MakeHER Summit Takes Off at the National Museum of Women in the Arts


The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) will host a two-day MakeHER Summit to empower and celebrate creative women entrepreneurs. In a dynamic mashup of the museum’s annual Maker’s Mart and the renowned Fresh Talk public programs series, the MakeHER Summit will provide space and opportunity for connection and community building, as well as programming and workshops to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and thrive.

MakeHER Mart
Sunday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Featuring the hand-crafted arts and merchandise of local women artists and artisans, the MakeHER Mart is a unique opportunity for the public to meet and interact with local women artists while supporting small businesses. Participating vendors include ArtTepuy, BenneboKids, Digital Method, Eluke, Gaylia Wagner Design, Grey Moggie Press, Handmade Habitat, KC Design, Kicheko Goods, Lil Fishy, Living Threads Co., Love Lori Michelle, Marcella Kriebel Art + Illustration, Maré Naturals, Off on a Tangent, Printed Wild, Rachel Kapisak, Rachel Pfeffer Designs, RADOST, Red Dirt Naturals, Siwar Box, Stitch & Rivet, The Neighborgoods, The Outrage, TigerFlight, Whim and Vigor, and more. $10 general, $8 seniors and students, free for members and children under 18. Tickets include museum admission. No reservations required. MakeHER Mart admission is included in the price of a Fresh Talk ticket.

Fresh Talk: Women in the Creative Economy
Sunday, Sept. 23, 4:30–6 p.m., Followed by Catalyst, a cocktail hour with a topic and a twist, 6–8 p.m., MakeHER Mart will reopen at 6 p.m. for event attendees
From art to apothecary, jewelry to furniture, and apparel to accessories, women makers are stepping into entrepreneurship and growing small, creative businesses. Join four creative women entrepreneurs to explore pressing questions such as: Is the creative economy a true path to artistic and financial freedom? As more women turn passion into enterprise and define their own trajectories, what challenges do they face? What role does a robust woman-powered network play in the journey? The conversation features Virginia Blanca Arrisueño, founder, DeNada Design and owner/lead designer, Steadfast Supply; Grace Bonney, founder, Design*Sponge, and author of New York Times bestseller In the Company of Women (2016); Dionna Dorsey, creative director and founder, District of Clothing; and Rakia Reynolds, founder and CEO, Skai Blue MediaAfter the Fresh Talk, continue the conversation with the speakers and other participants over cocktails and light bites while shopping the MakeHER Mart. Ticket includes MakeHER Mart admission, museum admission and Catalyst cocktail hour.

MakeHER Workshop Series
Monday, Sept. 24, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
A day of meaningful connection and deep-dive workshops will offer practical tips and resource sharing for creative entrepreneurs at all levels. Includes a branding workshop facilitated by Rakia Reynolds (Skai Blue Media), a workshop on growth with Virginia Blanca Arrisueño, a legal clinic with representatives from Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, a self-care-for-makers session and more. Full schedule and ticketing to open on September 1. Visit for additional information.

Sunday, Sept. 23, and Monday, Sept. 24, 2018

National Museum of Women in the Arts
1250 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Featured products from Whim and Vigor, Stitch & Rivet, Rachel Pfeffer Designs, and Handmade Habitat


Virginia Blanca Arrisueño / @SteadfastSupplyDC
Virginia Blanca Arrisueño is the creative director and founder of Steadfast Supply, a conceptual retail store with a mission. Housed in a 3,000-square-foot warehouse space at The Yards in Washington, D.C., Steadfast Supply provides a platform for independent brands and designers from around the country to share their goods and their stories with the denizens of The Yards and beyond. Steadfast Supply is a store with deep roots in creative entrepreneurship that celebrates the triumphs of small businesses by serving as an incubator to independent designers and brands, inspiring them to grow and thrive.

Grace Bonney / @designsponge
Grace Bonney is the founder of Design*Sponge, a website devoted to the creative community that reaches over two million readers per day. She is also the founder of Good Company Magazine, a biannual print magazine that focuses on the lives and work of creative women. In 2016 she wrote the New York Times best-selling book In the Company of Women. Bonney lives with her wife and pets in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Dionna Dorsey / @dionnadorsey
Dionna Dorsey is a creative entrepreneur and brand strategist creating for change. She uses simplicity, consistency and inspiring design to support clients in their business development, offering art direction, design, brand development and marketing services. Dorsey is also the woman behind DISTRICT of CLOTHING (DISTRICT), a lifestyle apparel brand created with dreamers, doers, change makers and future history makers in mind. Birthed from the same spirit of those who reject the sidelines, awake with a passion to move forward and are inspired to make their dreams reality, DISTRICT was created to empower and encourage, and items are designed to inspire conversation and embolden self-love. Dorsey designed the “Stand with Black Women” campaign for Planned Parenthood. She has been featured in The Washington Informer and Marie Claire, and was named a Washingtonian Style Setter. She attended Villanova University in Pennsylvania and Istituto Marangoni in Milan. She currently lives in the D.C. Metro area.

Rakia Reynolds / @skaibluemedia and @rakiareynolds
Rakia Reynolds is the founder and CEO of Skai Blue Media, an internationally recognized multimedia communications agency. A tenacious and intuitive entrepreneur, Reynolds has curated a notable roster of clients, including supermodel Ashley Graham, Dell, Landit, Serena Williams and teen activist Marley Dias. Reynolds’s innovative approach to brand management and experiential marketing styles has made her one of the most sought-after creative communications and media leaders, landing her on Dell’s “Inspire 100” list. In addition to challenging and advancing traditional business strategies, Reynolds is a passionate change advocate and leader. Appointed to the United Nations Global Accelerator in 2014, Reynolds seeks innovative solutions to address real-world issues, impacting change on a global scale. In addition to her full-time work in multimedia communications, Reynolds is a wife and mother of three children.

Women, Arts, and Social Change (WASC) is an acclaimed public programs initiative highlighting the power of women and the arts as catalysts for change. These programs convene speakers from a range of disciplines whose socially conscious ideas are reshaping lives and economies, engaging communities and empowering women. Fresh Talk, the initiative’s signature program series, assembles prominent women in the arts for creative conversations. Fresh Talk champions women through the arts and advocates for social change. WASC also features Cultural Capital program partnerships, which build community connections with area organizations to increase the museum’s visibility and reach new audiences. #FreshTalk4Change
The Women, Arts, and Social Change public programs initiative is made possible through leadership gifts from Denise Littlefield Sobel, the Dauray/Davis Family Fund, and the Susan and Jim Swartz Public Programs Fund. Additional funding is provided by the Bernstein Family Foundation, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The MakeHER Summit is generously supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. With its collections, exhibitions, programs and online content, the museum seeks to inspire dynamic exchanges about art and ideas. NMWA advocates for better representation of women artists and serves as a vital center for thought leadership, community engagement and social change. NMWA addresses the gender imbalance in the presentation of art by bringing to light important women artists of the past while promoting great women artists working today. The collections highlight painting, sculpture, photography and video by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Shirin Neshat, Faith Ringgold, Pipilotti Rist, Amy Sherald and Élisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun.

NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, in Washington, D.C. It is open Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sun., noon–5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students, and free for NMWA members and youth 18 and under. Admission is free the first Sunday of each month. For information, call 202-783-5000, visit, Broad Strokes BlogFacebookTwitter, or Instagram.


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