Fond Farewells: Going Away Party

This summer will be a time of tremendous change at MAWA.

Lisa Wood has accepted a position as tenure-track professor at Brandon University, following her passion: art education. We are so happy for her, yet so sad to see her go!

Lisa’s relationship with MAWA began as a teenaged participant in the pilot Youth Mentorship Program; she was a mentee in the Foundation Mentorship Program (FMP); she mentored for MAWA’s FMP; she served on the MAWA Board; and, for the past six years, she has worked as the MAWA Program and Administrative Coordinator. Has there ever been a time when Lisa hasn’t been at MAWA!?!

Since joining the staff, Lisa has transformed the organization, bringing a level of rigour and professionalism to all programs, elevating all aspects of what we do. We cannot begin to list the number of (daily) contributions Lisa Wood has made to MAWA: all MAWA program coordination, volunteer coordination, promotion, website maintenance, apartment rental, newsletter advertising, Over the Top organization, a whole lot of administration and more. She also leads the Crit Club and, most importantly, the Foundation Mentorship Program. Under her direction it has become a competitive post-graduate program, welcoming exciting emerging artists who have MFAs, BFAs and are self-taught. The expectations are high and participants meet them, in no small part due to the standards set by Lisa, and her ability to work with mentors and mentees to ensure the mentees’ needs are being met.

Alexis Kinloch, who shares the front office with Lisa as MAWA’s Administrative Assistant, is also resigning this summer. She has accepted an expanded position at the Winnipeg Arts Council. It is a great opportunity for her and a big loss for MAWA.

Alexis first worked at MAWA on an undergraduate internship in 2008-9. She was such a valuable addition to our organization that we hired her as staff at the conclusion of the practicum, initially as a summer student, putting together our monumental archives project, and then as a staff member. She has held the position of Administrative Assistant from September 2009−September 2011 and September 2012−the present. During this time she has managed memberships, developed our database, corresponded weekly with members, processed donations, led the Wiki & Wine program, managed all the Over the Top data, coordinated newsletter distribution and contributed to the general brain capital of MAWA, through creative suggestions and problem-solving. Like Lisa, she is a magnanimous team-player, generously sharing ideas, and actively listening and responding in kind. At MAWA she frequently comes up with suggestions and, once they have been approved, implements them within 24 hours! In this way, she and Lisa have made MAWA what it is today.

But wait, that’s not all! Outreach Coordinator Erna Andersen is going on maternity leave! Huge congratulations to her and her partner Leonard Podolok on this exciting development. We all look forward to meeting the new MAWA member and to welcoming Erna back in the fall of 2017.

Erna was assisted this year by University of Manitoba Women’s and Gender Studies Student Natalie Nathan, provided to MAWA by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. We couldn’t have done it without her. Natalie is now back in Minnesota for the summer… another good-bye.

MAWA will say thanks to Lisa, Alexis and Erna on Wednesday, June 1 from 6-9pm at the Yellow Dog Tavern. Each of these women has been essential in making MAWA, MAWA. Come and raise a glass to their many contributions and their future successes. All are welcome. There won’t be a dry eye in the house.