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El Tendedero/The Clothesline is designed to expose the extent to which women – regardless of race, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity – are assaulted in Indiana. 

“El Tendedero/The Clothesline” is based on an art installation first presented by Mexican artist Monica Mayer in Mexico City in 1978. The installation transforms a clothesline – a symbol of a traditional feminine role – into a forum for conversations about violence against women. Participants are invited to anonymously answer one or more questions on pink postcards that are hung on a clothesline stretched across a space. Postcards include such questions as, “Have you ever experienced violence or harassment? What happened?” and “Where do you feel safe? Why?” Nearly 100 Hoosiers have already written postcards summarizing their sexual assaults. We will collect more of these cards throughout the year and use them to illustrate the prevalence of sexual assault in Indiana. 

In addition to educating Hoosiers on the prevalence and nuances of sexual assault, the initiative will provide survivors who want to participate an opportunity to share and/or witness stories of assault. Community resources and support services will be available at every event. More than 1.5 million Hoosiers report being raped or sexually assaulted, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. And each year, many of the people who are responsible for those crimes are not prosecuted due to weak state laws. 

Women4Change and the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault are determined to lower the number of sexual assaults in Indiana and strengthen state laws around this issue. They will do so with support from the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields and a growing list of 28 organizations that include the Coalition of 100 Black Women; the Eiteljorg Museum; Herron School of Art and Design; Indianapolis Women’s Chorus; Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Institute at IUPUI; and La Plaza. 

Join our effort by attending an event, sharing your experiences, or speaking up in support of our mission. 

THE FACTS 

One sexual assault or attempted assault is too many. Sadly, the incidents far exceed just one, and many cases go unreported.

What we know: 

More than 1.5 million Hoosiers report being raped or sexually assaulted. More than 14 percent of Hoosier high school-aged girls and 5.2% of Hoosier high school-aged boys have reported being physically forced to have unwanted sexual intercourse. Source: Indiana State Department of Health 

Nationally, nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 38 men have experience completed or attempted rape. Data is incomplete as many cases are unreported. The monetary cost of sexual violence is estimated at more than $122,000 per victim, including medical costs, lost productivity, criminal justice activities and other costs. Sources: Centers for Disease Control and End Sexual Violence. 

FILL OUT ON ONLINE POSTCARD

We invite you to participate in the project by clicking here and filling out the online form. Your answers will be printed out on pink paper and created into postcards to be used for display. If you would like to participate, please complete the form by Feb. 15, 2020, in order for them to be displayed at the Indiana Statehouse in March 2020.

The postcard questions may be completed by anyone. Answers will be anonymous.

WHO WE ARE 

Women4Change is a is a nonpartisan, grassroots, collaborative organization whose mission is to equip and mobilize women to engage effectively in political and civic affairs in order to strengthen our democracy and to advocate for the leadership, health, safety, and dignity of all women in Indiana. Learn more by heading to our homepage.

The Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault (ICESA) seeks to improve Indiana’s response to victims of sexual assault and human trafficking by raising awareness and educating Hoosiers through primary prevention initiatives, creating a culture of care that will lead to the end of sexual violence. Learn more here: https://indianacesa.org/ 


EVENTS

As of Sept. 25, 2019

Sept. 25, 1 p.m. News conference announcing El Tendedero/The Clothesline on the south steps of the Indiana Statehouse 

Oct. 17-20 Dance Kaleidoscope – Women Sublime; The Feminine Point of View – at the Indiana Repertory Theatre

Oct. 30, 7 p.m. Artist talk at The Toby at Newfields, includes a brief performance by the Asante Children’s Theatre and exhibits from survivors’ groups

Oct. 31 and Nov. 1     Day-long workshops led by artist Mónica Mayer for artists, activists and partners at Newfields

Jan. 15, 2020, 7 p.m. Public reading of Tight End by Rachel Bykowski at the Phoenix Theatre Cultural Centre

Mid- to late Feb. 2020 Two performances of Blue Ridge by Abby Rosebrock at the Fonseca Theatre Company

March 5, 2020    Women4Change event at the Statehouse (Program at noon; clothesline with postcards from all over Indiana stays up for two weeks afterward)

March 6, 2020    Exhibition on First Friday at the Harrison Center 

March/April 2020   Exhibition at multiple locations at Herron School of Art + Design at IUPUI 

April 3, 2020 Curator’s Choice tour and talk focused on Susan Hudson’s quilt, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women since 1492, at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

April 22, 2020 Public reading of Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s play [hieroglyph] at the Athenaeum hosted by Indiana Repertory Theatre, New Harmony Project, and Summit Performance

Spring 2020 Women Writing, Women Heard Writing Workshops at the Indiana Writers Center

Spring/Summer 2020 Programming in conjunction with an exhibition of Indiana women artists who advocate through their art at the Indiana State Museum

Sept. 2020  Exhibition in the Simon Reading Room at Central Library and additional activities at various library branches  

Fall 2020 Coalition of 100 Black Women program for middle school girls at the Academy for Girls at Charles A. Tindley School

Oct. 2020   Exhibition and panel at the Madam Walker Legacy Center

Oct. 10-Nov. 2, 2020 Interactive Day of the Dead Altar Display for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Nov. 10, 2020 Interfaith healing service at Trinity Episcopal Church 

Nov. 2020 Fine art photography exhibit at Gallery 924


EVENT DESCRIPTIONS

Sept. 25 – El Tendedero/The Clothesline Announcement News Conference at the Indiana Statehouse

1 p.m.-1:30 p.m., South Steps Indiana Statehouse

At this announcement, media will be invited, as well as all legislators, arts leaders, and sexual assault survivors’ groups. 

