Art Annex: Exhibition & Education Center

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Visit M.O.M. Today [CLICK]

VISIT MOM: Eight months after re-opening the Museum of Motherhood in St. Petersburg, Florida, the M.O.M. Art Annex has enjoyed visitors from all over the country. To schedule a visit write us: info@MOMmuseum.org. See just a few of our visitors here:

CONFERENCE: Our first “I ❤ MOM” Conference” titled Mothering from the Margins was a truly inspiring two-day event with a packed house that took place during Valentines’ week in February. We are in the process of editing and uploading content from the conference to the Journal of Mother Studies (JourMS), as well as crafting next year’s CFP.
COMMUNITY: The local Historic Kenwood Artist Enclave has been busy organizing of community events, including the Arts Walk last March. Their new enclave motto “where art lives” is particularly salient considering we really do live and work at the museum.

RESIDENCIES: Thus far, M.O.M. has hosted three residencies. In January, artist and activist, Christen Clifford arrived as our first guest and spent two weeks editing her latest work. She returned again in July. Also, we saw the first summer Spirited Woman Residency with Dawn Louise Parker who has been hard at work on her manuscript titled Forty-Seven Days of Love. Dawn continues to manage the M.O.M. space while editing her manuscript and we are grateful for her participation. In October, we will welcome Hannah Brockbank who will be joining us for a two week residency. Hannah is a poet hailing from Sussex, England. Her pamphlet Bloodlines will be published by Indigo Dreams in 2017 and she is a Kate Bett’s Award winner (2016). Hannah is a PhD student and will be utilizing the Demeter Library onsite among other things. Read more about our residencies here [LINK]

INTERNSHIPS: We currently have several calls out to local college students for internships for the fall of 2017. Our high school intern, Andres’ has been with us since the spring and is a St. Pete High School senior. He is hard at work cataloging our library and creating a new student exhibit for the fall.

ONLINE: In July of 2017, according to our google report 4,239 conducted searches and found us online. We are happy and proud that people are thinking about us. We hope that we can continue to expand in our new location. If you have ideas or want to get on board, please write Museum Director: Martha Joy Rose at MarthaJoyRose@gmail.com Introduction to Mother Studies classes will re-launch with a new partnership sometime within the next six months – stay tuned.

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MOM Residency Testimonial with Dawn Parker [Click]

Dawn Parker has been living and working at the Museum of Motherhood Art Annex in St. Petersburg, Florida as part of the Spirited Woman Residency Program since June, 2017. The goal of her residency is to complete an edited, book-ready version of a writing project she’s been laboring on for several years now. Since beginning her stay with MOM, Dawn has enrolled in classes to become a certified Life Coach. Joining her for two weeks in July, was New Yorker, Christen Clifford who came the the MOM Residency to work on her manuscript about sexual violence, feminism, and radical transformation. Christen’s visit saw her returning to Florida for a second time this year. Hanna Brockbank looks forward to spending two weeks as part of the residency in October. Hannah hails from England, is a poet, and is earning her PhD while working towards a completed collection of poetry about motherhood. If you are interested in learning more about the MOM Residency Program or you know someone who would benefit from focused time away, working in a supportive environment, and whose concentration is on the maternal, please find out more here. [LINK].

2017 Residencies:
January – Christen Clifford
Summer – Dawn Parker
July – Christen Clifford
October – Hanna Brockbank

MOM Residency Progress Report with Dawn Parker

Four and one half years ago, I started writing. I’ve been writing my story; a heartbreak as catalyst for a breakdown; the realization of the breakdown and heartache being symptoms of a larger history of issues; followed by a plan to learn how to love myself as a way to heal my life. Although it’s been an amazing journey of revelation and unexpected manifestation, I can’t really say I could give you definitive methodology that would help you learn how to love yourself. I have no formula or magic bullet. I do not have an article I’ve penned called, “The Top 10 Ways to Learn How Love Yourself”, that would give you any answers. 

From my experiential expertise, self love, it’s actualization and the resulting personal manifestations, are as uniquely individual as a fingerprint. No one person has an architectural design that can build an internal structure to house generic self love that has the ability to stand strong in every individual. Our emotional bodies are put together with different parts, influenced with different histories, and spoken in different languages. Self love is our intimate relationship with ourselves. No one way will work for everyone. Our differences deserve honor and respect.

