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Community Stories

As part of the Touchstones and I CAN WE CAN community, we encourage you to reflect, celebrate and seek support as you move along in your journey. We would love for you to stay in touch and tell us your story. We welcome any and all thoughts. Sharing your story, no matter how small or big, can provide ideas and inspiration for you as well as others in our community.

Share your SToRY



Digital Storytelling with Cheri Gaulke

A Window Between Worlds thanks Cheri Gaulke for her artistic role in the I CAN WE CAN inititative's 2014-2015 digital storytelling project. In the summer of 2014, Cheri supported teens at Harvard-Westlake School to create three powerful and award-winning films based on AWBW's experience in the domestic violence field. Using these films and Cheri's expertise as inspiration, AWBW's partners created over 200 additional digital stories to amplify the voices of trauma survivors. "We are s... more →

I CAN WE CAN: Films to End Domestic Violence

A Window Between Worlds' I CAN WE CAN initiative, media-artist and educator Cheri Gaulke and 13 teens from Harvard Westlake School, came together to produce three deeply moving and powerful short films. more →

Digital Storytelling Project

The 2014-2015 chapter of I CAN WE CAN was organized by AWBW in collaboration with Los Angeles-based media artist Cheri Gaulke, and is powered by our agency partners to spark dialogue and amplify voices of those not often heard. Digital storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient form of storytelling – enabling us to share stories and make a meaningful connection with others. Each agency partner worked with survivors and community members to create the following digital ... more →

I CAN Journeys

Each I CAN is a beginning of a journey, a catalyst for individual reflection and transformation. Through the art, survivors, advocates and community members share their commitment in solidarity to do what each of us can to help end abuse. By sharing the evolution of our I CANs over time, we witness and support a change in ourselves and our community. These messages of hope, survival and strength break though shame and silence, creating meaningful connections and become a lifeline of change... more →

Touchstones at the LA City District Attorney's Office

As co-chair of the L.A. Domestic Violence Task Force Event Planning Committee, AWBW's Community Engagement Manager Christy Turek has been the driving force of making art workshops available to elected officials and advocates. On August 5th members of the City of Los Angeles District Attorney's Office Family Violence Unit participated in AWBW's longstanding Pearls of Wisdom workshop with a twist inspired by our Touchstones project. The workshop provided an opportunity for the attorneys an... more →

Elected L.A. Officials Join the Cause

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2015
Los Angeles elected officials created a "Pearl of Wisdom" art piece that was included in an exhibit at the East Bridge Gallery in Los Angeles City Hall to coincide with October 2015 Domestic Violence Awareness Month.Pearls of Wisdom: End the Violence is an art project organized by AWBW and based upon a collaboration with L.A. artist Kim Abeles and 800 survivors of domestic violence. This collaborative art project was designed to help survivors recognize personal strengths, using ... more →

A Public Conversation: Art for Social Change and the Silent Epidemic

18th Street Arts Center
On April 24, 2013, A Window Between Worlds collaborated with Otis MFA Public Practice and the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica to present an informative discussion to provide an understanding of socially engaged art as a vehicle to bring about awareness and create social change, particularly in relation to domestic violence. The conversation was moderated by Betty Ann Brown, Ph.D., Professor of Art History at CSU Northridge, author, art critic and curator. The following panel memb... more →

Touchstones Launch

When Cathy Salser, Founder and Executive Director of A Window Between Worlds took action on one of her biggest dreams to bring healing art to people across the country, she never knew how much of an impact it would make. It's hard to believe that her journey began almost 25 years ago! In commemoration of our 25th Anniversary Cathy created Touchstones. This project calls upon the collective participation and co-creation of our community to create change. The art process is not only the... more →

Inspiring Action Near and Far

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2014
A Window Between Worlds' I CAN WE CAN project was selected as the theme for the Los Angeles Domestic Violence Task Force Day of Action at LA City Hall on October 10. I CAN hands created by survivors and community advocates filled the rotunda and East Bridge Gallery raising awareness and inspiring action for all attendees. During the press conference we got to hear from Mayor Eric Garcetti, Police Chief Charlie Beck, local council member Mike Bonin, City Attorn... more →

Thank you, JIB Fund Community Building Initiative!

