top of page


An Art & Poetry Event in Kansas City, Kansas

“Audacity: The March to Women's Rights” is a show of art and poetry inspired by the work of local Kansas City artist, Gloria Heifner. Gloria shares portraits and stories of ten American women, from Sojourner Truth to Gloria Steinem to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had the audacity to stand up for women’s rights. These women changed history because of their willingness to use their voices and make a difference, overcoming incredibly difficult odds on such issues as slavery, the Equal Rights Amendment, and the 19th amendment to the US Constitution, which brought about the right for women to vote.


Curated by Polly Alice McCann, the show is hosted by the Gallery at Kansas City, Kansas Community College under the directorship of Shai Perry. The show also includes work by Kansas Author and Photographer, Sharon Rodriguez, and four national poets who joined these three women and shared writing about the march for women’s rights: Joan Gerstein, Candice Kelsey, Catharine Phillips, and Linda Reising.


The art in the show explores not only portraits, but expressive media in both painting and sculpture, incorporating the emotional awareness of protest, attitudes about marches, and the joy in unity and togetherness.  The exhibit features banners, flags, and illuminates the way in which a march involves the visual "wearing of words" and symbols of protest.


We invite you to zoom into the reception on September 9th from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm to talk with the artists, poets, curator, and director of this show. Zoom:
The meeting ID is 923 8740 6676.


Inspirations for this show: #women #womeninthearts #womensrights 

#womenempowerment #19thamemdment #womenhelpingwomen

event page
Simple LinkedIn Post Header small.png

WE INVITE YOU TO ZOOM into the reception on September 9th from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm to talk to the artist and curator about this show. Will also make a film of the event which those on campus can see by appointment or during open hours. Thanks to the Director of the Gallery, Shai Perry for inviting us to mount this show at KCK Community College.

POLLY ALICE MCCANN, curator, author and artist, creates soft sculptural oil paintings with imperfect stitching. Creative consultant and managing editor of Flying Ketchup Press, find her at Her art has been published in US newspapers and magazines and is showing internationally. She says her favorite thing is to tell stories--other people's, her own--maybe yours. Find her at

GLORIA HEIFNER, artist. Following a career in graphic design with such well-known companies as Helzberg Diamonds, Gloria opened her studio to follow the experimental path set out by the abstract expressionists, and to create intuitive art. Starting with poured acrylics, Gloria uses non-traditional tools, working until the piece comes to a pleasing composition. Her new works include reverse decoupage on glass with found vintage illustrations to create stunning ornamental vases and bowls. Find her work at MLB Designs or visit her studio by appointment at DesignWerx in North Kansas City. She wants her art to bring energy and balance to the individuals and businesses that collect her work. Find out about her new Strong Women series--portraits of Strong Women in the movement for Women’s Rights.

SHARON RODRIGUEZ photographer, artist. "As an artist, I have always been interested in photographing and telling the stories of people who mostly go unseen in the world: mothers, grandmothers, elderly. I’m fascinated by the grace and gifts of an everyday human, and I love to shed light on those who think they are just making-do, when in fact it is their work that is at the heart of our civilization. Three years ago, during my morning walk through a beautifully cultivated Johnson County park, amongst the February brambles, I saw a blue tarp acting as a tent. My first thought was, 'It’s awful cold for a Boy Scout camping trip.' The reality was something that struck my heart to the quick, and immediately the focus of my art became completely re-centered: this was a homeless camp. Even though I regularly worked with a local soup kitchen, I had never asked the people I was serving about what happened to them at night. So, I went off the trails, I brought blankets and bags of food on my expeditions into the homeless neighborhoods I’d never seen before. I met with individuals and families and listened to their stories. I was moved by what I learned and motivated to share these experiences with the rest of the world through the lens of my artwork. I made large prints of their portraits along with a handwritten copy of their stories. I showed and shared over the next two years in many venues around the Kansas City Metro.  I hope you enjoy reading their stories--making the invisible visible, one story and one face at a time."


Poets' work to be hung in gallery and shown on video,

and select poets will speak at the zoom event.



CANDICE KELSEY, poet.  Candice's poem, And the Women March from her poetry collection Still I am Pushing has just been released by Finishing Line Press. Her poetry appears in Poets Reading the News, Poet Lore, and others. She won the 2019 Two Sisters Writing's Contest, received Honorable Mention for Common Ground's 2019 Poetry Contest, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Currently, she is working with the O, Miami Poetry Festival on an exciting new project, and her creative nonfiction was nominated for an Educator of 20 Years' Standing Award, for her devotion to working with young writers.  Her goals: "Peace, hope, and love!" Find her at


LINDA NEAL REISING, poet.  I March for You, Linda's poem is a pivotal work.  A native of Oklahoma and a member of the Western Cherokee Nation. She graduated from Northeastern Oklahoma A & M College and Missouri Southern State University. She also holds an M.A. in Humanities from the University of Evansville. Her work has been published in numerous journals, including The Southern Indiana Review, The Comstock Review, and Nimrod. Reising’s work has also appeared in a number of anthologies, including Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (HarperCollins) and And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana (Indiana Historical Society Press). She was named the winner of the 2012 Writer’s Digest Poetry Competition. Her chapbook, Re-Writing Family History (Finishing Line Press), was a finalist for the 2015 Oklahoma Book Award, as well as winner of the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation Poetry Book Prize. Her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the editors of So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library. The Keeping, her first full-length book of poetry, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her second full-length collection, Stone Roses, is forthcoming from Aldrich Press (Kelsay Books) in April of 2021.


CATHARINE PHILLIPS, poet and priest. We Woman, her poem offered to the project, has a seminal message for all of us. “We is part of the title of my poem because I am part of an ever-increasing we. I was part of the first wave of Episcopal women clergy.”

JOAN GERSTEIN is a retired educator and psychotherapist who has been writing poetry since childhood. Her poem, The Worth of a Woman is an exploration of gender politics and an unearthing of the nature of opportunities offered women.  Originally from NY, she has resided in CA since 1969.  She says, "Charisma is both personal and universal.  So many options were not available because I (we) am female, born in 1947. The Worth of a Woman illuminates the subtle ways the government keeps us down."


POLLY ALICE McCANN author, poet, artist and publisher and curator.  Her poem, You know You are Beautiful explores the nature of "beauty," and the bravery it takes for women to claim it for themselves.


GLORIA HEIFNER, artist and poet.  Gloria's poem, Audacity, is rich with the themes of women standing up, being heard, and using our voices--and it is her poetry that inspired the show.


bottom of page