By Alyse Horn

In mid-December, several women gathered at Alloy 26 for the first W.O.N Learning Marketplace Creative Hub, which are designed to foster and support creativity, guide women to achievable goals, and provide shared resources within the community.

W.O.N stands for Women on the Northside, and these hubs cater specifically towards entrepreneurial women from the 18 neighborhoods regardless of if they are just beginning or have been an entrepreneur for years. The event, led by LEVELS Creative Empowerment and Consulting Group aims to engage, create, and transform a woman’s mission while being surrounded by other like women.

Ebony McQueen-Harris, founder of the organization, said first and foremost, the hubs concentrate on women investing in themselves. The theme of the December event was “Your Story Matters,” and it focused on getting women comfortable with telling their story and why their story is important to their mission.

Members of the Women Writers of Northview Heights and Metamorphosis both shared stories during the first half hour. McQueen-Harris said this was done to create a safe space and get feedback from the audience on how they connected to different stories. Each hub will begin with 30 minutes of creative time before transitioning into an hour and a half of on-topic discussions.

“It’s important to bring in the arts,” McQueen-Harris said. “Creative arts are connected to mindfulness.”
Speaking towards how improvisation can relax individuals and help them “go with the flow,” it also makes it easier to learn how to understand rejection and unlearn independent tendencies.

The next hub will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25 at Alloy 26, 100 S. Commons. The theme is, “It’s Very Simple. If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get.”

McQueen-Harris said using Alloy 26 as the venue for these hubs helps bring attention to its usefulness within the Northside communities, and said that residents have just as much ownership as anyone to be there.

“It’s a space in the community to be aware of,” McQueen-Harris said.

W.O.N., in part, is made possible by a One Northside grant from the Sprout Fund in partnership with The Buhl Foundation & Community Partnerships with Alloy 26 and LEVELS Creative Empowerment and Consulting Group.

LEVELS Creative Empowerment and Consulting Group is a tribe of women creative’s who engage in the on the groundwork of inspiring folks to create + engage + transform.  What started off as a dream blew up into a collective tribe of women who provide a myriad of creative consulting services for entrepreneurs, creative’s, community groups and businesses. Email us! It all starts here: levelspgh@gmail.com.