Rosine Association 2.0

Swarthmore College



Susan Dreher, composite photograph of Mira Sharpless Townsend over her papers. Courtesy of the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College.


Charmaine Wheatley, Portrait of Angel Ludgood, 2017; watercolor, ink, and gouache on paper. Image courtesy of the artist.


Ultra-red and Syrus Marcus Ware, Street Hassle, 2019, listening sessions and audio installation as part of Everyonce exhibition curated by Mitchell Akiyama, Trinity Square Video, Toronto, Canada. Photo by Mitchell Akiyama.

An art and archive-based project will reinterpret the mission of the Rosine Association through the development of new artistic works and a community-based archive. The Rosine Association was co-founded by Quaker activist Mira Sharpless Townsend in 1847 to help women of that era struggling with physical abuse, exploitation, and drug use. Led by artistic director and curator Carol Stakenas, a collective of artists, harm-reduction leaders, and archivists will collaborate with women, trans, and non-binary people working in vulnerable communities to critically assess Townsend’s archival papers and create a contemporary archive documenting the work of this new collective, the Rosine Association 2.0. Narratives from the collective and Townsend’s papers will inform a series of exhibitions, public art interventions, and programs.

The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.