Mother Who Make (Stroud Hub)

Mothers Who Make (Stroud Hub) In partnership with Atelier and the Creative Carers Project Time: 10-12pm Date: 9th July Cost: £5 Address: Atelier, 19A Lower Street, Stroud GL5 2HT

Mothers Who Make is a growing national initiative aimed at supporting mothers who are artists & makers, in any discipline and at any stage of their personal or professional making. It was started by Matilda Leyser (Improbable Theatre) in London in 2014 and has rapidly spread across the country.

Every kind of maker is welcome- professional and/or passionate – writers, painters, performers, musicians, bakers, crafters, architects, historians …. Every kind of mother is welcome- biological, adoptive, step, surrogate, foster, grand, great grand, to be ….

The monthly sessions aim to give creative mothers the chance to explore their practice with their children present, valuing equally their dual roles of mother and artist. We want as many people as possible to be part of the unfolding MWM conversations. Our reach is across generations and art forms - we are thrilled by the plurality of voices that are part of this discussion. In other groups professional connections have been formed and led to the beginning of joint projects between participants – so it’s a great way to meet and collaborate with other mothers from different creative backgrounds.

You are invited to join this inspiring and growing initiative. Please feel free to bring along your children, of any age, whether they are inside you, beside you or running around the room. But equally just bring yourself. MWM is facilitated by local mother – maker: Rebecca Stapleford, coordinator of the Creative Carers Project.

Up Coming Events: July: 9th with Matilda Leyser August: 31st 1-3pm September: 28th 1-3pm October: 26th 1-3pm November: 30th 1-3pm Let us know you’re coming.

Email: Rebecca Stapleford – creativecarersproject@gmail.com

Feel free to come along if you haven’t had chance to get in touch. We look forward to seeing you!

The story so far: MWM was started in London in 2014 by 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 9 major arts-related venues in different regions, with 21 other groups in the process of starting across the UK in 2018.

For national discussion please see Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1484128908536006/

What are others saying?: Once a month a truly fantastic group of talented women come, some with their children in their arms, and talk about what it is to be creative and a mother, what they want, why they want it. Every session leaves me feeling encouraged and supported and galvanised to dig deeper and keep making in anyway I can. - Felicity (About Home, Manchester MWM’s Hub)

Mother Who Make groups are important. They allow us to interrogate these notions. To question the pictures we are given of perfect mothers or of selfish artists in their studios who are feted with great success but are monsters in their personal lives. I think meeting and talking to people who are neither perfect nor monstrous but can still claim to be mothers and artists will help break these images into pieces. - Lucy

The Mothers Who Make sessions have been truly inspiring: having these conversations about expectations and assumptions and problems, and hearing about other people’s practices and ambitions and coping mechanisms, has been an overwhelmingly positive and galvanizing experience. Writing, as a career, can be quite solitary, so the opportunity to build a network of like-minded people, even if we’re working in different fields, is stimulating – we’re all facing broadly the same challenges, and it’s fascinating to get to know how we’re each doing it. - Valerie

Photo Credit: Lisa Whiting