Guide to the Kentucky Foundation for Women Records, 1985-2000
The Kentucky Foundation for Women Records span the dates 1985-1999, with the majority of papers dating from 1985-1993. The collection provides a rich source of information about grass roots feminist activism, philanthropy, not-for-profit organizations and artistic patronage, feminist art and women's culture. The records of the Foundation include a range of materials, primarily a large number of grant files, including applications and supporting materials of those awarded grants. Also notable are the files for its publication, The American Voice, which include correspondence, copy-edited drafts of poetry and other writings, business records, other publications, miscellaneous ephemera, broadsides, and books of poetry. In addition, there is information on the Hopscotch House and Wolf Pen Writers Colony, miscellaneous correspondence, subject files, annual reports, newsletters, and brochures. The records consist primarily of files, but videocassettes, audiocassettes, and compact disks are also included. The collection is divided into four series: Administrative Files, Project Files, American Voice Files, and Grant Files.
The Administrative Files Series contains Foundation newsletters; administrative correspondence; minutes of Board of Directors meetings; and financial, legal and tax papers. The Project Files Series contains papers on short-term special projects, as well as long-term projects such as the Hopscotch House and the Wolf Pen Women Writers Colony. The American Voice Files Series contains information regarding the publication of the feminist literary journal The American Voice. The series contains correspondence between the editors ( Frederick Smock and Sallie Bingham) and contributors; copy-edited drafts of poetry, prose, and non-fiction essays; business records; broadsides; chapbooks (i.e. hand-bound books); miscellaneous publications; and a partially complete run of the journal. Some of the better-known authors to be published in The American Voice include: Paula Gunn Allen, Isabel Allende, Wendell Berry, Jorge Louis Borges, Kay Boyle, Jo Carson, Andrea Dworkin, Elaine Equi, Doris Grumbach, Joy Harjo, Fenton Johnson, Robin Morgan, Marge Piercy, Reynolds Price, Joyce Carol Oates, and Anne Firor Scott.
Finally, the largest series, the Grant Files Series, contains documentation on the evolution of the Foundation's grant program over the years, as well as files on those projects that received grant monies from the Foundation from 1986 to 1993. The Foundation awarded grants to both men and women, though women are in the majority. The grants supported the work of visual artists, writers, scholars, musicians, composers, documentary and fiction filmmakers, playwrights, painters, sculptors, puppeteers, quilters and other fabric artists, political activists, advocates for physically handicapped women, and those concerned with women and religion and women's employment issues. A unique concern of the grant givers was supporting the exploration and improvement of the situation of women in Appalachia, encouraging women to explore and study the wilderness, and defining and encouraging the emerging field of Ecofeminism.
The addition (Accession 2001-0012) (2208 items, 3.8 lin. ft.; dated 1986-1999) continues to document the process of publishing The American Voice. Materials include correspondence, board minutes, grant applications and evaluations, financial statements, video (3) and audio (4) cassettes and one audio compact disc, and information files for volumes 32-49. Also included are writings by Sallie Bingham. Acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.
The addition (Accession 2007-0126) (5 lin. ft.) consists primarily of files documenting the organization's grant program, and also includes project files, files related to the feminist literary journal The American Voice, publications, and files from Hopscotch House.
- Collection Number
- Kentucky Foundation for Women records
- Kentucky Foundation for Women
- 31.3 Linear Feet, 29,000 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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How to Cite
[Identification of item], Kentucky Foundation for Women Records, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Contains information regarding the conception and incorporation of the Foundation in 1985, as well as the running of the Foundation from its early years through the 1990s. The major administrative figures represented in this series are Sallie Bingham, Maxine Brown, Pat Buster, Ann Stewart Anderson, Tim Peters, Mona Murphy, and Frederick Smock. The General Information and Correspondence folders document the range of ideas and goals for the Foundation originally proposed by its founder, Sallie Bingham, and detail the decisions made about which ideas to pursue and which to abandon. Information on the evolving role of the grant process illuminates the Foundation's increasing focus on women in the arts in Kentucky over the years. The Sallie Bingham correspondence also contains letters she wrote to family members, as well as responses to numerous personal requests for financial support or donations, the majority of which she turned down. The set of newsletters (1985-1999) and Board meeting minutes provide a concise summary of the decisions made and the course of activity followed by the Foundation. The financial, legal and tax papers document the process by which the Foundation acquired and dispensed funds, as well as the overall growth of the Foundation. Original arrangement retained.
