Art for Healing: an evening at the Awakenings Center

Last Thursday the Network of Entrepreneurial Women took in vibrant art, delicious snacks and some vino at the Awakenings Foundation Center.  The foundation unveiled My Fire: the Alchemy of Abuse by author and artist Gabriel Orion Marie, a new exhibit in their gallery.


“She’s alive, she’s healed, and she’s sharing it with us.”
~ Jean Cozier about Gabriel Orion Marie’s exhibit

We connected with fellow entrepreneurs, most of whom were drawn to this venue from a professional interest as (aspiring) therapists and counselors. After the introductions, Awakenings Founder and President Jean Cozier introduced us to the art work gracing the high walls of this loft space.


“We were moved by the art
and heartened by the positive impact it has had
on the artists and by the greater understanding shared
and communicated to the viewer.
It was a lively, enriching evening, and
we were so glad to learn more about the foundation and gallery.”

~ Erica Thomas

The Awakenings Foundation administers the Judith Dawn Memorial Fund for the Arts, a program that makes financial awards to survivors who wish to pursue the creative arts as a means of healing, empowerment, and expression. The fund has awarded $75,000 to 80 grant recipients since 1998.


The Awakenings Center showcases art work by multiple artists who have used art as a way of healing from their sexual abuse. As she administered the Memorial Fund, Jean felt that people were looking for a way to present their story. Jean started with her personal collection and then began curating different artists, including memorial fund recipients. In addition to visual art, the foundation seeks to host performing arts such as music, dance and literary expression.


The Awakenings Center is part of the Ravenswood Art Walk this year and expects to have 800-1,000 visitors come through its doors. Currently, the gallery is staffed Wednesdays through Fridays from 11 am to 4 p.m., but setting up an appointment by e-mail is recommended. The center is open to hosting group events, which can be arranged by e-mail as well.


After this enriching evening, the NEW co-founders planned the remaining events for the year over savory and sweet desserts. You can see what’s coming up on our Meetup page.


Photos courtesy

Lighthouse relaxation

Last Wednesday the Network of Entrepreneurial Women gathered at Blue Violet Body Works for networking, a lighthouse tour and mini-spa treatments.


We had a lovely time learning more about the Elgin business community and its amazing entrepreneurial women.


These women are doing amazing things in the Elgin community and the entrepreneurial community as a whole.


Blue Violet Bodyworks offers a variety of massage therapies, including swedish, lympatic, craniosacral, deep tissue, reiki, reflexology, shiatsu, essential oils and athletic. Each massage room is themed, offering a different kind of energy.


We were treated to restorative mini-massages and mini reflexology sessions. There was ample time for networking as well.


The munchies were delicious and the climb up the lighthouse gave us a unique perspective of Elgin.



All NEW co-founders were recipients of a gift certificate drawing, so we look forward to revisiting this location and exploring Elgin’s upcoming events.


Our next event is at the Awakenings Foundation Center on 4001 North Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago on Thursday, September 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. You can RSVP here.


The Awakenings Foundation is a center which supports the healing of survivors of sexual abuse through artistic expression. The artwork of Gabriel Orion Marie will be available for a special preview, and the new Judith Dawn Memorial Gallery will open its door for the first time. The evening will also feature a tour of the Main Gallery along with wine and light refreshments.


The mission of the Awakenings Foundation is to support the healing of artists who are survivors of rape and/or sexual abuse, and to share their stories with the public as a means of raising awareness about the problems faced by survivors in our culture. Most survivors find it empowering to share their stories and get feedback, and this gallery offers an exhibit space to do so. The Awakenings Foundation hopes that visitors leave with a greater sense of understanding and compassion for all who struggle to heal from sexual violence. It is estimated that one out of every three girls, and one out of every five boys, will be sexually violated in some manner before they turn eighteen.


The Awakenings Foundation also administers the Judith Dawn Memorial Fund for the Arts, a program that makes financial awards to survivors who wish to pursue the creative arts as a means of healing, empowerment, and expression. Currently, the Gallery is staffed Wednesdays through Fridays from 11 am to 4 p.m.

We’re super-excited to be part of Crain’s Business Week.


Our ad was featured in the September 9 issue, and the program will include 30 minute roundtable sessions on:

A casual dinner will follow, where attendees will each have the opportunity to eat, network and connect with women business owners from a variety of industries from throughout Chicagoland. Shannon’s Irish Pub is hosting the event at 428 N Main St, Glen Ellyn, IL on Tuesday, October 1 from 2 to 6 p.m. RSVP here.


NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month.
Can’t make this week’s event? RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup. You can also like us on Facebook, where the events will be listed as well.