The mission of the NLAPW, a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, is to encourage, recognize, and promote the production of creative work of professional standard in Art, Letters, and Music. Our members are journalists, painters, choreographers, sculptors, illustrators, songwriters, poets–just to mention a few of the creative fields we encompass.
The NLAPW offers a place for women artists, writers, composers and choreographers to and enrich their professional lives through networking, professional development, exhibits, concerts, publications and service to the community.
When the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. was founded in 1897, women journalists were not permitted to join the National Press Club. There were few women artists recognized as having equal talents as their male counterparts, and even fewer women composers whose works were performed by professional musicians. Throughout the NLAPW’s 100 year history, NLAPW members such as Vinnie Ream, Eudora Welty, Pearl Buck, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Beach and Carrie Jacobs Bond, have illustrated how deep, strong and meaningful the contribution of women’s voices, minds and hands are to the Arts.
As a 501(C)(3), the NLAPW is afforded unique opportunities to serve its mission to “encourage, recognize, and promote the production of creative work of professional standard in Art, Letters, and Music, and through outreach activities provide educational, creative, and professional support to members and non-members in these disciplines,” in our times.
Today, the NLAPW consists of 130 branches in 33 states, with 20 State Associations and 162 Members-at-Large. There are over 2,600 professional women artists, writers, composers, and choreographer members of the League, some in large cities such as New York, Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay area, and Honolulu, and others in rural areas, such as Vermont, the Dakotas and on the Big Island of Hawaii. From Mississippi Delta public schools to Boca Raton women’s correctional facilities, from Hawaii’s Girls Court to after-school centers in Washington, D.C., Pen Women have experienced first-hand the personal enrichment that comes from arts engagement.
The NLAPW offers Membership-at-Large, providing women artists in remote areas full membership benefits, as well as associate and student memberships.
The NLAPW publishes a nationally-distributed quarterly magazine, The Pen Woman, which includes features, poetry, and artwork by members from all over the country and maintains a web site (www.nlapw.org). In 2009, the League’s own press published an anthology of works by members dedicated to Abraham Lincoln, Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln.
The NLAPW National Headquarters, the Pen Arts Building, provides a venue for Art, Music and Letters programs that serve the local community in Washington, D.C. and a home away from home for traveling Pen Women members.