Vital Voices partnered with artist Gayle Kabaker to create a ground-breaking art exhibit:

Vital Voices: 100 Women Using their Power to Empower.

Megan Rapinoe

Vital Voices has worked with over 18,000 women leaders across 182 countries and territories for more than 20 years. From that experience, we know that women lead differently; the thousands of women leaders Vital Voices has partnered with have been resolute in their sense of purpose and commitment to making positive change.

2020 marks a significant year for women, with the centennial of women’s suffrage in the United States and the 25-year anniversary of the historic United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women. It is a critical year for taking stock of all that’s been achieved in the global movement for gender equality. As we look to the future, and the great unfinished business that remains, we turn to 100 of the most daring and creative leaders of our time, who share their vision and solutions in Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower.

Chessy Prout

Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower – in conversation with Alyse Nelson featuring paintings by Gayle Kabaker – is an unprecedented art exhibition and companion coffee table book, celebrating 100 global women leaders who are redefining power. The exhibition will feature a selection of original portraits, accompanied by thought-provoking excerpts of the first-person narratives included in the book.

Candid and compelling, each leader shares personal stories, insights and ideas, showing us that women lead differently, and that this difference is sorely needed in our world today. While each woman is pathbreaking in her own right, it’s together that these 100 voices illustrate the transformative power of women’s leadership across cultures, industries and generations.

The series includes women from across Vital Voices’ powerful network of leaders and other women leaders using their power, platform and voice to empower and give voice to others, such as:

  • Amanda Gorman, the first U.S. Youth Poet Laureate
  • Chief Kachindamoto, a chief in Malawi who is working to end child marriage
  • Lina Khalifeh, founder of SheFighter – the first women’s self-defense studio in the Middle East
  • Bozoma Saint John, Chief Marketing Officer for William Morris Endeavor
  • Donna Langley, Chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group
  • Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad
  • Fashion designer and philanthropist Diane von Furstenberg
  • Model and philanthropist Karlie Kloss
  • US Women’s National Soccer team Captain Megan Rapinoe

Kiran Bir Sethi

The Vital Voices: 100 Women Using their Power to Empower exhibition debuted at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in conjunction with the Kennedy Center’s Direct Current two-week celebration of contemporary culture. DIRECT CURRENT 2020 honors the milestone centennial of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution by not only shining a light on female artists and their work, but also by collaborating with D.C.-based organizations like Vital Voices.

Each painting in the series is being produced by award-winning illustrator and writer Gayle Kabaker, who lives in Western Massachusetts. She’s been illustrating for various markets worldwide for over 35 years.


If you are interested in sponsoring or hosting the exhibition, please contact Jennifer Smith at


Want to enjoy the exhibit from your own home?

Check out these Living Portraits of Courage, highlighting five women from the portrait series, produced by Google.

Stay tuned for how you can see the exhibit near you


Johnson & Johnson




View the Vital Voices

100 Women Using Their Power to Empower Exhibit at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts below.

Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower  by Vital Voices