MAWA supports the intellectual and creative development of women and gender non-conforming people in the visual arts by providing education and critical dialogue. It is a thriving, intergenerational community, devoted to shared knowledge and resources.

Since its inception in 1984, mentorship has been the core activity of the organization and the key strategy in redressing gender inequality. Senior artists share experiences, networks and know-how with emerging artists, ensuring that each artist does not have to “reinvent the wheel”. This model of art education has proven to be nothing short of transformative, and many artists credit MAWA with being pivotal in their professional careers. MAWA has provided mentorships for hundreds of mentees in the year-long Foundation Mentorship Program, including some of the most esteemed artists in the country.

MAWA also provides other learning opportunities, such as artist talks, discussion groups, workshops in particular artistic skills, professional development workshops, lectures, critical writing opportunities, studio visits with established curators, film screenings, showcases, panel discussions, an artist in residence program and a resource centre/lending library. Programs are led by a wide variety of facilitators to ensure diverse perspectives, spirited dialogue and a welcoming environment for everyone.