What I can tell you, is my story.

Late last year, I’d gained sufficient trust in my intuition to make a much needed geographic life change. With barely an outline of a plan, I made a decision to move away from the town I’d called home for 20 years. I was going “back home” to roots, to family. I was nervous and a little scared, but I leaned in and made a leap of faith. Self love replaced insecurity and doubt with the confidence necessary for me to trust the intuition in my gut to override the fear.

Once I took action, that one leap of actionable faith, everything in my life flowed seamlessly into place in ways that I hadn’t even imagined. My bare bones outline of a plan fell apart, so that, as the cliche says, “Things could fall together in a better way”. Self love was providing me the courage to be brave enough to live an expression of unprecedented personal freedom. It was the manifestation of a long held desire. It was the feeling of a dream come true.

Four months from my arrival back home, I was still unsure of what I was doing or where I was going. Nothing had happened as I’d thought but I was still siding with faith and I kept leaping. On one fortuitous night an Airbnb listing titled, “Spend a Night at the Museum” caught my eye. It was in a cottage at The Museum of Motherhood. I was intrigued.

My first meeting with Martha Joy Rose aka Joy, proved an instant connection. She’s… well, I don’t have sufficient space on this page to give who she is the description she deserves. Fast forward five months and I am the current Writer in Residence/House Mother of the Museum of Motherhood. Self Love healed my pain, sorrow and self loathing into a place of non existence so that I could shine a bright light, from my inside out; a light bright enough for others to see. Joy saw that light. She took a chance. She gave me an opportunity that has changed my life.

Now, armed with love, light, courage, confidence and complete humility it’s time for another leap. I understand now, that when we feel better, when we “love” ourselves and feel good in our skin; when we have the strength to feel good all the way into the marrow of our bones, it’s time to give back. It’s time to serve. I know with the deepest of reverence that it is our charge to help our fellow humans. I believe beyond contestation that it is our obligation to do no harm. It is our imperative to educate and do good works. There’s more, but for now, this is what “Self Love” feels like to me. True story. www.dawnlouiseparker.com

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MOM Conference, St. Pete a Wonderful Success

Thanks to everyone who made this first conference in St. Petersburg such a wonderful success. Conference presentations were on a diverse range of topics including, “The politics of mothering,” by Meredith L. Clements, Ariane Anderson, Lindy Davidson, & Grace Peters,“Next time follow your dreams a little closer to home,” by Patti Ashley,  “‘Peer breast milk sharing as resistance to patriarchal control,” by Shannon K. Carter & Beatriz M. Reyes-Foster, and “The New Momism in Judicial Decision,” by Michelle Hughes Miller to name a few. To see a complete list of presentations go to our Conference Schedule page.

As always, the collaboration, and community formed through our time together were a significant highlight.

Christen Clifford’s “Feminist Peep Show” and invocation served as a point of connection for all participants. Her performance explored aspects of the maternal body, challenged cultural taboos, and educated conference goers about the last thirty years of feminist performance art including the early work of Annie Sprinkle. (Keep reading below image for more information).

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Exhibits are ongoing at the new MOM Art Annex as are residency opportunities. To find out more about residencies go to the information page [LINK] or write M. Joy Rose: info@MOMmuseum.org

Next up is the Art Walk in Historic Kenwood on March 18 & 19th. Museum founder, M. Joy Rose will have current works included as part of this tour. A downloadable map is available at www,kenwoodartistenclave.org

Recent press on the Art Walk appeared in the Boston Globe [LINK]:

Kenwood is an official “artist enclave,” a municipal designation that allows artists in the neighborhood to teach classes and sell artwork from their homes. There are about 60 artist members, most working in home studios in renovated historic buildings. Several times a year these artists open their studios to the public. The next Historic Kenwood Artist Tour is March 18-19.

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SPEAK OUT ! [CLICK]

Last month we shared our first residency at the new M.O.M. Art Annex with Christen Clifford who stayed at the Florence Joy Greist Memorial Guest Cottage editing a book about sexual assault. Christen’s unvarnished, honest approach to everything serves as inspiration for us all.

