FFOYA House Wins KY Foundation for Women Art Meets Activism Grant for Project with BRASS, Hope Harbor
FFOYA House was awarded a 2017 Arts Meets Activism grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women to support a series of art and writing workshops for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence as well as two public art, music and literature shows.
The workshops will bring together clients of the Barren River Area Safe Space domestic violence shelter and the Hope Harbor Sexual Trauma Recovery Center to create with local artists. Their creative work will then be showcased at FFOYA House during domestic violence awareness month on Oct. 13 and sexual assault prevention month in April 2018, as well as in printed zines.
FFOYA House co-founder and Western Kentucky University Professor Amanda J. Crawford is the lead artist on the project and will lead writing workshops. Crawford, a creative nonfiction writer who teaches journalism at WKU, is also a survivor herself and looks forward to helping participants explore their creativity.
“Creating art in any form is a way to express yourself, understand yourself and find your voice,” Crawford said. “I am so pleased that the Kentucky Foundation for Women recognizes this and is supporting this project.”
Crawford will be joined by well-known local visual artists Courtney Beckley and Chloe Lee for the first workshops in the series. Beckley, of Ingen Art studio, will lead a mural-painting workshop in August. Lee, who helps curate the art gallery at FFOYA House, will share techniques for self-portrait painting in September. FFOYA House will also provide childcare and arts activities for the participants’ children during the workshop, coordinated by local artisan Lauren Culbreth.
The project evolved from FFOYA House’s relationship with BRASS and Hope Harbor that developed through successful art, music and literature events over the last two years. BRASS executive director Tori Henninger approached FFOYA House about pursuing the grant after the 2016 Domestic Violence Awareness Month show at FFOYA House that collected food and personal care items for the shelter.
"Continuing our partnership with the FFOYA House is an exciting venture for BRASS that can lead down a path for more alternative therapy styles,” Henninger said. “Creating opportunities for artistic style therapy for the victims of domestic violence that we serve allows our agency to assist in coping styles that help people heal in different ways."
Writing and art developed during the workshops will be showcased at the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Show from 5-10 p.m. on Oct. 13 at FFOYA House, 1035 Kentucky St. in Bowling Green. The event will be part of the popular BG Gallery Hop and will feature music by two bands, Wet Eyed Liars of Bowling Green and Chew of Atlanta. Food and personal care donations will be collected for the shelter.
About FFOYA House: FFOYA House is a non-profit community arts venue and social justice collective located in a century-old Victorian across from the Warren County Jail in Bowling Green, Kentucky. FFOYA House believes in “art as a voice” and aims to connect working class artists and creative people with community causes and sustainable living practices. Learn more at www.ffoyahouse.com or www.facebook.com/ffoyahouse.
About BRASS: The Barren River Area Safe Space, Inc. is a regional domestic violence 26-bed shelter and program founded in 1980 to serve the community’s need to provide emergency shelter and support services to victims of domestic violence and their children. BRASS provides services to residents of the 10-county Barren River Area Development District: Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson and Warren. For more information, visit: www.barrenriverareasafespace.com or www.facebook.com/barrenriverareasafespaceinc.
About Hope Harbor Inc.: Hope Harbor is a non-profit crisis counseling center that provides one-of-a-kind services to victims of sexual assault and their families and friends. These services are available to residents in Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, and Warren Counties in Kentucky. The main office is in Bowling Green with satellite offices for additional counseling services located in Glasgow and Russellville. All Hope Harbor services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL to all individuals impacted by sexual violence regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion or cultural identity. Learn more at http://hopeharbor.net or www.facebook.com/HopeHarborInc.
FFOYA House hosted an opening reception for the Kentucky Rural-Urban Exchange's weekend in Bowling Green on Friday, July 28. RUX, a statewide program to bring rural and urban people together in unique settings to spark cooperation and innovation, describes it's vision like this: "We envision a future when Kentuckians value each other, create common ground, and understand our interdependence. We believe that by acknowledging our historical divides and abundant assets, Kentuckians can work together for our shared future."
