James Franco’s Mom Raises Money for Female Artists

Betsy and James Franco. Photo: FayesVision/WENN

Did you know that James Franco’s mom is a fighter for social justice?

While her son has been riffing on Cindy Sherman (see Why James Franco’s Cindy Sherman Homage at Pace Is Not Just Bad But Offensive) and producing selfie calendars (see James Franco Selfie Calendar Is Narcissistic Nonsense), she’s been hard at work advocating for gender equality in the arts.

Betsy Franco and friend Heather Webb recently launched a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money to host a benefit for WomenArts, a nonprofit organization that helps support women in various artistic disciplines.

Mrs. Franco hopes to raise $15,000, a small portion of which will pay for the space to host the event and the rest of which will be donated directly to the charity (along with all funds raised at the gala). So far, the campaign has raised $520 in the four days it has been active—but we imagine a quick shout-out from James and his famous pals might be a quick way to add two more digits to that number.

Interestingly, Mrs. Franco also recently published a novel loosely based on the life of martyred female artist Camille Claudel, who was Rodin’s apprentice and lover before she was institutionalized. The book, Naked, has been described as as The Time Traveler’s Wife meets Midnight in Paris.

According to Webb, Claudel’s struggles against an oppressive, male-dominated world were part of the inspiration for her and Mrs. Franco to get involved with WomenArts. “Her toils inspired us to not only retell her story,” Webb writes, “but to find a way to give to our fellow female artists.”

Mrs. Franco has also produced young adult novels, picture books, and even a book of monologues for teen actors (originally performed for an art installation created by . . . James Franco).

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