Hello World! In 2011, the Museum of Motherhood’s opening in Manhattan was delayed due to Hurricane Irene. Now, twelve years and 1,155.3 miles later, we are once again in the midst of mother nature’s impending tropical expression.
What will happen? Who knows? But, our new home at The Factory has sent out a memo that they will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday), Sept. 29th. In the meantime, the people of St. Petersburg and Southern Florida are prepping for the worst. We are taking our furry friends, our possessions, and our family of friends and battening down the hatches!
In the interest of storm prep, we will delay our opening until this most recent activity has passed. We will keep you posted. Stay safe everyone! Love MoM XoXoXo
We have been working over the past few weeks to make the transition from our offices- where our permanent collection has lived for the last seven years at the MOM Art Annex to our new location at The Factory in the Warehouse District in St. Pete.
Only a mile from our current spot, heading south on 28th St., take a left at the decorative art pole on Fairfield Ave, and go a few hundred yards to a small parking area where a rainbow sidewalk appears. Walking through the double doors at 2622 Fairfield Ave., the Fairgrounds and Daddy Cool Records are on your left – then, to the right and up the ramp is the new Museum of Motherhood location! Whoo hoo.
This move signifies a huge leap for MoM in the state of Florida. As a woman-owned organization focused on art, community, culture, and education in a climate that holds so much potential, we aim to cultivate relationships based on inclusion, love, and empowerment. This means holding space that is both safe and welcoming.
We do our best, all the time.
We invite you to participate in this new grand experiment in St. Petersburg, Florida (and online), as the Museum of Motherhood explores women’s place and progress in Western society. Together, we will collectively develop new notions of what it means to grow and collaborate together while celebrating our shared legacy of birth, life, and death on this planet.
Join us in our unwavering journey to inform and inspire!
Welcome Please Our Newest Intern
Graziella Pierangeli s a senior English/Museum studies major at Bryn Mawr College. She is passionate about recognizing the academic and personal achievements of women throughout history. She has worked on projects highlighting the important work done by women scientists, on the role of motherhood in ancient Greek tragedies, and the unique perspective of lesbian authors. When she isn’t working at MoM, she can be found tutoring at the Bryn Mawr Writing Center, taking long walks around campus, or reading a science fiction novel. She is so excited to be included in the founding mothers project!
Hello friends- Happy July! I am sharing some wonderful news.
The Museum Of Motherhood is moving to The Factory in the warehouse district this August in St. Petersburg, Florida. From that new location we plan on executing quarterly exhibits. The first, which runs August 28-Oct., is titled ‘Motherhood On Motion’ curated by Liliana Beltran in collaboration with me, Martha Joy Rose.
Additionally we anticipate sharing aspects of our herstorical exhibitions permanently throughout the year, along with a compelling ‘Futurisms’ exhibit, interactive opportunities, and we will have a vibrant store onsite.
We are looking to work with partners who wish to create events within the space and are as excited by this new location as we are. Internships and residencies at the MOM Art Annex are ongoing.
On a personal note, as the museum founder and as a kidney transplant survivor, I have recently and unexpectedly come up against a physical impediment, which has been most inconvenient. I have been hospitalized with a bronchial infection- no doubt exacerbated by the Canadian fires and am currently in recovery which is why communication has been slow. It has been a long time since I have been brought this low by a physical limitation, and while I feel confident about moving forward, I anticipate another few weeks of recovery.
Lilliana, Beltran, curator, and I have been able to collaborate in terms of written curatorial statements and organizing art exhibitions, work that was begun over a month ago. I was able to ask a local artist to put signage up at the new location so second Saturday visitors this month would see our new spot (Thank you Paul Leroy), which is all good.
Because of this most recent development in my health, I am reaffirming the need once again for activate our Living Board. The Living Board is not a governing board but rather intended to keep MoM’s initiatives active and ongoing in the community even in the event of my unavailability. It is crushingly clear to me over the past several weeks the manner in which the blog has not gotten written, the newsletter has not gone out, the physical space which needs attending to has not been attended to, that every endeavor requires a team beyond the team, which means backup. The community-needs of MoM require local hands-on coordination. My ability to navigate on the phone amidst coughing fits has been impossible. To that end, I will re-initiate this community aspect when I return in August.
As we rapidly move towards our ‘soft opening’ date of August 28th, which is also the 60th Anniversary of the Civil Rights March on Washington – MoM will work with The Factory Team to fashion a press release and make plans for the ‘official’ opening of Sept. 9th, Second Saturday Art Walk.
Artwork will begin going up during the first two weeks of August. For those of you who wish to help, volunteering time, posting social media, and circulating news of our new space – we appreciate all the help we can get. We aim to create a generous, supportive, and creative space. AEHK are invited to share their work- we can produce gift cards for the store for example- with any themes relating to embodiment, motherhood in motion, or procreative or feminist endeavors. People who are looking to get involved can write with their ideas, proposals, or just sign up for potential volunteer hours, etc., using this online form: https://mommuseum.org/volunteer-mom/
In the spirit of progress and purpose, we now also put ourselves in in the capable hands of our strategic advisors who have been diligently working towards crafting a compelling narrative for potential funders and donors and to Connie B for her work on Salesforce & Quickbooks bringing us ever closer to fiscal well being, accountability, and preparation for MoM’s next great leap forward. We enthusiastically thank everyone who has been part of MoM over the course of the past year or so.