In February, Christen returns with her Feminist Peep Show performance as part of the “Mothering From the Margins” Conference in St. Pete. You can read a little more about that here, and also more about SPEAKING OUT courtesy of the WordPress “Daily Post.”

Museum of Motherhood founder, M. Joy Rose looks forward to presenting prominent women’s voices on a regular basis at the new Art Annex. She has been SPEAKING UP AND OUT on motherhood, feminism, and the arts since 1997 with her band Housewives On Prozac as well as at lecturing at colleges and conferences across North America. She will be presenting on the topic of “Disruptions” during the conference. More at Joy-Rose.com

– ALSO –

Andrea O'Reilly, Motherhood Hall of Fame, NYC (2014)

Andrea O’Reilly, Motherhood Hall of Fame, NYC (2014)

Dr. Andrea O’Reilly – Delivers the Keynote as part of the Mothering From the Margins Conference on Friday, Feb. 10th at 5 PM. Her presentation, titled “The baby out with the bathwater: The disavowal and disappearance of motherhood in feminism,” is sure to enlighten and inspire! Andrea O’Reilly Ph.D. is a writer on women’s issues and currently a Professor in the School of Women’s Studies at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is the author and editor of eighteen books on motherhood and founder of MIRCI, and Demeter Books.

The M.O.M. Conference takes place Feb. 10-11 at 538 28th St. N. St Pete, Florida 33713. By RSVP only. “Feminist Peep Show” performance is Saturday, Feb. 11th 1:15-2:15 PM.

FIND A FULL SCHEDULE FOR THE CONFERENCE ONLINE HERE
TO ATTEND: RSVP info@mommuseum.org

Previously performed at The New Museum in New York, Judith Charles Gallery, and AUNTS, “Feminist Peep Show” is an explicit tour of a post-maternal body.
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Christen Clifford in St. Petersburg, FL 2017

“Clifford’s (art) is intended to serve as a call to arm’s when women’s reproductive rights are increasingly under attack.” Women in the World, The New York Times
“Christen Clifford has made it her mission to fight the patriarchy with art and a little irreverence.” NYLON magazine
Christen Clifford is a mother, feminist performance artist, writer, curator, and professor. She was an artist and curator for the recent Nasty Women exhibit that raised almost $50k for Planned Parenthood. Hyperallergic called her protest “We Wish Ana Mendieta Was Still Alive” one of the best Art and Activism pieces of 2014. The script of her solo BabyLove, which she performed at The Museum of Motherhood in Manhattan,  is in the permanent collection of theNew York Public Library. She lives and works in New York and online @cd_clifford

Get inspired by those who speak out. Whether through blogging or marching, make your voice heard.

via Speak Out — The Daily Post
Speak Out

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MAMA – Privatizing Motherhood and the Pussy Bow

Featured Artist is Christen Clifford and her Pussy Bow (from imprints of her actual pussy on silk) – See more at ProCreate for images [LINK}.

Christen Clifford is a writer, feminist performance artist, curator, professor, actor, and mother who lives in Queens.

Christen Clifford, Pussy Bow at the Museum of Motherhood Art Annex Residency in St Petersburg

Christen Clifford, Pussy Bow at the Museum of Motherhood Art Annex Residency in St Petersburg

Privatizing Motherhood
By Karen Malpede

My daughter, born the year Ronald Reagan was elected president in a landslide, has given birth to her first child in the year Donald Trump squeaked into the presidency. She was raised on the outskirts of what was then un-gentrified Park Slope and she lived in a theater, the loft-space held our living rooms and our stage. She was raised collectively—at the Park Slope Food Coop and the Park Slope Child Care Collective, where she and I met friends we have to this day. I mothered her collectively as well. She came with me everywhere: meetings, rehearsals, my monthly food coop work slot and I worked one day a week in her child care. She came with me to women’s conferences on war and peace, and ecofeminism. She camped with me at the Women’s Peace Encampment. I have a photo of her, at four years old, dressed in a striped red and white bathing suit, weaving yarn across the exit to the military base, to keep the nuclear missiles inside. They were supposed to be sent to allied nations in Europe, where they would be driven around on trucks for quick launch into the Soviet Union.