The visionary JIB Fund Community Building Initiative has had a pivotal impact on A Window Between Worlds. We have never before seen community defined so beautifully, and so fully in alignment with what AWBW accomplishes through our art programs for survivors of domestic violence. Having been asked "what are you dying to do?" has planted the seeds of new concepts and visions that will permanently strengthen our work. The JIB Fund has allowed us to take the profound heart opening power tha... more →

Partner Spotlight: Center for the Pacific Asian Family

Thanks to a generous grant from the JIB Fund Community Building Initiative, we were able to collaborate with our long-time shelter partner, Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF), to develop I CAN WE CAN as a community engagement resource for the domestic violence and sexual assault movements. Wanda Luong, CPAF's Transitional Program Manager, shares: "For CPAF, I CAN WE CAN was the opportunity to bring the API communities’ voice to a primarily English project. CPAF was also abl... more →

Partner Spotlight: WomenShelter of Long Beach

Thanks to a generous grant from the JIB Fund Community Building Initiative, we were able to collaborate with our long-time shelter partner, WomenShelter of Long Beach (WSLB), to develop I CAN WE CAN as a community engagement resource for the domestic violence and sexual assault movements. Tatiana Séré, WSLB's Volunteer and Community Relations Coordinator, shares: "The I CAN WE CAN project was absolutely incredible. It provided our agency, WomenShelter of Long Beach, an oppo... more →

Partner Spotlight: Rainbow Services

Elizabeth Eastlund and Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino at I CAN WE CAN I AM art exhibition Thanks to a generous grant from the JIB Fund Community Building Initiative, we were able to collaborate with our long-time shelter partner, Rainbow Services, to develop I CAN WE CAN as a community engagement resource for the domestic violence and sexual assault movements. Elizabeth Eastlund, Rainbow's Director of Programs, shares: "The most rewarding part of I CAN WE CAN was reaching o... more →

I CAN WE CAN Audio Stories: Survive, Advocate, Act

We invite you to listen to these I CAN WE CAN stories of survival, advocacy, and action. These three themes came from the I CAN WE CAN exhibit at Gallery Neuartig in April 2013, created by lead artist Neda Moridpour in collaboration with A Window Between Worlds. The exhibit was designed around three focal areas: "I CAN Survive, I CAN Advocate, I CAN Act." I CAN WE CAN Stories from Andrei Click here to listen to Andrei's story of survival. Click here to listen to Andrei's story of adv... more →

Sexual Assault Awareness Month with Arctic Women in Crisis

Alaska's Arctic Women in Crisis (AWIC) leads empowering and healing Windows art workshops to enrich the lives of participants in their weekly Family Night Group. During April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, staff and participants took action by creating art as part of I CAN WE CAN. Group members painted their hands in a gesture of solidarity with each other to find a way to break the silence surrounding sexual assault and domestic violence. AWIC advocates Nikita San Agustin, ... more →

WomenShelter of Long Beach

“Art often gives our survivors a voice and a language to express their complex feelings that motivates them towards change. This project will enable us to engage the greater community in this process. It will also enable us to pilot the online and new technology dimensions to appeal to the youth in our community.” - Goretty Ramos, Interim Executive Director at WomenShelter of Long Beach more →

Rainbow Services

“Statistics don't really work when trying to educate the community about domestic violence—but art does. There is something about art that gets people to understand this issue. There is a lot of misunderstanding about what domestic violence really is and what they can do to help either themselves or someone they know. This project would let us reach out to our community in a way that we have never done before.” - Ben Schirmer, Executive Director at Rainbow Services more →

Center for the Pacific Asian Family

"In an API culture where shame about oppression and violence perpetuates silence, art becomes the piece that draws people together. The API immigrant community is still struggling to accept domestic violence as a social issue. Accepting domestic violence as a community problem, not a family matter, will be the first step toward ending it. This project will move the issue out into community space in an engaging way." - Debra Suh, Executive Director at Center for the Pacific Asian Family more →

Local Starbucks Team Members Show Their Support for I CAN WE CAN

In the summer of 2012 Keri Clark, the manager of a local Starbucks, approached AWBW to find out how her store and others in the area might be able to support the work we do. They began by holding a 12-store art supply drive for the month of October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Each store asked their customers to donate art supplies, all of which go directly to the shelters we serve. By the end of the month, Starbucks had collected over $1,000 worth of art supplies, and galvanized a ... more →

Neda Moridpour Joins I CAN WE CAN as Lead Artist

As Rumi says, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” As an artist and a survivor of violence and sexual abuse, I am thrilled and honored to collaborate on the I CAN WE CAN project, originally created by A Window Between Worlds. Born and raised in Iran, I developed a strong awareness for gender discrimination, violence, inequality, and censorship in my philosophy. When I moved to the United States in 2009, I encountered cultural and lingual barriers that have i... more →

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