Mothers Who Make

Mothers Who Make


Mothers Who Make is a growing national initiative aimed at supporting mothers who are artists - professional and/or passionate – writers, painters, actors, dancers, musicians, film-makers….every kind of maker is welcomed, and every kind of mother. 

MWM was born in London in 2014 with Theatre Maker and Improbable Associate Director, Matilda Leyser. The initiative grew from Leyser’s sense of there being experiences and challenges specific to being both a mother and an artist. She noticed many parallels between the two roles: both are concerned with creativity and play, both require stamina, patience, sensitivity, both keep her up at night. At the same time she was struck by the strength of the cultural assumption that the two were incompatible: she was told she must compromise on either her creative work or her mothering. She wanted to challenge this. She put out an invitation to mother-artists, across art forms, to join a peer support group to which they could also bring their children of any age. The response has been extraordinary.

MWM has rapidly spread across the country. There are currently regular peer-support groups meeting at 6 major arts-related venues in different regions, with 24 other groups in the process of starting across the UK in 2018.

How does MWM work?

MWM - Stroud Hub is hosted at Stroud Valley Arts space (SVA). There is a shared role of facilitation from a collective of local mother-artists. The sessions will explore emergent themes in mothering and making, points of connection between the two roles, points of dissonance, particular challenges, helpful resources. 

Every MWM meeting models a rare space in which participants are recognized and valued equally in their dual roles of mother and artist. The sessions are adult-centred but children are welcome to attend. Each MWM group shares a common ethos and practice but is able to grow and develop in response to the needs and interests of the regional artists that attend it. We want as many people as possible to be part of the unfolding MWM conversations. We do not seek to define who is a 'mother' or an 'artist'. Our reach is across generations and artforms - we are thrilled by the plurality of voices that are part of this discussion.

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