We are grateful to Maggie Duffy & Leonora Anton of the Tampa Bay Times, our St Pete High School volunteers & local teachers, Jeff Herman and Creative Grape, Gloria, Munoz, and Tombolo Books, SpaceCraft, Marcile Powers, Maureen McDole of Keep St Pete Lit, Yes Chef Village, our mothers groups, Batya Weinbaum for her onsite mural work, social media manager Margot Pomeroy, Empowerment Coordinator Sierra Clark, Hannah Brockbank, Larry & Cathy Dillahunty Law, Paul LeRoy, Dwayne Shepard, Nick Ribera, Jim Woodfield, Liam and Kristen Lansing, Olga Bof and Localtopia, Historic Kenwood, Neighborhood Association, and Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood, all those who donated towards the purchase of the Mother Tree, and everyone who toured MoM or took an interest in our initiatives as well as our new partners at The Factory!
MoM has acquired the Mother Tree for our permanent collection! Thanks to each of you who donated through our GoFundMe, our website, or by private contribution. Thanks too, artist Helen Hiebert, artist and creator for trusting us and for additional support. Thanks to all of you we have succeeded in achieving this wonderful milestone.
This purchase represents the culmination of two years of fundraising for our permanent collection and we couldn’t be more pleased to share this success with each of you. If you have been fortunate to have seen the Mother Tree at the MoM Art Annex or one of her other previous exhibitions spaces, lit up and beaming, then you join an exclusive group who have indeed been fortunate. Moving forward we look forward to future large scale exhibition spaces where we can share her for public display.
May has been an incredible month for forging new connections, completing projects, and travel. For those of you who have been keeping up with travel blog reports from founding director, Martha Joy Rose, travels to the Goddess temples of Malta have been transformational indeed. You can read more about the Goddess’s of Malta at our founder’s blog.
Throughout June, July, and August, operations will continue at the MoM Art Annex though outreach activities are paused. Our team will be busy strategizing a year’s worth of exhibits for our 2023-24 season which commences in September. During the summer, internships, grant writing, renovations, and curatorial activities will be in full swing.
Finally, we want to share news from our recent experience at the Modern Herbal Apothecary in Tampa for a ‘Closing the Bones Ceremony’. Lyani Powers, doula and owner of MHA presented at this year’s annual academic MoM Conference on ‘Maternal Landscapes’. This ritualistic ceremony can be traced to South America, Africa, and Asia, yet here in American this ritual is not common. Founder Joy Rose was graciously invited to Lyani’s studio post-conference.
During the conference,Lyani shared that she performed ‘Closing the Bones’ on her mother-in-law so it seemed the ceremony could work on new mothers as well as older mothers. Here at MoM we recognize the ways in which many women continue symbolically, and in real life, remain attached to grief, trauma, and even may stay stuck emotionally or become over-involved in their adult children’s lives. Could this be a way to honor those sacred bonds while allowing space for closure and release? We were hoping so.
Nestled into a residential neighborhood Lyani’s gorgeous space is stocked with teas, herbs, and scents that are both delicious and healing. The ceremony itself involved sage, touch, a holding of the body and swaying gently while being gently cradled. This was followed by a tight body- wrapping, a rest, and it concluded with a ceremonial tea and washing of the feet. There were low mutterings, incantations, and prayers for releasing old patterns and welcoming new energy and new ways of being.
This was all a marvelous closure to our founder’s extended trip to visit the Goddess Temples of Malta. The divine feminine has been with us and the world for at least five-thousand years BC. How do those threads get lost? How do the rituals that sustain us disappear? We must weave our way back in time together to activate the symbolic strength of women as respected and glorious members of society.
The Museum of Motherhood’s first online exhibition was in 2010. The launch featured a Sacred Feminine exhibit created Polly Wood online. Now, thirteen years later in 2023, Batya Weinbaum began work on the Goddess mural at the MOM Art Annex for her ‘Artist in Residency’ project. There is a lot of herstory in this world to be mapped – indeed, there is a link to all our shared legacies and experiences. We encourage you to do some research on ‘Closing of the Bones’ rituals. There is much to learn and much to celebrate if we can stay strong in our bonds to each other and continue to find ways to collaborate. Find our more at ModernHerbalApothocary.com or search ceremonies online. And, please, whatever you do, make sure to stay strong. You are beautiful!
The Closing of the Bones Ceremony brought a SONG to mind and is summed up well here:
I can’t really explain it I haven’t got the words It’s a feeling that you can’t control I suppose its like forgetting Losing who you are And at the same time Something makes you whole Its like that there’s a music Playing in your ear And I’m listening, and I’m listening And then I disappear (Lyrics from the song Electric- Billy Elliot, the musical )