BIWOC Elders and Leaders, Lauren Adorno-Weatherford (left), Semerit Strachan (middle),
with Curator, Shiloh Sophia (middle), Anasuya Issacs (right), and Guild member, Yvonne Evans (back)

At the end of February BIWOC Leaders and Elders Semerit Strachan and Lauren Adorno Weatherford met together with Curator Shiloh Sophia and BIWOC Community members at MUSEA in Sonoma, California. Lauren and Semerit have spent the last 18-months visioning into a unique BIWOC Container, co-guiding Re-Membering Circles, and creating and leading the Art of Women of Color Circle to serve our BIWOC Community Members. It was a profound moment for them to be able to embrace, to laugh, to look each other in the eyes, and celebrate and honor the journey they have been on together. Shiloh Sophia suggested a picnic in the park and an invitation was extended to local Guild Member, Yvonne Evans, and Musea Member, Anasuya Issacs to join them for a spontaneous mini-retreat! All five of them met together on a beautiful sunny day in the historic Sonoma Plaza for Red Thread connection, heart-to-heart sharing, and celebrating each other in person.

After that,  they ventured a short distance to visit Musette Atelier – Shiloh Sophia and Jonathan McCloud’s Gallery and Event location that will be opening soon on the Sonoma Plaza. It was a beautiful day of community, connection, and celebrating the many inspiring projects and collaborations to come through our incredible BIWOC Leadership and member community!

Here is a video slideshow highlighting this beautiful day!

“Reuniting with friends, after you have only seen them in the little box on your computer for a few years, and being held in a true embrace, is the best gift ever!

Bonds stitched from the heart of sisterhood were made stronger when we gathered in person in the park together. We are blessed to have found each other within the IC community.”

~ Elder Lauren Adorno-Weatherford

A Reflection from Curator, Shiloh Sophia

“I was delighted to have Elder Semerit as a guest at our home and at Musea. We spoke with each other about everything that matters to us in our personal and professional lives. We planned a daylong iMusea Retreat with Lauren and Semerit to explore what we’ve done together in the past two years in the creation of Re-Membering Mending Racialized Trauma Circles, which transitioned to them supporting various Musea courses specifically to offer guidance and support to BIWOC students, which eventually culminated into the creation of a Black, Indigenous, Women of Color membership circle – The Art of Women of Color. After meeting together for a full year, the MUSEA BIWOC Community planned, curated, promoted, build, and shared their powerful Group Exhibit – Carnaval of Spirit Love, with a LIVE Museum Show and opening that took place recently on February 16! It was a gift to be able to reflect together on all the we had accomplished from working – heart to heart – and the visionary containers that we had cocreated that are thriving and growing!

As part of our time together, I wanted to take them to Musette Atelier, our new Musea Gallery and Event location on the Sonoma Plaza – and we decided to invite Yvonne and Anasuya to join us in the park where we had a picnic and red thread circle together. We spoke of our experiences and what was important in our lives. They shared about their relationships in the BIWOC circle,  and their desire to use different terms to refer to themselves than are currently being used in popular culture at this time – something we are exploring together with openness and curiosity now.

Our visit to Musette turned into the first Black Indigenous Women of Color Guild gathering, and each one of them signed a page in our very special Musea Gathering Book, in which we have all those who attend our in-person gatherings at Musea sign their thumbprint and name in paint and pen for posterity and to keep a handwritten record! Each of them had the chance to make their thumbprint with gold paint, and write their name and country of origin in the big book, marking this beautiful and unforgettable moment in time. Following this the BIWOC leadership team and Guild Members went to have dinner on their own to continue to plan, share, and collaborate together excitedly for what is to come for our Musea BIWOC Community! This was a tender time of reconnection, and being together in person after so many months apart. My heart is still full from this amazing day!”

We encourage you to visit the Carnaval of Spirit Love Exhibit page where you can watch the Museum Show recorded live on February 16, view the Image Gallery and powerful Cultural Works!

Thank you to our BIWOC Elders, Lauren and Semerit, for visiting Musea in Sonoma and continuing to dream and plan for the future of MUSEA’s BIWOC Community and the Art of Women of Color Circle!

‘Diving Deeper Into Blackness’, painting by Elder Lauren Adorno-Weatherford
featured in the Carnaval of Spirit Love Exhibit

About our BIWOC Members Circle

A Musea Membership that is Designed for Black, Indigenous and Women of Color guided by Lauren Adorno-Weatherford and Elder Semerit Strachan.

We are Semerity and Lauren, and we invite Black, Indigenous and Women of Color to join us, as Musea Members for ‘The Art of Women of Color’ : a journey toward personal and collective self-definition. In addition to the regular membership benefits, we will have a culturally specific circle just for us.