The mission of the West Louisville Women’s Collaborative, Inc. is to create and sustain artistic, peaceful spaces in Louisville’s west end.
A group of nine women organized in January 2014 as the West Louisville Women’s Coalition to create a Peace Labyrinth. The group was one of four winners out of over a hundred proposals submitted to Metro Louisville’s Lots of Possibilities.
The Peace Labyrinth is lined with over 450 positive messages on pavers painted by members of the Louisville community. It was installed in September 2014 at 3831 Hale Avenue in the Chickasaw neighborhood of the west end. The Peace Labyrinth has been the site of programs inviting walking meditation and creative life-affirming activities.
In 2016, the non-profit, West Louisville Women’s Collaborative, Inc. (WLWC) was formed and gave birth to a new artistic, peaceful space in the west end of Louisville.
ELA House, located at 3835 Hale Avenue, in the Chickasaw neighborhood near the Peace Labyrinth was a vacant, deteriorating property. It was purchased by a WLWC member, and was completely renovated by an anonymous donor.
A house which once had vines growing through its foundation and a tree breaking through the vinyl siding in the backyard is now a beautifully restored building.
The labyrinth and its plantings continue to be a site for peace and healing. Our Faces and Voices of West Louisville photojournalism project, funded by the KY Foundation for Women, put yard signs with positive messages about the west end in over 25 zip codes around our city. We want to do more.
The Peace Labyrinth and ELA House are part of WLWC’s bigger vision to:
- Utilize creative modalities to support community wellness
- Promote positive community identity
- Beautify vacant and abandoned properties
We believe that, when executed ethically and with authentic input from the community, public art can be a symbol of hope and transformation. The Peace Labyrinth and ELA House are already concrete representations of WLWC’s commitment to our neighborhood.
One of the strengths of WLWC is our commitment to generating involvement and support from within the community of Louisville’s west end. WLWC will continue to host community conversations and creative arts activities which will join neighbors in promoting a positive identity for Louisville’s west end.
We are women who believe that art has the power to transform. We are using our bodies and our minds and our art to further our mission, and in the process inviting others to do the same.
WLWC Board Members:
- Chenoweth Allen, Art Therapist & Visual Artist
- Elmer Lucille Allen, Visual Artist
- Robin Bray, Entrepreneur
- Elizabeth Foley, Artist & Educator
- Mariel Gardner, Urban Survivalist and Lover of Louisville
- Beth Henson, Art Therapist & Visual Artist
- Gwendolyn Kelly, Curious Citizen
- Ramona Dallum Lindsey, Artist & Educator
- Anne McArthur, CFO Habitat for Humanity
- Joyce Wagner, Social Worker & Nurse
- Shay West, Legislative Assistant for Metro Councilwoman McCraney, District 7