MOM Art Annex: Exhibition & Education Center

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This Year For Mothers’ Day – Buy a Book, Attend a Conference or Gallery, Share Knowledge

Mothers’ Day Week 2016

2016 INDUCTIONS to the Motherhood Hall of Fame; Honor the Call of the Midwife – Join us!

Thursday, May 5 – Motherhood Hall of Fame; Columbia Teacher’s College 7:30-9PM (Free). 525 West 120th Street Milbank Chapel, NYC.

Join us for drinks before at 7PM. RSVP Pleasehttps://mommuseum.org/motherhood-hall-of-fame/

Performances, story-telling, and induction ceremony with co-sponsors:

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR HONOREES

Ruth Lubic (ED.D. ‘79, M.A. ‘61, B.S. ‘59)

Kimm Sun, is a Certified Nurse Midwife, Nurse Practitioner

MHOF_Header_2016

12th Annual M.O.M. Academic Conference

THEORIZING MOTHERHOOD IN THE ACADEMY

***M.O.M. Conference Panelists and Presenters – See Schedule. Each time slot is 20 minutes (unless I have written to tell you differently)***

Friday, May 6th MORNING OPENING KEYNOTE: Laura Tropp specializes in media and politics and representations of pregnancy, motherhood, and families in popular culture.

Saturday, May 7th MORNING OPENING KEYNOTE: Kimberly Seals Allers whose 5th book The Big Let Down will be published this summer. Kimberly is an award-winning journalist, author and a nationally recognized media commentator, speaker, consultant and advocate for infant health.

MORE at M.O.M./ FULL SCHEDULE

FACILITIES

We will be meeting in the Alumni Room, which is in the lower portion of the library. Look for signs, or take the elevator from the O’Malley Library.

TECH SUPPORT

There is a power point projector, computer, speaker, and screen onsite. Bring your laptop or a zip drive, or post your material in the cloud and you will be able to present using the equipment at our location. There is some limited space for brochures, art, and books as well. Feel free to share your passions.

BAGEL & COFFEE BREAKFAST WILL BE PROVIDED EACH DAY

SOCIAL MEDIA 

Do you have a twitter handle or a Facebook page? Let’s connect!!

  1. @MOMmuseum
  2. https://www.facebook.com/MOMmuseum/

CONFERENCE LOCATION

May 6-7 MOM Conference at Manhattan College, 4513 Manhattan College Parkway, Bronx, NY 10471 (Schedule TBD) – We will updating the schedule in the next few weeks.

TRANSPORTATION

New York City has two major airports: JFK and LaGuardia.

Public transportation is available from both via train, and cab.

The train from JFK is rather straightforward and costs about $7.50. I would encourage you not to be fearful about taking this option if budget is a concern. There are people at the airport who can direct you, and I’ve done this many times. Here is a link to the NYC Subway Map: http://web.mta.info/nyct/maps/subwaymap.pdf

PANELS, CULTURE, and SPECIAL GATHERINGS

New York City is an amazing place. Surely you will want to do a little exploring. We also plan on organizing a few special panels, roundtable discussions, and speakers for you, but will make sure there is time in the evenings to step out, either with conference goers or on your own.

GETTING AROUND

Here is a subway map of Manhattan.

FYI, the subway that best serves Manhattan College is the #1 or #6 train on the West SideLink to more info and directions to MC.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. We will continue to update the Conference tab.

  • ALSO PLEASE SEE – DEMETER PRESS – NEW RELEASE – NEW MATERNALISMSORDER NOW
  • New_Maternalisms

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Year End Report [CLICK]

Thank You To Our Friends, Supporters, and Partners

This has been a wonderful year for collaboration. M.O.M. saw three new initiatives launch in 2015. They included the Procreate Project along with The Mom Egg Review, Project Afterbirth, and the Jewish Biennale 2015 at Hechel Schlomo Museum in Israel (download press about this Jewish Biennal_Report here).

