Mothers who Make

An initiative to support women that hold the two roles of mother and artist, care about both and do not want to compromise on either

We did it!

On 21st Dec 2017 we successfully raised £5,674 with 214 supporters in 28 days

Mothers Who Make is a quietly growing revolution.....

We are a grassroots national initiative, dedicated to 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.

We've had some excellent news: after years of developing as an unfunded project, the Arts Council England has awarded us a grant to take Mothers Who Make on to it's next stage! 

We now need your support to help match-fund this grant and enable us to turn Mothers Who Make into the diverse national network it clearly wants to become. 



The background bit...

MWM was started in London in 2014 by mother, theatre maker and Improbable Associate Director Matilda Leyser. The initiative grew from Matilda’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 and sensitivity. Both are fuller than full time. This is work that will not be left behind at 5.00pm, work that wakes you up at night, concerned with fundamental questions of identity, looking after and making sense of who we are, where we have come from, who we might become. Mothers and artists are as vital, arguably more so, than bankers and politicians to our future. Despite this both jobs have precious little status in the current cultural climate.


At the same time as being struck by the many parallels between the roles, Matilda encountered a strong cultural assumption that the two are 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.

Addressing a need...

Mothers who Make began as a small group of us meeting regularly in London. All meetings provide a rare space in which participants are recognised and valued equally as mothers and as creatives. The response over the course of the last 3 years has been extraordinary. We have received hundreds of emails from women all over the country expressing an intense sense of relief and gratitude at the recognition of this particular experience, of what it is to be a mother who makes, committed to both her children and her art.

What participants say:

‘Every session leaves me feeling encouraged and supported and galvanized to dig deeper and keep making in anyway I can.’    Felicity Goodman

‘Mothers who make Groups…allow us to question the pictures we are given of perfect mothers or of selfish artists in their studios’  Lucy Tomlinson

The Mothers who Make sessions have been truly inspiring…hearing about other people’s practices and ambitions and coping strategies....   Valerie O’Riordan

With your help…….

d65ae844e051588af07e2b3a4fafefdd5bccbd66         We want to grow Mothers who Make into the national network it clearly needs to become, supporting mother-artists in a diverse number of ways: peer support groups; professional development workshops; commissioned platforms of work; a dynamic online community.  There are now 5 regular MWM groups meeting across the UK. There are at least 10 other groups waiting to happen. 

What we're going to do....

We want to establish new peer support hubs at arts-related venues in: 

  • Birmingham
  • Brighton
  • Leicester
  •  Sheffield
  • Oxford
  • Cambridge
  • Glasgow 
  • X3 new London groups, North, South and East

An online home.....

So far we have been using Facebook. It has enabled us to build up an amazing following and an active forum but it has its limitations. We want to build a designated MWM website which will be a place to generate community, connection, inspiration, opportunities and action.

Image: Nomi Mcleod

Pssst.. whilst you're here, can you support us in other ways?

  • If you want a group near you and your location is not on our list, please get in touch and make a new MWM group happen!
  • If you have any other skills that you want to donate - press, PR, social media, website creation, then please let us know.

images by Jenny Sanderson

Image: Michele Selway from her series: Victorian Portraits of Breastfeeding Mothers (modern mothers)

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