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Womencrafts Preservation Fund

Donation protected
An Ongoing Commitment to Womencrafts
March 2, 2024-
As we transition from hopeful owners of 376 Commercial St to preservers of this historic property, we continue to be grateful for and in need of community support. Our commitment remains steadfast in doing everything we can to ensure Womencrafts has a stable and viable forever home in which to do good work.

The original, mind blowing, donations of over $215,000 helped make it possible for us to buy the building. As new owners of the property, we discovered the building the more neglected than anyone ever thought. Since then, we have been able to finally de-lead the outside of the building and have it repainted, added a new, much needed roof, repair the outdoor side staircase that was never made to code, re-sided 3/4 of the outside walls, put in a new gutter system, are in the process of completing all the steps in the energy assessment of the building, added a dry well, improved the shop's backroom, and so much more. We are proud of the work we have been able to do and how beautiful the building looks. Each challenge met, preserves Womencrafts' space in the ever changing, economic picture of Provincetown.

What we know for sure is that there is always more to come. Recently we have been told that we have to rebuild the front brickwork which includes the stairs to Womencrafts, the basement unit, and the gathering space outside. This project alone, is estimated at $120,000. All of this work literally holds up Womencrafts, and hundreds of artisans and authors who would never be seen in this town, and you, our community, do that as well with your enthusiasm, engagement, and financial support. Thank you.


September 2023-
A million thanks to everyone who helped to save Womencrafts. We reached our original, $200,000 goal on July 21! We were able to purchase the building on September 7, 2022 and have kept the GoFundMe open with a stretch goal of $375,000 which will provide even greater stability and security for Womencrafts and all it represents and provides to the LGBTQ+ community. Our first year of ownership has taught us a lot. We have paid all our bills and our covering our mortgages, as well as attending to decades worth of deferred maintenance. If you would like to help us continue on this path of success we are endlessly grateful.
Together, we are a force of love, justice, affirmation, and community! Join us! 

July 2022-
Womencrafts: Our History
 
For nearly a half-century, Womencrafts — a queer-owned shop in Provincetown, Massachusetts — has embodied and borne witness to the LGBTQIA+ community’s rich, vibrant history. Today, it serves as a far-reaching intersectional space — a physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual center where we can be who we are without disguise, fear, or shame. At Womencrafts, we gather to discover books and art, organize protests, make friends, and strengthen community ties.
 
Inside Womencrafts’ four welcoming walls, thousands of people have publicly shared who they are for the first time — including a woman in her 60s who came out as a lesbian earlier this summer. It is where couples can embrace and kiss in a moment of shared intimacy … where parents of a trans kid can find affirmation, books, and resources … and where we can see our lives reflected and celebrated in art, books, music, and more.
 
From state laws targeting trans kids and their families to the June 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and threatens other fundamental human rights, it’s clear that Womencrafts’ presence and mission are as vital as ever.
 
Womencrafts: Our Present
 
In 2015 Michelle Axelson, Womencrafts’ current owner, announced on social media, “I bought an iconic institution, a lesbian landmark, a feminist fixture, the bookstore of my dreams.” Michelle holds gratitude for the work and commitment of the women who owned the shop before her — Carol and Joie, Debbie, Kathryn and Wendy. And she appreciates all of you who continue to make Womencrafts feel lived in, loved, and shared.
 
To keep the dream alive, Womencrafts needs housing security — and has a unique opportunity to purchase the space where the shop has operated since 1990 for a below-market price by August 1st. After that date, the property will be sold. Given Provincetown’s skyrocketing rents and low inventory, it’s not certain that Womencrafts will be able to remain in business.
 
From dyke bars to bookshops, we’ve watched LGBTQIA+ spaces close in alarming numbers around the country. We do not want to join them.
 
To ensure Womencrafts’ legacy of making the world a safer, more welcoming place for the most marginalized among us, we need YOU.
 
Womencrafts: Our Future
 
By contributing to our campaign to purchase 376 Commercial Street, Unit 2 in Provincetown, you will:
 
Help guarantee that the transgender kid who walks through our doors finds a place to talk, get resources, feel their community’s love, and envision a bright future.
 
 
Support the next young girl who sneaks off from her vacationing parents to see herself in the books on our shelves — and to tell us that she will be free when she goes to college.
 
 
Push Womencrafts to make feminist spaces comfortable not only for cisgender white women but for every member of our community — and challenge us if we ever fall behind.
 
 
Translate your belief that the queer community is a family into action that will allow us to take care of each other.
 
We promise to keep fighting for and working with you — and ask you to join us at this moment to keep our doors open and our community presence secure for generations to come.
 
The funds raised will go directly to purchase this permanent home for Womencrafts, which Michelle intends to run and live above in with her partner Erin until she is a sage, old crone — watching the children and communities she loves flourish around her.
 
And please know that any amount you can contribute is deeply appreciated — and will help guarantee that Womencrafts will be here for all who need it.
 
Thank you!
 
Please contact Michelle Axelson here if you want to learn more about Womencrafts’ plans to purchase its permanent home and how you can help.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Donations 

  • Ellen Rottersmann
    • $324 
    • 22 d
  • Carol Bergen
    • $330 
    • 30 d
  • Nathan Grossman
    • $300 
    • 1 mo
  • Marcia L Ferrigno
    • $150 
    • 1 mo
  • Victoria T Barstow
    • $376 
    • 3 mos
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Fundraising team (2)

Michelle Axelson
Organizer
Provincetown, MA
Erin Splaine
Team member

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