The Museum director Martha Joy Rose, also had opportunities to write and teach this year on behalf of M.O.M. She contributed to the M/other Voices Column, Demeter Press‘s forthcoming book on New Maternalisms, and was active teaching courses in Families and Social Change at Manhattan College in New York.

It is necessary and important that collaborations like these thrive. Programs that support mothers in the arts, acknowledge the economic value of caregivers, and promote education in the areas of mother (and father) studies are good for families and society. They help humanity evolve consciously and thoughtfully benefiting all people: they spread joy, they enlighten, lift, and create a communities of shared values.

Together we are creating our future today!

Jewish_Biennal_Report

Read the M/other Voices full essay here (and below).

A M/OTHER MOVEMENT FOR THE MASSES

Standing at the podium, about to begin a lecture to the twenty students in front of me at Manhattan College, I pop on a power point and click through the images of women creating mother-made art. In this particular slide-show there are curated photos from the Procreate Project, Project Afterbirth, m/other voices, Ima Iyla’a: The Art of Motherhood, Mamapalooza, and Demeter Press, as well as striking text from the Mom Egg Review. The students seem interested. The images are provocative, often including everything from menstruation blood to musical instruments. I have known for a long time how important it is for women who are mothers to have an arts movement of their own. And yet, gaining traction has proved to be harder than I thought. For many reasons, social, political, and cultural, women still lag behind globally in the arts world. From filmmakers who reportedly comprise a mere 4.1% of the top grossing directors of major motion pictures,[1] to the Guerilla Girls-inspired rants calling out major contemporary museums for their lack of equal exhibition time, women in the arts still have a lot of catching up to do.[2] Motherhood complicates these inequities further for reasons that are difficult to identify, but let me try.

There are three major forces compounding mother’s visibility in the arts: identity, consensus, and physical dis/ability. Let us first look at identity. Before we can even begin to dive into the idea of a mother-inspired arts movement, we need to clarify what is a mother? You might feel like arguing with me that there is no need, but in fact there is a need. If one is going to create a mother-arts movement one has to know whom one is including, and what the point of your movement is. Are you going to call your arts event a celebration of motherhood? What about those who do not think it is an elation, but rather a great misery heaped on them when they were least prepared? Are you concerned about the procreative act itself? The carrying, and waiting for the development and birth of the future child? What are you going to do with the adoptive mothers who did not birth their babies but are finding their mother-identity through the act of caregiving? And what about the ones who lost their children along the way? Are you going to include parents; meaning the mother and the father? This is a lovely idea, but, if you include parents, what do you do to amplify the unique experience of one who cellularly divides? The one whose body goes through embodied changes? Then, what about the “single” mother, with no likely partner or spouse? What are you going to do with grandmothers, stepmothers, gay couples, and the surrogates? Unlike many other objects or identities, from the very beginning the notion of mother is fraught. She is not a simple creature. She might not even be a woman. Therefore, conceivably a mother might be a he. Likewise, politically speaking, a mother might be a religious, right-minded, anti-abortion, Phyllis Schlafly kind of character, or she might be a forthright, left-leaning feminist. She might be an advocate of something you hate, and therefore you are tempted to hate her, or she might be a killer, a thief, or an addict. She might be absent. Is she one whose story you want to include? Are you going to share your arts movement with her? Herein lies the crux of the number one problem of a m/other based movement. There are so many kinds. I have been masticating on this for the better part of 26 years trying to sort out its complications.

While writing my thesis for graduate school I struggled not only with a definition of mother, but also with a definition of what the academic study of mothers might include. My reasoning for this was twofold. In my experience as the creator of an arts festival, which has aimed to highlight the varying voices, art, comedy, music, theater, and literature of motherhood, I consistently wrestled with what to do with the women who were not mothers but were other-mothers, aunties, and nannies insisting they wanted their experiences to be included. I wrestled with what to do with the caregiving partners, fathers, grandparents, and children of these creative-types, mostly because thy also often inquired about being included. Sometimes mothers wanted to blend their families in their art making and even if they didn’t, non-mothers often wanted to feel they too could exercise their voice. This challenged my vision for mother-made art, if only in the sense that it constantly required me to question whom to include or not include? If the art is about family, what sets these mothers apart from the others they are connected to? What makes them unique, or special, or why should they have a festival, movement, arts-based collection all their own? We all know that historically women’s voices have been silent relatively and mothers even more so. That could be reason enough, but in the end, maybe not. Questions and complications remain. No one, including me, seems satisfied with exclusionary practices.