Thank you to Roam Sandwich Company for providing food and FFOYA House volunteers Alayna Milby, Lauren Culbreth, Ariana Michaela, Beck Fatzinger, Meranda Caswell and Carmen Milagros Wivier for helping to organize the event.
Photos by Meranda Caswell at resin.ate:
Check out what's been happening in the FFOYA House art gallery! We hosted the Take Back the Night sexual assault prevention month art show and an art show for Black Lives Matter. See the work here.
BOWLING GREEN, KY – Art is a powerful voice for social change.
Recognizing that, FFOYA House, a nonprofit community arts organization in downtown Bowling Green, is hosting an art and poetry show in celebration of dissent on Friday, Dec. 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. during the BG Gallery Hop.
As the nation reels in the aftermath of a contentious and historic election season, local visual artists and poetry/prose writers gather to share work that is anti-hate, yearns for peace, mocks authority and hungers for revolution.
“Many artists used the art call for this event to channel their emotions and thoughts at an important moment in history,” said FFOYA House co-founder Amanda J. Crawford. “Our nation is divided, and many people in our community are worried about growing expressions of hate as well as threats to the First Amendment.”
Featured visual artists include Annie Erskine, Chloe Lee, Ariana Michaela, Lykaia Quinn, Molly Claiborne, Syren the Commander, Alayna Milby, Todd Kessler and Emily Lobb Hendricksen. (Update: See their work here.)
Poetry and prose writers who will read during the event include Riley Finwood, Hidey Taylor, Sherri Craig, Beck Fatzinger, Clinton Craig, John Kent Shelton and others. (Writers interested in reading can also sign up during the event to read as time permits.)
The Degenerate Art Show is named as a historic reference to the term used by the Nazi regime in Germany to describe art that ran afoul of the ideals of National Socialism. Such art was banned because it was seen as un-German, Jewish or Communist in nature; artists were sanctioned and artwork was destroyed
The show is a reminder that art is a key form of expression, protected under the U.S. Constitution, and a force to express discontent, question authority and push for social change.
About FFOYA House: FFOYA House is a Kentucky non-profit that aims to support the working class arts community and help connect creative people with social justice causes and sustainable living practices. The house -- which includes an urban garden, commission-free art gallery, sliding-scale recording studio and performance space -- serves as a safe space to foster artistic experimentation and community organizing and to instill confidence through the voice of the arts. Learn more at www.ffoyahouse.com.
Art is an important vehicle for social change. In recognizing that, FFOYA House is seeking artists and poets to participate in a Degenerate Art Show -- a showcase of visual art and writing that embraces dissent.
At perhaps no time in modern U.S. history is the protest voice more important. Share with us art that is anti-hate, that yearns for peace, that wants to spark a revolution and that embraces diversity.
The poetry reading will be held with the opening of the art exhibit for the Dec. 2 BG Gallery Hop. Submissions by artists and notes of interest from writers are due Nov. 25.
Read more on our gallery page: http://www.ffoyahouse.com/art-gallery.html
Two events organized with the regional domestic violence shelter and organization Barren River Area Safe Space drew guests from throughout the region to FFOYA House in October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
An art gallery show on themes related to Domestic Violence Awareness Month featured the work of eight local artists. It opened for the Oct. 14 BG Gallery Hop. The Gallery Hop also included a poetry/prose reading featuring several local writers.
On Oct. 15, FFOYA House hosted the DVAM Benefit Show for BRASS that featured live music, art and activities to raise awareness about domestic violence and BRASS' work. Nashville singer-songwriter Eva Ross and her band performed along with Former Friends of Young Americans, a post-folk project featuring FFOYA House co-founders and artists in residence.
Donations of food, personal care items and money were collected for BRASS at both events.
Read more about the events in stories by Callie Miller at the WKU's College Heights Herald and Simone Payne at the Bowling Green Daily News.
FFOYA House is teaming with the regional domestic violence shelter to host a music and art benefit to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The benefit, featuring live music and an art show, will be held Saturday, Oct. 15 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at FFOYA House, 1035 Kentucky Street in Bowling Green. Admission is free with a donation of food or personal care items for the Barren River Area Safe Space (BRASS), the regional domestic violence shelter and service, or a minimum donation of $5 is requested. The event is open to all ages and is family friendly.
