Mothers Who Make - How do we build community?
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It takes a village to raise a child, and an artist too. Nowadays most of us don’t live in villages or even if we do most of the other villagers are too busy commuting to help out with child-rearing. It is, I feel, the mother of all issues – the one underlying all our crises as mothers and makers today, the lack of support, the fact that we can all too easily find ourselves trying to raise a child and make art more or less on our own. We may have a partner, but one other adult does not constitute a community.

So what do we do? How do we make up for the village-deficit? There is the virtual village and today this has an invaluable place, but I have noticed that whilst I am on a screen connecting up with others across the world I am less present with my children. It also can never replace being in the same room as others - Facebook isn’t face to face.

What else is there? You may or may not have family nearby. You may or may not have neighbours that become friends. You may or may not have a school to which your children go and that becomes a site from which community can grow. It all feels a bit hit and miss. If you are single you can sign up to a dating agency, if you are a single or working mum you can buy childcare (if you can afford it) – we can try to buy care and love, but it’s harder to buy an entire village, a whole intricate network of care and reciprocity.

So here are my questions for the month: What or who are your lifelines? How do you make up for the lack of a village to support you, your children and your work? Could a Mothers Who Make group near you help? What else could help, big or small?
Do You Want to Start a Mothers Who Make Group Near You?

If the answer is YES, now is a great moment to do it. After setting my intention over two years ago to submit a funding application to support the growth of MWM into a national network it is finally about to happen, with the help of a fantastic producer and mother, Liat Rosenthal

We will be including in the application all the places that currently have a MWM group plus all the regions in which there is a desire to set one going – so if you want a group near you please get in touch and together we can make it happen!
Next meetings ... 
LONDON: A Question for the Future…….

Sadly I am going to have to cancel the June 27th meeting as we need to go Glasgow to take our baby daughter to the opera her father is directing for her: (Glasgow and Manchester mothers check it out!)

Whilst I figure out our next meeting dates I’ve an important question to ask London mother-makers, linked to the above theme of building community: how would you feel about breaking up the London group into different areas of the city? A North London group, a South-West group, an East end group? Whilst it has been great to have a central location at The South Bank it also means that everyone has to travel– it is on almost no one’s doorstep.

Meanwhile I have noticed how much faster than us the regional groups have been at forming networks of support and growing a sense of continuity, shared experience and commitment. In London it is both wonderful and difficult that every month new people come, whilst others drop away. I am wondering whether it might serve us better to work as smaller, local groups? I could lead a South-West group. If you are in the North or East of the city would you be interested and willing, with support, to start a group in your part of town? Let me know – I am keen to hear others’ responses to this idea. 
BRISTOL: Starting up in July.

HALIFAX: Starting up again in September at The Square Chapel. Details to follow.

July 5th 10.30am-12.00pm 

Visit our webpage HERE

Join our Facebook group HERE
MANCHESTER: Meetings are at HOME
Monday 10 July, Monday 4 Sept
Both 10.30am - 12.30pm
Plus a recent blog, written by Anna Swailes, one of our regular Mothers:
Warm wishes, 

Matilda  x
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