Document 9A: "Demographic Data," ca. 1978-1979. Author's personal collection. Also available at Box 7, File "FIPSE Grant," Woman's Building Records, 1973-1991, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 2 pp.


   As a grassroots organization, the Woman's Building kept very informal records during the 1970s. The organization did not start compiling data about its leadership and participants until later. The following information about the ethnic composition of the members is therefore fragmentary.

   In 1978, the Woman's Building received a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE) to train women as graphic artists. Document 9A may have been an appendix to the initial grant application. It may also have been part of the external review required by the grant that was conducted by Judy Blanton, a faculty member in organizational psychology at the Wright Institute in Los Angeles, and her graduate student Sharon Sidell-Selick, who eventually wrote her doctoral thesis about the organizational structure of the Woman's Building.[63]

   These three documents reflect the effort of the leadership to reach out beyond the white majority that predominated at the Woman's Building and in the Feminist Studio Workshop. Documents 9A and 9B appear to have been part of self-study initiated by the group's leadership. As leaders tracked participation, the Woman's Building made repeated efforts to diversify its programming as is evident in posters for a number of their shows (see Documents 22A-C) and in Document 9C, the cover sheet for a grant application in 1991 that showcased their effort to sponsor "exhibitions which reflect underserved populations."

[p. 2]


No. of responses ETHNICITY
49 Caucasian
4 Black
1 Indian
1 Hispanic
4 Asian


38 Self Supporting (100%)
6 Partially self supporting
6 primarily supported by other sources

EDUCATION - prior to enrollment at Woman's Building

High School-2
Some College-10 (1-3 years)

Breakdown: 1- one year
5- two years
4- three years
14- B.A.
3- B.S.
4- B.F.A.
5- M.A.
2- M.S.W.
3- M.F.A.
1- E.D.D.
1- Law Degree

The program seems to be reaching a well educated white middle class group of women. Perhaps one of the factors responsible for some of these figures is that some of the women who come from different cultural backgrounds do not have the same high educational level that the caucasian women who have enrolled do. Please do not misconstrue that as a racist comment on my part, but I am trying to account for the large number of white women in comparison to the relatively low figure of women of color, when from what I understand the Woman's Building faculty has tried very hard to reach out to this latter population.


Average Age is 28

Breakdown: 20-25 (6)
26-30 (10)
31-35 (4)

Unfortunately no one meets the criteria for mid-life career change since the oldest woman is 33 years old.

INCOME: The average income is $6,000 with 17 women responding
$3,000-$6,000 (11)
$7,000-$12,000 (6)

[p. 3]


   Four main categories with 22 responses

a-Feminist Media-8 (magazines, Chrysalis, Judy Chicago's book, etc.)
b-Feminist Groups-4
c-Woman's Building-7 (Spinning off)
d-Informally-3 (friends)

   Again, the networking system seems to not be affecting anyone who is not already connected with the feminist network.

PREVIOUS EDUCATION-No. of responses-22

High School-1
Some College-5
B.A. - 12
M.A.- Fine Arts

Career Development vs. Mid life change:

10-career change
10 career advancement




12- Self Supporting-100%
4 Partially self supporting
3 Support from other sources


back to top