.
Rooted in the belief that self-acceptance is the foundation for mental, physical
and spiritual health, the Real Women Project uses sculpture, poetry, video, music
and storytelling to inspire dialogue and self-awareness, to broaden our definition
of beauty and to deepen our understanding of well being.
The Real Women Project includes women of all ages, cultures and ethnicity's
who come to understand our oneness and commonality in the process of sharing our
unique stories. Through the repetition of affirming images and messages, the project
is helping to spread an "epidemic of health".
The tools of the project provide new resources for alternatives and explorations
beyond the constraints of negative images, artificial beliefs about beauty and
confining roles and ideas communicated by traditional media.
The Real Women Project helps women realize and celebrate their inherent beauty,
dignity and capacity for transformation.
The Real Women project aims to:
- Help women realize and celebrate their inherent beauty, dignity and capacity
- Use sculpture, poetry, video, music, and storytelling to inspire dialogue
and self-awareness, to broaden our definition of beauty, and to deepen our experience
of well being. This goal is rooted in the belief that self-acceptance is the foundation
for mental, physical and spiritual health.
- Include women of all ages, cultures and ethnicity who come to understand our
oneness and commonality in the process of sharing our stories.
- Spread an epidemic of health through the repetition and transmission of affirming
images and messages.
- Throw away the negative ideas and limitations about women that are portrayed
in the media and replace them with new images that empower women to explore their
own beliefs on inner and outer beauty and how these beliefs impact self-esteem
and health. The workshops, CD's, books and videos are the tools used to build
our new, broader definition of beauty.
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the Real Women Project
Created on: 02/09/02
Web site by
Outside the Box