The second part of the dilemma is, if we could identify the specificities of what mother is, how do we gain consensus on whether she is worth studying or whether her art is specifically noteworthy and deserving of its own category? Considering that we have left the first question somewhat unanswered, then the second question of cooperation creates its own challenges. The status or category of mother is often fraught. She does not represent all good things despite the fact that we have expected her to be everything: creator, collaborator, connector, and caregiver, for free, forever, unconditionally? Mothers manifest their fair share of resentment, both for socially constructed reasons and for psychological ones. Feminist movements reluctantly embrace motherhood if at all, and even mothers themselves seem unsure whether they care more about activism, equal wages, or getting dinner on the table. There is not enough time in this essay to adequately address this, although many have tried including Adrienne Rich[3] and Phyllis Chesler[4] for example. Let us for the purposes of this article simply say that it is extremely difficult to get people to agree on a consensus regarding mothers, mother-art, and motherhood.

Finally, leaving the answers to the first two issues ambiguous, we can now move to the very real challenges most mothers face, which include ability, time, and perspective. As any mother of a young one will attest to, creating anything other than limited cleanliness, order, income, and edible food can be a full-time occupation. Mix in the ephemeral nature of art and challenges arise. How does one find the hours in the day (or night)? The space? Some regularity? Should one buy paints or food? Make music or buy shoes? Natalie Loveless claims in her curated exhibit titled New Maternalisms that “mama-artists [need] to find creative ways of integrating their practices as mothers, artists, curators, writers, and teachers. By taking seriously the need to create from local and embodied conditions, these practices bring visibility and value to the maternal in and as art.”[5] I agree with her. But, as I have articulated, distinct challenges remain.

Ultimately, the notion of exactly what makes a mother, be it birth, caregiving, egg donation, or identity can all be debated. However, we define what a mother is and what the art-movement looks like, it must include relational aspects. Words like m/other, m/otherness, or mother-ness attempt to describe this. Any idea of mother must include the concept of transformation, inclusion, and evolution. Both the personal and relational status of me + other = m/other proposes an examination of how m/otherness or mother-ness is the experience of being connected, or disconnected, to one who is part of you. Or, of being a person who, as part of another and also linked to another (genetically, through caregiving, or by association), might inform action in a world conceived as relational. This view differs from our current social system. Current systems have been motivated by alienation, and by violent, external, institutional, and hierarchical social constructions. Herein’ lies the call for change. As Rothman asserts in the Book of Life, “The world that I live in, and the world that I want for my children, is not a world of scattered isolated individuals, and not a world of walls. It is a world of communities, of social solidarity, of connectedness between individuals and between communities, a world in which people and communities grow from and into each other.” (p.233). She explains that motherhood is “otherhood.” Or, as I theorize here: a mother is one who who divides, yet through that division he/she is paradoxically increased. Therefore, the division is also a multiplication. A theory of mother-ness privileges the conversation of difference (or division) and insists on tolerant engagement (connection) as well as intense intellectual curiosity as a fundamental practice. Therefore, as we make art, explore motherhood, and find ways to move forward, let us lift each other up. Let us continue to explore our victories as we lament our losses. Let us speak not with one voice, but with many voices and most of all – let that be okay.