Two bands and eight local artists are participating in the show at FFOYA House, a nonprofit organization that seeks to support artists and other creative people and connect them with community causes. The event is part of several sponsored by BRASS for the month of October, which is designated for domestic violence awareness.
“BRASS provides an extremely important service to people impacted by domestic violence in our region, and I am very glad that we can help raise awareness about their services and support their mission,” said FFOYA House co-founder Amanda J. Crawford, whose post-folk band Former Friends of Young Americans will be playing the benefit as well. “As a survivor of domestic violence, this is an important cause to me personally.”
Nashville singer-songwriter Eva Ross, formerly of Bowling Green, will also perform at the event with her band.
Local artists will be displaying and selling original work in the FFOYA House gallery during the show. The art speaks to themes related to Domestic Violence Awareness Month, such as empowerment, healing, recovery and self-reliance. Artists participating in the event include Courtney Davis, Christine Travis, Brooke Hume, Ariana Michaela, Lora Gill, Teresa Christmas, Emily Lobb Hendricksen and Alison Taylor.
"Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a wonderful opportunity to open up dialogue in our community about the prevalence of intimate partner violence not just nationwide, but locally, in our neighborhoods, schools, and businesses. Partnering with the FFOYA House to showcase artists whose messages speak about violence is a chance to dialogue in a different way,” said Tori Henninger, executive director of BRASS. “Throughout October, our events will work to let victims know they aren't alone, and survivors know we are still fighting to end the violence."
There will be a preview of the visual art in the show during the BG Gallery Hop at FFOYA House from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14. Poets and prose writers are invited to read their work during the event. Food and personal care donations for BRASS will also be collected then.
BRASS is seeking donations of the following items that can be dropped off at FFOYA House during the events: Pop tarts, granola bars, cereal, cereal bars, fruit snacks, bottles of Juicy Juice, oatmeal, canned fruit, spaghetti sauce, pasta, coffee/creamer, canned meats (tuna, chicken, ravioli, stew), boxed meals (mac & cheese, Hamburger Helper, rice), pancake mix/syrup, shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste/toothbrushes, diapers/baby wipes, cleaning supplies, Lysol, wipes, toilet paper, hand sanitizers, aluminum foil, Soft Soap, Zip Lock bags, paper towels, dish soap and cleaners/cleansers.
Find information on the events on Facebook at:
The Barren River Area Safe Space, Inc. is a regional domestic violence 26-bed shelter and program founded in 1980 to serve the community’s need to provide emergency shelter and support services to victims of domestic violence and their children. BRASS provides services to residents of the 10-county Barren River Area Development District: Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson and Warren. For more information, visit: www.barrenriverareasafespace.com or www.facebook.com/barrenriverareasafespaceinc
FFOYA House is dedicated to supporting working class musicians, artists, writers and other creative people and connecting them to community causes and sustainable living practices. More info at: www.ffoyahouse.com or www.facebook.com/ffoyahouse.
Detroit's urban folk outfit, Frontier Ruckus will be making a special stop at FFOYA House on September 22 as part of their living room tour this fall. FFOYA House joins an elite list of unique venues to host the renowned group ranging from Mountain Stage to Daytrotter. Catch them live in Bowling Green before they make it off to Americana Fest in Nashville. Doors 6 p.m. Music 7 p.m. Suggested donation: $5.
FFOYA House is excited to welcome back native Queens New Yorkers Show Me The Body on September 12. The band that Pitchfork calls "as diverse as their environment" played our humble community house back in July and brought with it all the intensity and fervor one might expect from such prolific outspoken proponents of social justice.
Complementing their unique blend of hardcore and hip hop this time around will be locals Nolin and Waco Bell.
FFOYA House's Toby Fatzinger joined 45 other grassroots organizers from around the country on a caravan from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Read about his firsthand experience with the heightened police presence in Cleveland.