Oct. 17-20 – Women Sublime:  The Feminine Point of View – The work of three women choreographers, a performance by Dance Kaleidoscope at the Indiana Repertory Theatre

Various times, Indiana Repertory Theatre

Struggle, healing and ultimate empowerment. Powerhouse women choreographers Kiesha Lalama and Cynthia Pratt have created two new pieces. Pratt has created a humorous commentary about the eternal battle between men and women, and Lalama has created a moving piece based on real life encounters of assault. DK's own Mariel Greenlee set her piece called State of Grace that explores body language of conflict and resolution. This program uses adult themes and may not be suitable for small children.

Oct. 30, 2019 – El Tendedero/The Clothesline:  Artist Talk with Monica Mayer at Newfields

7 p.m. – 9 p.m., The Toby, Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields 

In 1978, Mónica Mayer presented El Tendedero (The Clothesline) in an installation at the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City. The piece invited women of different ages, occupations, and neighborhoods to respond to the phrase "As a woman, what I dislike the most about the city is:” on small pink slips which were placed on a clothesline. Most answers denounced sexual harassment in the street and public transport. Over the years El Tendedero has appeared many times in different communities, responding to a variety of issues on violence against women. At the artist talk, Mayer will discuss feminist art from the 1970s onward, both within her work and that of other feminist artists. Sexual assault and domestic violence survivors’ groups will exhibit beforehand, and the Asante Children’s Theatre will perform before the talk begins.

Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2019 – Day-long workshop led by artist Mónica Mayer for artists, activists and Lead Partners at Newfields

9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Newfields Art Studios

Artist Mónica Mayer will lead a workshop that includes a discussion of previous iterations of the project and the goals and challenges of political art, as well as activities to share experiences of violence to determine prompts specific to the Indianapolis project. Each day will be limited to 25 participants. 

Jan. 15, 2020 – Public reading of Tight End by Rachel Bykowski at the Phoenix Theatre Cultural Centre

7 p.m., Phoenix Theatre Cultural Centre

This play is a New Play Exchange find from a promising new, female playwright. Tight End is the story of female high school student, Ash, playing football for her school's team. Although she becomes "one of the guys" to her teammates, opposing teams have a different view. When an attack at an annual party threatens to take Ash out of the game, she takes back her life and her body on her own terms to finish what she started. 

February 2020 – Two performances of Blue Ridge by Abby Rosebrock at the Fonseca Theatre Company at the Basile Building 

7 p.m., Fonseca Theatre Company

In Blue Ridge, Alison is a progressive high school teacher who has suffered the abuse of her unscrupulous boss for far too long and finds herself in trouble after her rage gets the better of her. This play is darkly funny, riveting and real, and tells a powerful story of healing and rebuilding.

March 5, 2020 (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) – Women4Change event at the Indiana Statehouse 

Noon, South Atrium, Indiana Statehouse

Women4Change will take the voices of women who have been sexually assaulted or have witnessed sexual assault to the Indiana Statehouse to create awareness among lawmakers of the extent of the problem. The goal is to create conversations that lead to legislation and a cultural shift that eliminates sexual assault and harassment in Indiana. Clotheslines will be erected in the South Atrium and completed postcards from all over Indiana will stay up for two weeks after the event. Sexual assault and domestic violence survivors’ groups will exhibit.

March 6, 2020 (Women’s Suffrage Centennial Month) – First Friday event at the Harrison Center

6-9 p.m., Harrison Center

March/April 2020 – Exhibition at Herron School of Art + Design at IUPUI

Herron School of Art + Design

The exhibition will start in the main gallery of the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center in connection with two classes. It will then move to the Cultural Arts Gallery (room 148 in the Student Center) and finally move to the Basile Center Gallery at Herron.

April 3, 2020 – Curator’s Choice Tour and Talk at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art 

Noon, Eiteljorg Museum

The Curator’s Choice Tour and Talk will focus on Susan Hudson’s quilt, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women since 1492.

April 22, 2020 – Professional Reading of Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s play [hieroglyph] by the Indiana Repertory Theatre, New Harmony Project and Summit Performance 

7 p.m., The Athenaeum

The Indiana Repertory Theatre, New Harmony Project, and Summit Performance are staging a professional reading of [hieroglyph] by Erika Dickerson-Despenza. The play features 13-year-old Davis, who, involuntarily displaced in Chicago two months post-Katrina, wrestles with the cultural landscape of a new city and school community while secretly coping with the PTSD of a sexual assault at the Superdome, where her family was temporarily housed after their home was destroyed. With her mother still in New Orleans committed to the fight for Black land ownership and her father committed to starting a new life in the Midwest, divorce threatens to further separate a family already torn apart. Will Davis be left hanging in the balance?