We were successful, by the way, not just “we” of course, but the anti-nuclear movement kick-started by women on the antiwar left in England, at Greenham Common, in Germany and in the US. I was arrested as one of the White House Lawn Eleven in 1979, the year before my child was born. I was arrested, again, at a Wall St. anti-militarism demonstration when I was six months pregnant. These protests gained enough popular resonance and force to result in the nonproliferation treaty between Reagan and Gorbechov (which might well be over-turned by Trump and Putin).

My daughter knew my friends, who were artists, activists and mothers: Grace Paley, Barbara Deming, Dorothy Dinnerstein, Judith Malina, Sybille Claiborne, Eve Merriam, and the only two still alive, ecofeminist organizer and writer, Ynestra King, whose birth I assisted and whose son my daughter met the day after he was born, and Martha Bragin, an international child-of-war trauma specialist with a program for Afghan social workers in Kabul, whose child was in the same collective day care. My daughter was breast fed on demand until she was four years old because she was mainly always with me and because it was always all right, or it felt all right to me, to breast feed where ever I was when she was hungry or needed comfort (although I lost a theater grant for breast feeding at a meeting with a local Brooklyn utility). Only once did I pump milk for her to leave in reserve so her father could do the feed—when I went to the second Women’s Pentagon Action, in 1982; and, then, too, to relieve myself, I expressed my breast milk into one of the public toilets in the shopping mall underneath the Pentagon, which felt like a ritual-offering of sorts. I finished a play the day before I went into labor. I remember sitting on the floor bending over my huge belly collating pages. That night I went to the Women’s Salon which I had co-founded, a monthly forum that hosted major writers the minute their books or plays came out. The play I finished before labor was produced in Brooklyn at the Arts at St. Ann’s, then still in the downtown church, when my child was one year old. The first time I took her in my arms into the church for a rehearsal, she, excited but too young to speak, pointed at the domed cathedral ceiling alive with light flooding through the stained glass. “Mama, see!” The words burst out in awe. It would be months before she actually began to talk, but during rehearsal breaks she would crawl onto center stage, sit and mime the gestures of the actors.

Does all this sound antiquated and odd? Or does it sound like a golden age long gone?

Nothing could be less like the motherhoods of my daughter, or of Martha’s daughter, a housing lawyer, or the daughter of another friend, a public health specialist at a state health and human services department. These mothers spend hours of their day pumping breast milk for storage in refrigerators and freezers to be given to their children when they are away at work. My daughter pumps in an employee bathroom at Trader Joe’s, where she works, in San Antonio, Texas, where she and her husband moved because on working class salaries they could afford to buy a house. Martha’s daughter refers to herself as a small-time dairy factory, pumping milk for her son born prematurely who has yet to be fed except through a pipette. At the health and human services agency, nursing mothers must make a reservation to use the lactation room because it is too small for more than one breast-feeding woman at a time. It never occurred to anyone in   “human services” that women might pump and talk together, about work or children or whatever, or, perhaps, it did occur to someone and this is why the room is only large enough for one. Another friend with a young child works on the UN Food Program and is based in Egypt. She has to pump in the prayer room reserved for her Muslim co-workers; there is no other space even for those whose job is figuring out how to feed women and children across the African continent.

These first-time mothers have all been told, they’ve told themselves, they must breast-feed their children for the first two years. My daughter comes from her late shift at 12:30 am and pumps for an hour so there will be milk for her next shift the next day. Then she nurses the baby when he wakes in the middle of the night. Before she leaves for work, she pumps again, after nursing and feeding her baby his home-cooked organic, mashed fruits and vegetables. And she does without another woman’s voice, another woman’s helping hand. She’s alone in her suburban house.

At the same time as the fetus has become “a person”; motherhood has been privatized. What once was, in my memory, collective and communal, joyful—with children passed from day-care to play-date to sleep-over among families who knew each other well, or taken with their mothers to work and on adventures where there were other adoring adults—has become a solitary endurance contest. The mother must not falter; she cannot not produce the milk. She cannot not go to work. She is busy virtually 24 hours a day; she rarely sleeps and is always tired.

Breast-feeding in public is forbidden. Pumping rooms are lonely, inhospitable places. And the burden of feeding her child an optimum diet—of breast milk—is solely hers.

