Two by two, about 20 women walk side by side, many pushing strollers, looping the paved trails at Riverside Park on Wednesday. The women never walk alone on purpose in order to generate conversation and community. The women, many of whom are mothers, meet two Wednesdays per month and one Saturday per month to walk together in one of Lynchburg’s parks for what has been named “Mamas on the Move.”
Mamas on the Move is just one of the eight different programs run by The Mother Collective (TMC), a nonprofit formed in Lynchburg in2012 to equip and empower women from preconception to postpartum using evidence-based education —
April Lukowski slowly made her way upstairs, the creaking wooden floor boards announcing her presence before she even walked into the room.
She was the first to arrive at the Lynchburg Miller Center to attend the Healing through Art workshop hosted by The GypsyArt Bar founders Jennifer Mancier and Sunshine Lewis. The workshop was made possible through the collaboration of Lynchburg Parks and Recreation and The Motherhood Collective, a nonprofit started by Lynchburg-native Lauren Barnes, who became the first to run up and greet Lukowski.
The $10 workshop was meant to provide a type of art therapy to women who have suffered with infertility or miscarriage. Women slowly trickled into the room as Mancier and Lewis raced around setting up tables with brushes, paints, books, journals, magazines, oil pastels and more.