BIO: ART, RESEARCH, THEORY: In the December column we are pleased to feature Martha Joy Rose, (USA), a New York-based performance artist, scholar, and the mother of four young adults ages 21-26. Having been named as “God Mother of Mom Rock” by the CNN, Joy has been making music since the early 1980’s in New York City. With the birth of her first child she created the Housewives On Prozac band, which has enjoyed international success and spawned a mother-made music movement. In 2002, seeking to identify the unique expressions of women who are mothers and to amplify their voices, Joy founded the Mamapalooza Festival, currently being administrated each May through the New York Parks Department. In 2009, she directed the film The Motherhood Movement: You Say You Want a Revolution, which promotes, showcases, and makes visible maternal discussion, disseminating information on the subject of Feminist/activist Mothers and the missions of International Maternal agencies. Working together with a team of academics and activists, Joy opened the first-ever Museum of Motherhood (M.O.M.) on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 2011. Currently she is teaching “Families and Social Change” at Manhattan College. Joy’s Master’s Degree in Mother Studies is a herstoric first, and she has written for Sage Press, Demeter Press, and assorted literary journals.

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ICYMI: Mother’s Day Week in Review

Flyer_B&N_FinalAfter our two-week long Mother’s Day blitz, we at the Museum of Motherhood are feeling a range of emotions: engaged, curious, tired, brave, inquisitive, grateful, overworked, eager, empowered, loved, etc. (all of which resonate with the self-described experience of motherhood!). Our annual conference, and subsequent week of special readings/appearances at the Upper West Side Barnes & Noble and award ceremony for our Motherhood Hall of Fame were all a tremendous success! In case you missed any of the events, here’s a brief recap:

On Thursday, April 30 – Saturday, May 2, we grappled with concepts related to “New Maternalisms”, including visual depictions of motherhood, doula work, motherhood identity, maternal storytelling, mothers navigating disabilities, institutional barriers to motherhood, work-life balance, body/breastfeeding issues, and motherhood theory. We heard a keynote from Barbara Katz Rothman on “Mothers as Fathers.” Our own Joy Rose introduced the formation of her burgeoning field of Mother Studies and associated academic journal.

On Wednesday, May 7, we heard from Marjorie Kessler and selections of her compilation from a series of mom-centric authors, The Mom Egg Review.

On Thursday, May 8, we honored Ann Fessler and Amber Kinser with their induction to the Motherhood Hall of Fame. Both authors spoke about their pieces – The Girls Who Went Away and Motherhood and Feminism, respectively. We got a more in-depth perspective of their writing/research journeys through a Q & A session with both women following the recognition ceremony.

On Friday, May 9, we welcomed select authors from Listen to Your Mother, a collection of 56 soul-bearing essays on motherhood, childbearing, family, and parenting.

On Saturday, May 10, we got to meet family nutrition guru, Laura Fuentes. Laura shared insight on family food, children’s health, recipe development, and mom-trepreneurism.

Lastly as a special Mother’s Day treat, on Sunday, we had the privilege of hearing from back-to-back speakers. First, Katharine Holabird, author of the famous Angelina Ballerina series enchanted us with a glimpse into her whimsical world. Then, Susan Konig – editor, journalist, radio host, and writer – spoke about her new book, Teenagers and Toddlers Are Trying to Kill Me. Then, we celebrated Mother’s Day with a bang!

Written by: Jenny Nigro, MoM Online Intern

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The Mom Egg Review and Marjorie Tesser

Marjorie Tesser photoThere is a lot in store for the Museum of Motherhood over the next couple of months! We’re excited to share the events and projects we have planned leading up to Mother’s Day with you in our upcoming blog entries (including last week’s post about the 2015 conference titled “New Maternalisms” to be held on May 2). We hope that you will share these happenings with your communities and join us for these mother-centric plans.

This week, we’re profiling the Mom Egg Review, which will be celebrated at the Upper West Side Barnes and Noble location at Broadway and W 82nd St on Wednesday, May 7 from 7-9PM. The night will feature readings from select contributors to the collection. And who better to explain the purpose and vision of the Mom Egg Review than its editor, Marjorie Tesser?

