Sibyls Shrine is an art collective and residency program rooted in radical care, rest and support for Black artists who m/other in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania— and beyond.
Sibyls Shrine is the first-of-its-kind artist residency that supports a population that has been faced, for centuries, with the intersecting oppressions of racism and sexism on top of the rigors of m/otherhood and childcare, making the barriers to a successful career in the arts insurmountable.
Created by Alisha B Wormsley and developed with Jessica Gaynelle Moss in 2019, Sibyls Shrine is a homage to the Sibyls, the original priestesses of the African goddess Mami Wata. The term, which predates Greek and Roman history, was used to name the divine status, quality, and nature of the matriarchal guardians.
Sibyls Shrine art collective and residency program is motivated by a similar goal: uplifting Black artists who m/other with opportunities for radical care, rest, and support in an effort to further develop their craft and presence in the art world. By providing opportunities to rest, unrestricted financial support, career development, skill-sharing, access to arts and cultural institutions, free classes and workshops, exhibition and speaking opportunities, support for self care, childcare and other daily needs— Sibyls Shrine has created a resource framework that directly addresses this intersectionality and many of the systemic and structural factors that continue to oppress Black artists who m/other.
This burgeoning network of mostly Pittsburgh-based creative mothers now includes nearly 100 participants from all over the country. By the year 2024, we anticipate that we will have served over 2500+ Black mothers with financial support, professional development, childcare and exhibition opportunities.
Artist Alisha B. Wormsley serves as the project’s Creative Director, and works in collaboration with Jessica Gaynelle Moss as the Administrative Director, Naomi Chambers and Lauren Beachom as the Community Artist Liaisons. Wormsley, Moss, Chambers and Beachom are all Pittsburgh-based Black creative mothers. The Office of Public Art provides additional support as the Sibyls Shrine collaborating organization. Learn more about this project by visiting our website designed by one of our Sibyl sisters, Alecia Dawn.
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