My name is Cortney Roquemore. I am a senior at the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. I major in psychology. I am proudly doing my spring internship at (M.O.M.). (Museum Of Motherhood). M.O.M. is not just a museum, but it’s an empowering facility that shares the “information and education about the art, history, and science of motherhood from an international perspective.” My duty as an intern is to cultivate new relationships with people, institutions, and scholars in the St. Petersburg community. I will be inviting students from USF to come to M.O.M. for tours as well as utilizing social media to let people in the community know about this new incredible resource. I will also be learning about grant writing and crowdfunding for non-profits.
During the month of January, I will alphabetize and organize the library including the Demeter Collection of books and learn how to add resources to the museum’s scholarly collection. I will be adding this data to Excel. In February, I being my community outreach. The first week in February I will speak with some of my former professors and invite small groups of students (5 at a time) to come and tour the Museum. I will set up a schedule for this. On February 9th, I attend the Tampa Bay Breastfeeding Coalition where the director of the museum, Martha Joy Rose is presenting on the topic of racial disparities with regard to the visibility of breastfeeding in the public arena. Then, on Feb. 16th and 17th I will be helping out with the Annual Academic M.O.M. Conference. This conference, recently renamed the I :> M.O.M. Conference is in its second year in St. Petersburg. This year’s conference is going to be held on the USF campus in collaboration with the Women’s and Gender Studies Department of USF and made possible in part by a ResearchOne grant. This promises to be an exciting start to February.
After the conference is over, I will be learning all about how to lead tours of M.O.M. Then, I will be interacting with students who visit from USF (as well as the general public).
When March arrives, I will also be turning my attention to the business side of the museum and learning more about how a non-profit organization is properly managed. March 15th I will be attending a Greenhouse workshop (available for free through the city of St. Pete), on fundraising called “SPAA –Grant Writing/Development Research” from 8:30AM- 10:30 with Ms. Rose. On March 22nd I will participate in another workshop with Ms. Rose from 6:30-8:30PM on “How to be Successful Via Crowdfunding.” In between these workshops, I will be identifying one specific project we hope to raise money for.
April will be a good opportunity for me to synthesize the skills I’ve acquired after getting familiar with M.O.M.’s library and exhibition resources, leading tours, and participating in multiple workshops and events. I will use the remainder of my internship to work with Ms. Rose remotely (via e-mail and Skype) on fundraising initiatives for one museum project as well as curating and promoting social media initiatives. I will actually write one grant and create an online Crowdfunding campaign. My internship requirement is 120 hours. By working on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-5 or 6 PM (4-5 hours depending on the week, plus special events), I will easily be able to fulfill this mandate. This internship will help me form good working skills. I will have the opportunity to interact with my community. Most importantly, I get to learn more about the psychological aspects of motherhood!!
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.
The goal of this project was to support ALL mothers, regardless of their family form or personal circumstance. Stories and faces negate stereotypes and disprove assumptions that accumulate as a result of societal reflections. This project has demonstrated that funding and programming are not the only expressions of positive community support. Demand for mental health resources and emotional support exists among the single mother population. Mothers are more than results of their situations they are valuable agents of change and offer perspectives that hold the power to improve the systems that they are assumed to abuse. Governmental programs fulfill material needs, but do not address emotional needs or desires. Classism and racism have ruled over our country and have seeped into the culture of motherhood, shaping how we see mothers who do not “fit the mold”.
The piece featured is a tribute to the identity of mothers. After interviewing several mothers throughout the course of this project, I have uncovered the variety in perceptions between societal views and self-views of single mothers. Traditional family forms have been adopted as societal norms, yet many families do not abide by this societal standard. Despite the diversity of form among my target population, the standards of motherhood were not compromised or diluted. Self-love and positivity transcend boundaries that are socially constructed through identity. Not meeting societal standards does not demonstrate neglect it simply constructs a different setting for the development of family, mother and child. Identities are socially assigned with rigidity. The distinctions between societal, social and true identities are expressed in the following artwork.
Included in this post are two collages that express clashes in expectations between communities and the individual needs of the mothers in those communities. These collages emphasize the centrality and connectivity of social groups in relation to the wellbeing of individual mothers. Additionally, I have included photos of the mothers and children whose stories I have told throughout the past weeks.
NOTE FROM M.O.M. – The Museum of Motherhood sincerely thanks Shauna Ricketts for her dedication and insight during this summer’s internship. Working remotely can present challenges. Yet, Shauna conducted her interviews, created art, and fulfilled her commitment to M.O.M. by submitting interesting and captivating content. Thank you for your great work over the last several weeks. We wish you every ongoing success ~ M. Joy Rose
*SEE ALL OF SHAUNA’S POSTS HERE [LINK}