SheShinesOn…Mary Flannery, RAW Art Works


Founder of RAW Art Works

Started RAW 26 years ago

Grew up in Maryland

Mother of two

Q: To begin, can you tell us a little about your professional experience?

A: I began my career as an Art Therapist working with young male sex offenders in a secure treatment facility. I was always amazed by their courage and trust when revealing deep personal stories with me through their art. From day one I was determined to exhibit their work with their written stories.  I believe everyone should be seen and heard.  Although I did not know this at the time, this would shape the 25-year mission of RAW ART WORKS.

Q: What previous job or training would you say best prepared you for your work at RAW Art Works?

A: I founded the first women’s rugby club at my college. I learned how to vision, take risks  (women tackling each other!), communicate in compelling ways, raise money, win, and CELEBRATE!

Q: What has been the hardest part of your job?

A: Feeling helpless when trying to protect one of our kids. Nothing is worse than knowing there is no magic blankie to protect them from the effects of neglect and abuse at home. So many times I have said to teen girls, you have to work hard, take yourself seriously, get out of your house–go to college—RAW is here to help!

Q: Final question: what did you have to learn in order to be able to do your job?

A: Don’t be scared to LEAD. Good ideas need a leader. Lead from both your head and heart. Take risks but know when to ask for help or apologize. When you get lost take responsibility for bad choices.  Lead collectively—shared vision is exciting, ever changing, and makes deep impact.

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 SheGives connects committed, inquisitive, engaged donors with a slate of diligenced nonprofits in the Greater Boston area. We provide members with relevant data about the nonprofits in our portfolio and an opportunity to meet directly with our nonprofits’ Executive Directors and senior staff in small settings that promote in-depth q&a’s and, ultimately, informed giving. Giving is personally driven, but because we give side-by-side our collective impact is greater. See a list of the vetted nonprofits selected for our slate here.

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