Mothers Who Make, a grassroots national initiative that supports mothers who are artists, has been supported by Arts Council England to develop hubs across the UK, commission new work and create a digital platform. Mothers Who Make is committed to creating spaces where every kind of maker is welcomed, and every kind of mother. For participants, access to these spaces provides a ‘vital lifeline’ during a time when motherhood requires a renegotiation of their artistic practice.
Mothers Who Make network has received support from some of the UK’s top cultural venues including the National Theatre, Southbank Centre, Manchester’s HOME and Bristol’s Old Vic Theatre and from 2018 its plans are to grow its national network including new hubs across London – at the BAC, Arcola Theatre and JW3, as well as across regional venues in Sheffield, Leicester, Brighton, Cambridge, Oxford. Each hub is facilitated by a local artist, and is accessible for all mothers and their children.
Founder, Matilda Leyser, Aerialist, Writer and Improbable Associate director explains that the initiative grew from her 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 and sensitivity. Both are fuller than full time. This is work that will not be left behind at 5.00pm, yet despite this both jobs have precious little status in the current cultural climate. She hopes the project will shift this, and enable mothers to reframe the value of both mothering and creating.
Mothers Who Make is currently crowdfunding to support plans for creating new hubs, commissioning work and fostering a digital platform. Support the project here: http://crowdfunder.co.uk/mothers-who-make, and join the Facebook group here