Spring 2020 – Women Writing, Women Heard Writing Workshops at the Indiana Writers Center

Indiana Writers Center

Indiana Writers Center will present a series of writing workshops focused on women’s writing and stories, with emphasis on writing stories that are difficult to write, or share, in an environment that supports and nurtures women’s voices. “Women Writing, Women Heard” will feature workshops in Drama, Fiction, Memoir, and Poetry, facilitated by women who are professionals in their fields. Works by women writers will be shared, and writing generated. Workshops will be held at the Indiana Writers Center, located in the Circle City Industrial Complex, in Spring 2020. For more info, visit www.indianawriters.org. To be notified when registration for the workshops is open, email sarah@indianawriters.org.

Spring/Summer 2020 – Programming at the Indiana State Museum

The Indiana State Museum will conduct programming in conjunction with an exhibition of Indiana women artists who advocate through their art.

Sept. 2020 – The Indianapolis Public Library and El Tendedero/The Clothesline at Central Library 

Central Library and various branches

The Indianapolis Public Library will host installations at the Central Library in the Simon Reading Room. Spin-off exhibits will take place simultaneously at several branch locations. The exhibit will serve as a stimulus for discovery, reflection, and resource-based learning within the information-rich context of the Library.

The installations will feature a foldaway clothesline symbolizing the transitory line between public and private space where intimate details are exposed through the most mundane of tasks. In addition to sharing experiences of assault and harassment by clipping personal messages onto the clothesline, the public will be invited to respond to questions promoting advocacy and healing such as: “What can you do to make change?” and “How could you help others in this situation?”

As an opportunity to gain greater understanding of the impact and consequences of assault, the Library will approach these topics through reading and discussion. Expert-led book discussions will be held at the branch locations hosting the exhibit and several other branches that host regular discussions. Free copies of a current, critically-acclaimed title will be made available to discussion attendees. Library visitors will be motivated to go deeper into their exploration and search for greater knowledge through floor displays adjacent to the exhibits featuring books and community resources. 

Fall 2020 – Program for middle school girls at the Academy for Girls at Charles A. Tindley School

Not a public event

The Coalition of 100 Black Women Indianapolis Chapter will present a program for middle school girls that speaks about sexual harassment/partner violence. The Coalition has an Academy for Girls that is housed at the Charles A. Tindley Charter School.   

Oct. 2020 – Exhibition and panel discussion at the Madam Walker Legacy Center

Madam Walker Legacy Center

Oct. 10-Nov. 2, 2020 – Interactive Day of the Dead Altar Display for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Eiteljorg Museum

The altar display for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women will be interactive, allowing visitors to add notes and messages.

Nov. 10, 2020 – Interfaith healing service at Trinity Episcopal Church

Trinity Episcopal Church

“Shining a Light” will be an interfaith service of lament, protest, and blessing for survivors of sexual assault and harassment, and all those impacted by sexual violence. The Women’s Chorus will perform.

Nov. 2020 – Photography exhibit at Gallery 924

Gallery 924

Fine art photographers Darlene Delbeq and Samantha McCain Veach will document activities and events of El Tendedero/The Clothesline. Their work will be exhibited at the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ space, Gallery 924, as a final culmination of the year-long project.


RELATED ACTIVITIES

Indianapolis Contemporary

The Winter/Spring 2020 issue of Abstract, Indianapolis Contemporary’s arts writing publication, will feature Mónica Mayer and El Tendedero/The Clothesline.

Survivors’ Stories 

Organizations all over Indiana that work with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence will participate by asking their clients to share their stories and opinions on postcards that will then be displayed at the Indiana Statehouse on March 5, 2020.

Participating Organizations as of Sept. 25, 2019 - More partners are being added daily. To inquire about participating, email eltendederotheclothesline@gmail.com.

Arts Council of Indianapolis and Gallery 924

Asante Children’s Theatre

Assent 121 

Cathead Press

Coalition of 100 Black Women

Coburn Place

Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Families First

Fonseca Theatre Company

Harrison Center for the Arts

Herron School of Art + Design

Hope Center

Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and survivors’ groups statewide

Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and survivors’ groups statewide

Indiana Repertory Theatre

Indiana State Museum

Indiana Writers Center

Indianapolis Contemporary

Indianapolis Cultural Trail

Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Indianapolis Public Library

Indianapolis Women’s Chorus

Indy Reads Books

Julian Center

La Plaza

Latino Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Madam Walker Legacy Center

New Harmony Project

People for Urban Progress (PUP)

Phoenix Theatre Cultural Centre

Spirituality & the Arts, IUPUI Arts & Humanities 

Summit Performance

Women4Change

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NEWSROOM 

MEDIA CONTACT: Jen Schmits Thomas, jen@jtprinc.com, 317-441-2487 

Twitter: @ClotheslineInd

Instagram: @ClotheslineIndiana

Facebook: The Clothesline Indiana