Contains information about special projects undertaken by the Foundation, some of which were short-lived and some of which continued indefinitely. The Hopscotch House category contains information about the acquisition of the property; discussions about potential and actual events and projects undertaken at the house; the hiring of Patty Wren Smith (a previous grant recipient) as house manager and resident naturalist in 1989; and a run of newsletters written by Smith documenting events at the House including lectures and gatherings. This grouping also contains a file of requests to use the house by various local non-profit groups and reports of their activities. The Wolf Pen Women Writers Colony folders detail the planning and running of the Colony and document the four summer meetings of the Colony, from 1988 to 1991. The group also contains the applications and supporting documents for the women writers who applied to take part in the Colony. The Names and the Topics folders document minor projects undertaken by the Foundation over the years--projects that supported the Foundation's mission, but did not become a lasting part of its activities. The folder groupings are arranged alphabetically. Various persons documented in the Project Files Series are also documented in other parts of the collection. In particular, some of the women writers who participated in the Wolf Pen Colony also were contributors to The American Voice (e.g., Sharon Doubiago, Jan Freeman, Terri Jewel, Cia McClannahan, and Marie Williams), while certain artists who worked on a special project for the Foundation were later successful applicants for Foundation grants (e.g., Jo Carson, Cass Irwin, Brenda Marie Osbey, Maryat Lee). Arranged alphabetically within the categories Hopskotch House, Wolf Pen, Names, and Topics.
Documents the origins and development of the literary journal primarily from 1985 through 1993, though there are miscellaneous materials from 1994 to 1998. The journal is feminist in orientation, and highlights (though not exclusively) the work of women writers. The Correspondence folders contain letters between contributors and other interested parties with Frederick Smock and Sallie Bingham, the founders and editors of the journal. The Issue Files folders contain information specific to the publication of numbers one through 31 of the journal. Each issue file contains correspondence about contributions to the journal, correspondence about financial and/or political issues, drafts and galleys of the pieces which appeared in the journal (some of which contain comments by the authors and/or editors), information regarding advertisements and special issues, and letters soliciting or offering material for publication. The journal has featured the work of both well-known and little-known writers. A sampling of the better-known writers includes Marge Piercy, Wendell Berry, Jorge Louis Borges, Elaine Equi, Isabel Allende, Fenton Johnson, Kay Boyle, Joyce Carol Oates, Reynolds Price, Anne Firor Scott, Jo Carson, Doris Grumbach, Paula Gunn Allen, Robin Morgan, Minnie Bruce Pratt, and Joy Harjo. The writing of Sallie Bingham is also often featured in the journal. Other writings are found in the Books grouping: three 1989 chapbooks (hand bound books) of poems on the theme of quilting entitled "No Known Pattern;" and two hard-bound books published under the journal's auspices, namely This Meadow of Time (a 1995 travel memoir written by editor Frederick Smock), and The American Voice Anthology of Poetry (a 1998 collection of poems originally published in the journal, with a preface containing biographical information on Smock). At the end of the grouping is an incomplete run of the journal (nos. 1 through 47, excluding nos. 4 and 30). See oversize materials for broadsides displaying poems published in the journal. Original arrangement retained.
During roughly the first year of its existence, from 1985 to 1986, the Foundation awarded grants on an ad hoc basis. During its "second" year, 1987-1988, the Foundation decided to award two runs of grants -- a "spring" run and a "fall" run. In 1988-1989, only one annual run was awarded, covering the spring and the fall together. In 1988, a biennial grants cycle organized by artistic discipline was instituted so that proposals concerning visual and plastic arts were considered in even years, while those concerning writing and the performing arts were considered in odd years. In 1989, the Foundation decided to award grants at the beginning of each year, so starting in 1990 and continuing to the present, each grant run is dated by a single year only.
This series consists of two types of files: the "Grant Review Papers" and the individual grant files. The "Grant Review Papers" first appeared in the fall and spring of 1987-1988, and then appeared annually from 1989 to 1993. These files contain a list of the recipients for that year (or half year), descriptions of each recipients' project, notes on the decision making processes of the grant review committee, and in later years, notes on consultants brought in to advise on grant applications. Read alone, these files provide a quick overview of the types of grant projects supported by the Foundation and the ways in which those projects evolved over time. They also detail the goals and aims of the grant review committee members, including former grant recipients, and members of Sallie Bingham's immediate family (her husband Tim Peters and son Barry Ellsworth).
The individual grant files are arranged chronologically and alphabetized within each year, reflecting the original order maintained by the Foundation staff. In the files from 1985 to 1986, and 1990 to 1993, files for persons and institutions are intermingled and arranged alphabetically, whereas in the files from the spring and fall of 1987-1988, and 1989, the files for persons and institutions are separated, with the institutional files following the personal files. Each individual grant file contains the recipient's application and supporting materials, notes on the application by Board Members, letters of notification from the Foundation, a final report and follow-up materials on the ways in which recipients used grant monies. In certain cases, an individual or institution received many grants from the Foundation over the years, so that the relationship between the recipient and the Foundation was one of long-term patronage (e.g., Cass Irvin, Leslie Wood, Appalshop, the Speed Art Museum). The grant files also reflect the inter-twined nature of many of the Foundation's projects, since in several cases persons who received grants later became part of the Foundation's administration (e.g., Ann Stewart Anderson, Patty Wren Smith), while other grant recipients were involved with The American Voice (e.g., Lucinda Zoe, Marie Williams, Maryat Lee and Susan Griffin).
