A Place of Her Own™

 (In Community Partnership with Cynthia Tom Arts, Founder & Director)


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Art-based workshops and culminating exhibition for healing uses intuitive art making processes of self-reflection and group sharing to address ancestral and familial trauma. This process brings old HUNGRY GHOSTS (old patterns born from trauma) to light. Challenging these patterns and beliefs allows participants up to release them, including links to individual, family, cultural, and historical dysfunction. With the goal of claiming their aspirations and self-worth, the culminating art exhibition provides participants with a platform to artistically answer and share their response to: If you had a place of your own, what would it be?


Mission: A PLACE OF HER OWN (PLACE) is dedicated to fostering the mental health and well-being of women. PLACE generates a culturally acceptable, creative place to deeply reconnect with themselves and each other. Encouraging the release of negative patterns, PLACE provides an artistic path towards claiming their rightful power.

PLACE helps unravel and artistically grapple with unresolved historical trauma, providing experiential tools to challenge inter-generational effects of colonization, forced migration, racism and gender oppression.


Background: PLACE began in 2009 at de Young Museum as an artists’ residency created by Cynthia Tom, serving as board president of the Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA). She posed a simple curatorial question to nine Asian American (AA) artists, “If you had a place of your own, what would it be?” Surprisingly, participants began sharing stories of deep trauma and violence. The group sharing and the resulting emotionally moving art inspired the program as it stands today. Since then, PLACE has consisted as 5- 10 day workshops and numerous art exhibitions.

In 2014, Cynthia expanded PLACE’s program to its current 6-month workshop format, culminating in an art exhibition and became a standalone organization in order to serve all women and women of color in particular. Remaining a close community partner with AAWAA, PLACE has evolved into an umbrella organization that curates symbiotic arts projects and workshops to inspire healing and transformation for all women and to raise the consciousness and compassion of the communities that surround them.


For more information, please contact Cynthia Tom at aplace.sf@gmail.com or (415) 722-4296. For current updates about A PLACE OF HER OWN please visit www.aplaceofherown.org or A PLACE OF HER OWN’s Facebook Page.


Partial Funding by: SF Arts Commission, California Arts Council, NEA FastTrack, Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition, The Sequoias, WomenArts.org



de Young Museum | 2008

Driftwood Salon | 2009

SOMArts Cultural Center | 2011

Social Service Initiative | 2011

Thoreau Center | 2014

AAWAA Studio Open House | 2015

SOMArts Cultural Center | 2015

I-Hotel Manilatown | 2016