New Generations

We Must Share the Legacy with New Generations

By Nellie Conboy, Allied Professional Member at Large, Art

During my recent short stay at Pen arts, the bonds of the National League of American Pen Women became very clear to me, even as a new member. Bonds such as these emerge from a place of mutual devotion to culture and craft — bonds that outlast time. Just look at Vinnie Ream!

There’s no doubt about it: We are women, and we are strong. Certainly, we are strongest when we have the support of our sisters.

Sitting in the Pen Arts library, I study the works of Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke. I am surrounded by the warmth of true charity.  If you haven’t seen the headquarters in person, you are missing out.

History anticipates your arrival. Behind every door and around every corner, I have discovered narratives of women who have come before me. The house is furnished with beauty, creativity, and wisdom.

Nellie Conboy with President Virginia Franklin Campbell, General Federation of Women’s Clubs COO Dr. Rosemary Thomas, and GFWC International President Sheila Shea at Pen Arts.

As nice as this house is, I’m not talking about the grandfather clock, the sculptures, or the chandelier. The National League of American Pen Women has brought to my attention a fundamental part of history that I have not read about in Herodotus, Plato, or Aristotle. Sisterhood — our history being written at present.

The future of the NLAPW is bright, from my perspective. I see the lives of American women for generations to come uniting for contribution, correspondence, and collaboration.

Take a moment to consider the lives of women who have gone before us, Pen Women of 2017. Perhaps when you think of Pen Women, you’re reminded of your branch or the woman who found you that lucky day and said, “We’d be honored to call you a Pen Woman.”

At age 24, I am filled with great joy to be a Pen Woman artist. I want to share the feeling! While there is not currently a Chicago branch for me to meet with fellow artists, I am confident that this reality is not far off.

I will be working to revive the Chicago branch and I hope that you will work to grow your own branch and help in your own creative way to support the entire organization. Let us celebrate the 120th anniversary to the utmost by sharing this outstanding legacy with new members from our communities.

We are what we create.