The projects described in the grant files cover a wide variety of topics relating to feminism, the arts and humanities, and women's culture. These topics include: literature and literary journals; poetry, prose and scholarly writing; historical and literary conferences; playwriting, theatrical production and performance; African-American storytelling; musical performance and composition; photography; documentary filmmaking; painting; sculpture; puppetry; quilting and other forms of fabric art; women in organized religions; women's political activism and employment issues; environmentalism, ecofeminism, naturalism, wilderness and outdoor adventure activities by women; and the work of lesbians, women of color, and physically handicapped women. The series is arranged by years, then alphabetically by name; note that from 1987 to 1989, corporate entities are filed in a separate alphabetical run after the files for individuals.
[Some of the materials in this collection are not immediately accessible because they require further processing before use. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the Rubenstein Library to use this collection.]
[Technical Services staff need to make use copies of audio and videocassette tapes and compact disk, all in box 4.]
[Restricted: Patrons must sign an Acknowledgement of Legal Responsibilities and Privacy Rights form before using this collection.]
[Audio and videocassettes found throughout box were removed and placed at the end of box 4.]
Audio and videocassettes found throughout box were removed and placed at the end of box 4.
Addition consists primarily of files documenting the organization's grant program, and also includes project files, files related to the feminist literary journal The American Voice, publications, and files from Hopscotch House.
Layout, correspondence, fundraising, advertising, galleys, subscriptions, etc.
|1985 Mar. 19||
Kentucky Foundation for Women (KFW) incorporated by Sallie Bingham, Founder and Executive Director
|1985 Apr. 17||
First recorded Board of Directors meeting minutes
|1985 June 1||
Lease with Heyburn Building in Louisville, Ky.
First issue of The American Voice published
Grants paid: $38,708 (fiscal year)
|1986 July 24||
Investment contract signed with Citizens Fidelity Bank
|1986 Sept. 18||
Maxine Brown resigned as Executive Vice-President
|1986 Nov. 6||
Board approved new grants
Grants paid: $2,793,278 (fiscal year)
|1987 Feb. 8||
Pat Buster hired as administrative assistant
|1987 Mar. 30||
Hopscotch House property purchased
|1987 May 29||
Board approved new grants
|1987 Sept. 9||
Board approved change from biannual to annual grants
First Wolf Pen Women Writers Colony
|1988 Oct. 20||
Board approved a biennial grants cycle based on artistic discipline
Chapel Partnership donated Chapel to KFW
Second Wolf Pen Women Writers Colony
Patty Wren Smith hired as manager of Hopscotch House
Third Wolf Pen Women Writers Colony
KFW donated Chapel to Theater Workshop of Louisville
Sallie Bingham resigned as Executive Director
|1991 Feb. 1||
Ann Stewart Anderson began serving as Executive Director
Fourth Wolf Pen Women Writers Colony
|1991 Sept. 7||
First Founders Day Picnic (held annually since)
Ecofeminist Writers Colony
Ecofeminist Writers Colony
Decade Celebration (events held throughout the year)
|1996 Apr. 9||
Sallie Bingham donated additional Hopscotch Property to KFW
|1996 Sept. 8||
First Sallie Bingham Award given to Mary Jefferson
|1996 Sept. 7||
Sallie Bingham Award given to Alma Lesch
Ann Stewart Anderson resigned as Executive Director
Judi Jennings began serving as Executive Director
|1998 Sept. 13||
Sallie Bingham Award given to Ann Stewart Anderson
Sallie Bingham was the founder and first Executive Director of the Foundation, and profoundly shaped its goals. The overall purpose of the Foundation is to support feminist women in the arts. This can be seen in the Foundation's first information pamphlet, which states that the Foundation's goal is "illuminating the plight of women and serving as a catalyst for change on their behalf, primarily through the Arts and Humanities." (This pamphlet can be found in the General Information Subseries of the Administrative Files Series). Additionally, with its publication of the journal The American Voice, the Foundation endeavors to support the work of feminist women writers.
Due to the prominence of Sallie Bingham in the history of the Foundation, materials in this collection complement those in the Sallie Bingham papers, also held by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Bingham, Sallie
- Hopscotch House
- Kentucky Foundation for Women
- Kentucky Foundation for Women
- Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture
- Wolf Pen Writers Colony
- Authors and publishers
- American literature -- Women authors
- Art patronage -- United States
- Feminism and literature -- United States
- Fiction -- 20th century -- Periodicals
- Feminism -- United States
- Feminism and art -- United States
- Poetry, Modern -- 20th century -- Periodicals
- Women authors, American
- Women artists
The Kentucky Foundation for Women Records were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1999.
Processed by Don Sechler; Lisa Stark; Katy Fenn.
Completed December 31, 1999.
Encoded by Michael Shumate; Ruth E. Bryan
Accessions 1999-0131 and 1999-0251 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.
Addition 2001-0012 processed by Ruth E. Bryan on February 12, 2001.
Addition 2007-0126 added to the finding aid by Meghan Lyon, May 2011.