Creating at Every Opportunity – JoAnne Tucker Art
JoAnne Tucker is a lifelong entrepreneur. As a teenager she taught dance classes in the basement of her Pittsburg home in order to earn her way to a summer performing arts camp across the country in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The summer she spent studying with Helen Tamaris, a pioneer modern dancer and Broadway choreographer, eventually led to JoAnne creating her own modern dance company. JoAnne ran her company for 34 years, first in Florida and then New York City.
When she and her husband moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2009, JoAnne started selling her pastels and oil paintings by opening her new company, JoAnne Tucker Art. During the early stages of her company, JoAnne turned to WESST – Santa Fe for business counseling and training. WESST is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Women’s Business Center in New Mexico, with 6 locations throughout the state. JoAnne was already a very experienced business owner, but in WESST she sought assistance to develop her online presence and establish connections in her newly chosen New Mexico home.
JoAnne participated in several WESST workshops including Search Engine Optimization, Prospecting for Clients, Effective Networking, Social Media, Digital Media, Instagram and Beginner and Advanced Etsy. JoAnne explains that “WESST has been a wonderful help especially in bringing my skills up-to-date with social media, networking with other like-minded people, helping me feel part of the New Mexico community and having great facilities where events can be held.”
In addition to running her business, JoAnne also founded and manages the non-profit organization Healing Voices-Personal Stories. Through film, JoAnne is a storyteller, sharing the experiences of domestic violence survivors who have successfully rebuilt their lives. The mission of the organization is to raise public awareness of domestic violence and demonstrate that there is life after abuse. Through free showings, these films serve as a meaningful way to empower women suffering domestic abuse to seek help in ending the cycle of violence.
JoAnne again turned to WESST – Santa Fe for support in developing her non-profit. “An important underlying driving force in my life has been to empower women and it is indeed special to be empowered by WESST, an organization where over 65% (80% in Santa Fe) of the people they serve are women.”
JoAnne lives the dream of entrepreneurship. She creates not only her art, but also a nurturing work environment that helps inspire and assist others. She finds it fun and rewarding to build productive boards, hire the right people to do the right tasks and to be a motivating force in getting things done.