Pumping machines are plastic cups held by hand to the breast, with cords running to a receptacle and they have a wheezing motor. Some pumps are more effective than others, of course, but the machines that come with most insurance plans are ineffectual and slow; it takes a long time to pump six ounces of milk.

Women are isolated, relegated to private, sometimes unsanitary spaces, while they pump. Pumping is considered break-time from work. I had never considered any of this until I visited my daughter in San Antonio and watched her days and nights. When her husband comes home from work, she goes to work. They have an hour or two at most of waking time together. The child is passed between them. He’s still young, at 9 months, but there are no playgroups and scant outings with other mothers. Most of her friends leave their children with their grandmothers while they work (thus, social security subsidizes childcare), but I live and work in New York.

The privatization of motherhood is, of course, the conservative goal. Our lives should be privatized. We should all be in it for ourselves. Wealthy women can hire nannies, but this is just the privileged form of privatization. Mothers on a treadmill from work to nurture to the breast pump have no time to get together, much less to organize.

The point of anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy’s important book Mother and Others is that children reared and fed by groups of responsive adults (as all children in “primitive” hunting and gathering societies were and are or “they were unlikely to survive”) “learned to perceive their world as ‘giving place.’” This matters greatly, Hrdy says because “Within the first two years of life, infants fortunate enough to be reared in responsive caretaking relationships develop innate potentials for empathy, mind reading and collaboration, and often do so, with astonishing speed.”

Collective childrearing is not just good for mothers, alleviating some of the astonishing boredom of being with an infant or young child; it is essential for children if we wish, that is, to raise empathic adults, capable of understanding and caring for others as well as themselves. Those who see the world as a “giving place” are much less likely to destroy it and themselves with it. They are much more likely to take care.

Hrdy points out those evolutionary traits that are not used can atrophy and disappear. So, she posits, might be the case with empathy. That which once made us human because we recognized the other in ourselves and responded to the stresses and challenges of society as an I and Thou exchange in which our own best interests are best served by serving the best interests of others (for instance, stopping climate change and nuclear proliferation) is in danger of atrophying for lack of use. By privatizing the social activity that demands and creates empathy, we run the risk of raising human creatures wanting this essential trait. A sort of monstrous version of ourselves, loose and amuck in a universe ever-more endangered by our own actions, a world threatened by our inability to understand our own connections.

My daughter’s childhood was spent around the collective, women-dominated antinuclear and peace movements of the 1980ies; it is bitterly ironic that her child has been born into a moment when Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have decided to play “nuclear chicken” with our planet and to drill for its remaining oil. Nothing would be important, now, again, than women’s voices, raised with all the authority of motherhood, to demand an end to nuclear weapons and real public policy actions to retard climate change. At this same moment, motherhood has become such a private, taxing, full-time job that woman lack the energy and strength, and the hours in the day, to secure a future for their children. This is the cost of privatizing our most communal trust: the raising of children to care.

If my, now elder generation, managed, we also failed to leave a legacy that made it possible for our daughters and their daughters to live collectively as we had. All I can say in defense is that my daughter proves my point; she is one of the most empathic people I ever met; kind and compassionate to her core, struggling and aware. But she is alone with her child. Without collective action focused on planetary peace and renewal her child’s future is grim.

Karen Malpede is a playwright and writer, co-founder of Theater Three Collaborative, editor of Acts of War: Iraq & Afghanistan in Seven Plays and Women in Theatre: Compassion & Hope. Plays in Time, a collection of four of her plays, is forthcoming in 2017. Her work appears in The Kenyon Review, Torture Magazine and The Brooklyn Reader, and has been published in The New York Times, The Drama Review, TriQuarterly, Confrontations and elsewhere. She is an adjunct associate professor of theater and environmental justice at John Jay College, City University of New York.

M.A.M.A. is the Museum of Motherhood, the ProCreate Project, the Mom Egg Review, as an International exchange of ideas and art. M.A.M.A. will celebrate the notion of being “pregnant with ideas” in new ways. This scholarly discourse intersects with the artistic to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the creative, the academic, the para-academic, the digital, and the real, as well as the everyday: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. Download the Press Release here or read about updated initiatives.