For those of you who don’t know her, Marjorie Tesser is a poet and editor of the Mom Egg Review, an independent annual print collection of stories (both fiction and non-), poetry, and art that embraces motherwork. An attorney by training, she can also count editor and entrepreneur as her callings. In addition to editing the Mom Egg Review, Marjorie was also the editor of a compilation of poems called Bowery Women and co-editor of Estamos Aqui: Poems by Migrant Farmworkers. She is the author of two books of poems, The Important Thing Is and The Magic Feather.

Of the Mom Egg Review, Marjorie writes:

Mom Egg Review publishes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction by writers who are mothers or who write about motherhood.

There’s a school of thought in modern literature that the personal narrative is dead, that its narrow point of view speaks little to the complexities of today’s world; that those stories all have been told. But not these stories, of women’s lives—of family and motherhood, of culture, work, love, politics, from diverse women’s viewpoints and experience. For thousands of years, the focus of history and art has come from the perspective of males. But women’s stories and insights are important, vital, for our world.

The Museum of Motherhood (along with its non-profit Motherhood Foundation) believes in the importance of these stories, and supports, promotes, nurtures, and celebrates women and their work in an amazing variety of ways—creative, academic, maternal, and entrepreneurial are just some examples, and consistently fosters connections and collaboration.

Our current issue of Mom Egg Review contains a special poetry folio themed “Compassionate Action”. The poems address urgent circumstances, and explore options for overcoming stasis and aligning hands and feet with minds and hearts.

The Museum of Motherhood is the epitome of such action, telling and showing the truths about mothers’ roles and work and value. The media and the established powers, with their tendency to exalt or disparage motherhood, are not exposing these truths. It’s up to us to insure that our stories get told, and heard. We need to support the institutions that that work to ensure that our voices, our experience, views, needs, and realities, are acknowledged.

Contributed by: Jenny Nigro, MoM Online Intern

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THANK YOU for You Submissions! MOM Conference 2015

MamaExpoHeader9th Annual MOM Conference
– Museum of Motherhood Call for Papers –
“New Maternalisms”: Tales of Motherwork (Dislodging the Unthinkable)

– CFP Deadline Extended to January 15th –

April 30th, May 1st-2nd, NYC 2015

The purpose of this conference focuses on “new maternalisms” and explores “motherwork” and the invisible labor of caregiving in our everyday lived experiences. How do mothers, fathers, and caretakers experience “motherwork” what does it mean? How does “motherwork” impact the communities in which we live and work?

Here are examples of possible topics, but are not limited to:

What caregiving practices are pursued in “motherwork”? How have these practices been shaped by factors such as nation, religion, gender, and other axes of difference? How do caregivers frame/understand their “motherwork”? What alliances do caregivers build locally, regionally, and internationally, and why? To what extent does caregiving intersect with other forms of activism/resistance?

How have wo/men’s identities as caregivers been disrupted or shaped by binaries, such as east/west, north/south? Whose agency is privileged or obscured within “motherwork”? How do global discourses shape local “motherwork,” and, how, in turn, do local issues and frames shape global discourses around “motherwork”? This Call For Papers signals the important sociological and anthropological shifts taking place in the field of motherhood as it relates to wo/men – mothers, father, and caretakers.

We welcome submissions from scholars, students, activists, artists, community agencies, service providers, journalists, mothers and others who work or research in this area. Cross-cultural, historical, and comparative work is encouraged. We also encourage a variety of types of submissions including individual academic papers from all disciplines, proposals for panels, creative submissions, performances, storytelling, visual arts, film, music, audio, and other alternative formats.

Submissions must include a title and a maximum 50-100 word abstract for individual papers, panels, and other submission types (e.g. performance, media, music). Panel submissions must include short abstracts (50-100 word) for each individual paper that will be included in the panel.

https://mommuseum.org/conference-submissions/

All submissions will be peer reviewed with responses by Feb. 2nd. The conference will be held in NYC at the CUNY Graduate Center and Manhattan College. [LINK] to Submit.