FFOYA House Director Toby Fatzinger will be joining the People's Caravan with Grassroots Global Justice as a representative from the SOKY chapter of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth at the national political conventions.
The caravan will begin its journey in Cleveland, Ohio, to protest at the site of the Republican National Convention before heading to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. There will be direct action stops in Pittsburgh and Baltimore along the way.
"I'm excited to make contact with and learn from other grassroots activists and organizers while uniting as one voice in this very pivotal time in history," Fatzinger said.
Organizers from the front lines of black and Latino led social movements, climate campaigners, workers’ rights advocates and US military veterans mobilizing against war are coming together over shared concerns about the three major defining factors of this moment: white rage and misogyny escalated by the presidential elections, extractive dig-burn-dump economies promoted by politicians, and rising militarism at home and abroad. These practices will have long-term implications for black, Latin@, Asian & Pacific Islander, Arab and Muslim peoples; Indigenous Peoples; working class White folks, women and trans people and LGBTQ communities.
The People's Caravan is a call to action from communities of color and white folks to confront the growing acceptance and public condoning of racism and xenophobia; from women and trans people to reclaim feminism for the grassroots; from communities affected by polluting industries to build a new economy; and from veterans and organized communities around the globe to end US military intervention.
Follow Toby along the way on Twitter at @ffoyaHouse and @SoKyKFTC or follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ffoyahouse and https://www.facebook.com/SOKY.KFTC.
And consider supporting his work by making a donation for his trip here.
During a tough week for anyone with a sense of empathy Show Me The Body came to FFOYA House to engage in a healthy expression of anger. They were joined by local standouts Yeti Jr. and Cigarette Smoke. The timely release of their video for Chrome Exposed says it all.
FFOYA House and neighbors Astro Turf hosted the first BG Psych Fest on July 2. The event featured nine bands and more than a dozen artists. The bands played at both houses, art work was on display in the gallery and vendors and artists also set up on the lawn.
Read about the event in BG Amplifier here.
And view pics by BG Daily News here.
FFOYA House's urban garden was one of 10 projects in an eight-county region selected this month to receive a community garden mini-grant from the Barren River District Health Department. The award will help us expand our urban demonstration farm by planting a wider diversity of plants and building additional growing systems. We will also use the funds to build a chicken coop and to host future garden workshops.
FFOYA House has also assisted in the development of a community garden at one of our partner nonprofits, Hope Harbor, the regional rape crisis center which also received a grant from the health department. You can read about Hope Harbor's project in this story from the Bowling Green Daily News. Here's what Simone Payne wrote in that article about FFOYA House:
Amanda Crawford, co-founder of FFOYA House, was also volunteering at Hope Harbor. Her organization also received one of the grants awarded by the health department. She said the FFOYA House's mission is to connect artists and musicians and other creative people with causes and teach them about sustainability.
"Growing our own food I think is a major movement towards urban gardens, community gardens and more kind of localized food production and there's also a healing aspect to being out in nature," Crawford said. "So I think that for Hope Harbor to be able to offer their clients both that healing space, but also a place where they can get access to fresh produce, that's really important for them."
Read the full article...
FFOYA House is pleased to showcase the work of artists throughout the Bowling Green area in our commission-free art gallery.
Eight artists were selected in April to be part of the Hope Harbor Sexual Assault Awareness Month art show April 21. Other artists displayed work for the Art Pop-Up we co-hosted with Falcon's Nest on April 29.
Several of those pieces will be on display (and for sale) during all of our May and June events, including the June 3 BG Gallery Hop.
Read more about the artists and their work on the FFOYA House Art Gallery page!
Bowling Green Home & Lifestyle wrote about FFOYA House and founders Toby and Amanda for their April 2016 issue. Writer Mary Nestor did a great job delving into our mission here at FFOYA House.
The Chamber of Commerce measures success by charting trends like job growth and revenues raised, but there are other ways to quantify a vibrant infrastructure. And if Robert Tobias and Amanda Crawford have a say in the matter, the definition of a successful economic model for their newly adopted hometown will definitely come with a backbeat.
