Project progress: February 2021

This month we learnt a little more about when we might next be able to welcome you all to the Meeting House again. We are now busy planning in the hope that it will be June when we open again for self-guided visits, booked tours, exhibitions, and a chance to try our new audio guides and touch screens!

Have you joined us at an online event recently?

From Dan de la Motte’s fantastic talk on Hackney’s Molly Houses (which saw over 172 of you sign up) to Alternative Fictions’ workshop on inclusion, we’ve been host to some wonderful speakers sharing their radical histories and stories of dissent today.

We also debuted our Her Stories programme – the first of many more partnerships with the Newington Green Alliance and The Dissenting Academy to run free education courses for the local community. We raised over £700 for the local community and heard from speakers such as local councillors, representatives from political parties and activists on a variety of topics such as women and childcare and feminism and transphobia. All our events are recorded and available on our Youtube channel and on Spotify as podcasts. 

This month we have speakers from women’s trade unions, professional sectors, activists and historians all coming together to speak on the theme of “Women and Work” on International Women’s Day. There’ll be another zine-making workshop delivered by Lu of Grrrl Zine Fair, too – which we have opened up to more participants due to demand.

Ready for a world first?

We have developed the first comic of Mary Wollstonecraft’s life for primary school age learners!

Artwork by Martha Mackay

Thanks to the project team, volunteer Lucy Hawker, the talented Martha Mackay and our project partners the Wollstonecraft Society and People’s History Museum, all primary schools in Hackney and Islington and selected schools in Beverley, Salford, Spitalfields, Laugharne and Barking (because of their links to Mary Wollstonecraft) will be sent copies for their school libraries in the following weeks. And if you are a project partner keep an eye out for your copy too! Schools can use our free six week scheme of work to explore further Mary’s fascinating links and learn more about what we can learn from Mary’s resilience and courage. Read the whole comic online here.

Interested in acquiring a paper copy yourself? We are interested to hear from anyone who would be willing to pay for their own copy in the future at a reasonable price. Our first print run was limited but if there is enough interest we could consider doing another and recouping the costs through sales. Email Amy!

What’s coming up in the future?

  • You only have until the end of the month to get your children/learners/little people in your lives to enter the Get Crafty competition! Entrants can the chance to win a £200 art supplies voucher and the chance to have their work exhibited in the Meeting House!
  • Soon we’ll be inviting people to take part in our community quilt project – threading together the radical histories of our local area
  • Get your walking boots on – our fantastic volunteer Caroline is shortly set to release her first “Radical History” walk of Newington Green and the surrounding area. It explores everything from anarchists in Stoke Newington to school kids on strike in Hackney Wick. It’s a great way to stretch your legs and find out more about your local area!
  • Did you catch our “Stepping Back in Time” free craft series this half term? Anya will be back at Easter with more!
  • We’re busy sorting out exhibitions in the future too – if you liked Dan de la Motte’s talk then keep your eyes peeled for an announcement on his exhibition at the Meeting House in September to celebrate and tell the story of the art of the Gay Liberation Front


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