Feminist, pioneer art activist for lesbian artists. Arlene Raven was born into a middle-class Jewish family in 1944 in Baltimore, Maryland, as Arlene Rubin. Her father, Joseph Rubin, was a bar owner, and her mother, Annette Rubin, worked in the home. In 1949, Raven began attending Arlington Grammar School and Peabody Institute for Music, where she studied piano, then Garrison Junior High School and Forrest Park High School in 1958. While a student at Hood College, proficient in Spanish, Raven was an exchange student in Spain. She received a B.A. in studio painting in 1965.