Crawford and Tobias, or Amanda and Toby, as they prefer to be known, have quickly become an essential part of the downtown district. She is a journalist on tenure track at WKU teaching writing and reporting, as well an accomplished lyricist. They met in Phoenix, Arizona, where Toby, a lifelong musician whose work has been described as perfect for “a darkened room and an open mind,” fronted the band Former Friends of Young Americans.
After moving to Bowling Green almost two years ago, Amanda and Toby established FFOYA House, which on the surface is a funky recording studio in a converted Victorian on Kentucky Street where they offer a sliding scale to local musicians to produce studio quality tracks for distribution to a larger audience. But their real mission is to make connections across a landscape of musicians, poets, fine artists and even farmers with the ultimate goal of establishing a network of people in support of progressive causes.
FFOYA House had the chance to partner with Hope Harbor to raise awareness about one of the most important issues in a college town or any town: sexual assault. Following the annual Take Back the Night march, we hosted a concert and a Sexual Assault Awareness Month art show to benefit Hope Harbor, a sexual trauma recovery center serving Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, and Warren Counties in Kentucky.
Three bands -- Rose Hotel, V.V. Lightbody and Astronomy Club -- volunteered their time and talents in the music portion of the event. Artwork by eight artists also was selected for a gallery display on the themes of sexual violence, body image, healing, recovery and empowerment. (See the art and read more about the art show here.) A free library with books ranging from spirituality to feminist fiction was offered as part of the event, too.
You can see a video of the Take Back the Night march posted by Joe Imel of BG Daily News here.
Shelby Bruce wrote a walk-up story about the event for the College Heights Herald. From wkuherald.com:
Hope Harbor Inc., a nonprofit crisis counseling center, and WKU’s Counseling and Testing Center will be partnering with the Former Friends of Young Americans House tonight to host a Take Back the Night event and benefit concert.
The march will start at 6 p.m. at the Warren County Justice Center at 1001 Center St. Following the march and a candlelit vigil, participants are encouraged to gather at the FFOYA House at 1035 Kentucky St. for a live concert.
The event recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and is held to protest the idea of people being assaulted while walking outside at night, according to Alayna Milby, the director of crisis intervention at Hope Harbor.
“It’s to raise awareness that women should not be afraid to walk at night in fear of being assaulted,” Milby said.
Natasha Simmons of the Bowling Green Daily News shot video of the marching band-led journey from house to house as part of the March 5 BG House Show Hop held at FFOYA House and three other downtown BG house show venues, Astro House, Falcon's Nest and Nightmare House.
Check out her video here.
FFOYA House friend and urban farming/permaculture consultant Tim Kercheville was profiled by the Bowling Green Daily News.
You should read the whole article to learn about the amazing work Tim of Festina Lente Farms is doing around Kentucky. But here's what Aaron Mudd at bgdailynews.com wrote about Tim's collaboration with FFOYA House:
Amanda Crawford is a journalism professor at Western Kentucky University and a musician with the band Former Friends of Young Americans. Crawford's house doubles as community arts venue and recording studio, and her front yard is marked by Kercheville's work. It features a hugelkultur mound, which is a raised planting bed with a core of decaying wood and other biomass.
For Crawford, sustainability melds well with a nonprofit FFOYA is creating. Artists, writers and musicians aren't always familiar with causes they can lend their voice to, which she said creates the need for a mediator.
"That was the idea that we were working under – that we could introduce bands and help them to work on causes that they find are important," Crawford said.
Crawford and her partner Robert Tobias harvest turnips, arugula and other greens to throw potlucks and other community events at their home. Community artists and activists can relate to Kercheville, Crawford said.
"He really helps to connect FFOYA House and our sustainable ideals with obvious and tactile examples of how you make a change in your community and how you can produce your own food," she said.
FFOYA House's free library got a shout-out in an article about free libraries in Bowling Green.
From the article by Simone C. Payne at bgdailynews.com:
Anyone can build a free library and put it on display in their front yard for access to the community. Toby Fatzinger and Amanda Crawford learned of the free library from traveling and decided to put one up outside the FFOYA House studio.