#JoinMAMA  @ProcreateProj  @MOMmuseum @TheMomEgg
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M.O.M. Conference Feb. 10-11th St. Pete, Florida

Thanks to those of you who have completed your payment confirmation for the M.O.M. Conference Feb 10-11, 2017 in St. Pete! If you are interested in attending the conference please write us. Space is extremely limited. RSVP only: info@MOMmuseum.org

Each Year the Museum of Motherhood works with academic partners and collaborators to create the Annual Academic M.O.M. Conference (2005-2016). 

SEE FULL SCHEDULE ONLINE HERE

In 2017 the Museum relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida.  We are excited to host our first I ❤ M.O.M. Conference. In addition, conference participants are invited to publish with JourMS (the Journal of Mother Studies) for dynamic, digital peer-reviewed content in the field of Mother Studies. The goal of the conference is to develop interdisciplinary approaches to Mother Studies and encourage information exchanges between thought-pioneers, activists, artists, academics, students on the subject of Motherhood, Fatherhood, and Family Life. [LINK]

Manhattan College MOM Conference

Manhattan College MOM Conference

Flights – Tampa International Airport. There are some great discount flights being offered now because of the holidays!

Hotel – Block Rate through January 15th

There are currently rooms on hold at the rate of $149.00 plus 13% tax. The room type for that rate will be One King Nonsmoking or you can request 2 Doubles Non Smoking. The rate includes a full breakfast daily from 6am-10am and complimentary Wi Fi and there is a swimming pool. The hotel is an easy walk, .9 miles from the M.O.M. Art Annex. Please use DISCOUNT CODE: Museum of Motherhoodto access this discount, or you can try your luck with one of the discount websites, like Hotels.com Website: Hampton Inn

Keynote

The keynote will be given on Friday evening by Andrea O’Reilly “BABY OUT WITH THE BATHWATER: DISAVOWAL & DISAPPEARANCE OF MOTHERHOOD IN 20-21ST CENTURY ACADEMIC FEMINISM.” For those who do not know Dr. O’Reilly, she is the foremost feminist author and academic on motherhood, and a Professor in the School of Women’s Studies at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is the author and editor of eighteen books on motherhood and founder of Demeter Press. [LINK]

Special Guest Artist Announcement

We are very excited to announce that guest artist Christen Clifford will be bringing her “Feminist Peep Show” performance as part of the conference in February. Christen Clifford, a feminist writer, performance artist, curator, professor, actor, and  mother artist whose performances and writing use her experiences of maternal sexuality, menstruation, rape, and the female body as material, has launched a new project called Pussy Bow. Read more about Christen HERE.

Agenda

The conference agenda will commence as follows:

  • Thursday evening cocktail party at M.O.M. from 7-8:30PM. RSVP.
  • Presentations Friday- 1:00 PM -5:00 PM.
  • Keynote Friday – 5-6 PM
  • Saturday –  9:45AM-5:00 PM
  • Feminist Peep Show 1:00 – 2 PM w/Christen Clifford
  • We will also host a Friday evening in Kenwood, and there are several museums and sights to see as well as excellent dining while you are in town.

Residencies

The residency program has launched. M.O.M. will be hosting students, authors, artists, and academics onsite beginning January 1, 2017. The M.O.M. Art Annex Residency Program is open to those students, artists, and scholars engaged in the study of women, mothers, fathers, and families. This live/work space in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, Fl is an opportunity for those wishing to focus for an extended period of time on research, writing, or art-making in a quiet setting, close to amenities, in a supportive environment. This opportunity is offered at no charge to applicants in exchange for some commitment to the M.O.M. facility each week [Link].

More about M.O.M.

The Museum of Motherhood (M.O.M.) is an exhibition and education center dedicated to the exploration of family – past, present, and future with a focus on mothers, fathers, and families.

M.O.M.’s mission is to start great conversations, feature thought-provoking exhibits, and share information and education. Our aim is to collect, preserve, and disseminate articles, books, artifacts, images, and research on the science, art, and history of all aspects of procreation, birth, and caregiving. We care about those engaged in these activities, and actively promote members of the community interested in the emerging areas of Mother and Father Studies. [LINK]

 

Please RSVP if you are interested in attending any portion of these events: info@MOMmuseum.org