“It’s another outreach effort to the community; we’re both avid
readers, we have lots of books and we typically like to share those books,” Fatzinger said. “We believe in sustainability and repurposing. So, that kind of fits in to all that.” _
FFOYA house is located on 1035 Kentucky St., across the street from the Warren County Regional Detention Center and Fatzinger said that one of their concerns is issues of mass incarceration.
“We do see people turn out from the jail, in the winter time, sometimes without coats and they’re sitting here waiting for rides or they’re up and down the street and they are able to grab a book and flip through it and hang out for a minute,” Fatzinger said. “They’re incredibly respectful.”
FFOYA House hosted the Rock for Renters' Rights along with the SOKY Chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and the Student Coalition for Renters' Rights.
From Emma Austin at the College Heights Herald, wkuherald.com:
Students, community members and local musicians came together on Nov. 14 for an event aiming to raise awareness of renters’ rights.
The event Rock for Renters’ Rights was hosted by the Southern Kentucky Chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, the Former Friends of Yound Americans or FFOYA House and the WKU Student Coalition for Renters’ Rights.
During the night, local bands played at the FFOYA House, and speakers addressed attendees between performances. There was a table set up with information about KFTC and other resources, including a handbook that gave an overview of what a renter should know before moving in.
“With KFTC, we’re looking to do community activism and make sure people know that there are issues they could get involved with,” said Aeryn Darst, a senior from Bowling Green and member of the WKU Student Coalition for Renters’ Rights.
FFOYA House's organic garden was featured in a story by Nicole Ares of the College Heights Herald about urban gardening in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Here's what they had to say about our garden:
In 2014, when Crawford and spouse Toby Fatzinger relocated to Bowling Green from Phoenix, they left behind their home recording studio along with the infertile desert soil.
In the new city, the couple wanted to establish a home that represented their ideals and could influence the surrounding community. They chose a downtown Victorian home situated beside a halfway house and across from a juvenile detention center because they want to address large-scale imprisonment.
“We hope by locating our arts venue across from structures of incarceration and next to a halfway house, we can help to raise consciousness on that issue as well,” Crawford said via email.
It thus became the “FFOYA House,” a community home named after the couple’s indie band, Former Friends of Young Americans, that strives to bridge the gaps among local artists, musicians, activists and community members.
“Buying local is an important thing to me and supporting your local businesses rather than major corporations or industries,” explained Crawford. “I have a concern about the direction that our world is going and whether the lifestyles we’re living are sustainable.”
The FFOYA House is home to a recording studio open to local musicians, and the couple has also transformed their front yard into an organic permaculture garden.
“Urban living is far more sustainable than suburban sprawl, so we hope we can demonstrate, even in a small way, that sustainable agriculture and urban living are compatible,” Crawford said via email.
A variety of produce has since grown there. Ripe orange tomatoes, red and green hot peppers, organic basil and a substantial amount of other plants grow throughout the yard. The couple’s garden is also home to a hugelkultur mound that was introduced to them by local farmer Tim Kercheville...
FFOYA House is an all-ages, family-friendly community arts venue and professional full-service recording studio located in a century-old Victorian in downtown Bowling Green, Kentucky. It opened in 2014 when Robert Tobias and Amanda Jane of the band Former Friends of Young Americans relocated their recording studio from Phoenix, Arizona, and then opened their doors (and their porch) to the public.
At FFOYA House we believe in music and the arts as a voice, and we welcome collaboration with musicians, filmmakers, writers and other artists as well as environmental, civil rights, social justice and other progressive organizations. We have an organic, permaculture garden in the front yard and are located directly across the street from the Warren County Juvenile Detention Center and down the block from the Warren County Regional Jail. We are just two blocks from historic Bowling Green's lovely Fountain Square Park, with its bustling square of restaurants, bars and boutiques, and a half-mile from the campus of Western Kentucky University.
FFOYA House Mission
To foster a spirit of equality and fairness, bridging gaps between artists, activists and community members. Using art (not celebrity) as an impetus for change.