Be Bold for Change was the global theme for this year’s International Women’s Day. Across the world, there were infinite events, marches, conferences and just pure celebrations to mark a day that holds a different meaning to women everywhere.
This year Global Arts Kingston, a non-profitable organisation based in Kingston-Upon-Thames, who produce an innovative programme of arts activities inspired by the diverse heritage of their community, held their first International Women’s Day on 8th March 2017.
By recognising and celebrating the inspirational women of Kingston-Upon-Thames whose contribution to social, community and economic areas of the borough, Global Arts Kingston echoed its own voice to #BeBoldForChange!
Through images, the work of such women, who were nominated by the people of Kingston themselves was displayed at the local Rose Theatre. The images varied across women of all ages and at different paths of their lives. Artistic director Louise Pendry says,
“Our central collection of images recognises women at all stages of their careers. From a teenage mum who went back to study and is now leading workshops to educate other young mums about their life opportunities, to an MBE recipient who has championed the cases of domestic violence survivors for years. The women here highlight the valuable contribution women make to our community.
A barrister, education professionals and business consultants champion the economic contribution women make to local industry. We also recognise the women who volunteer in their communities outside the responsibilities of work and/or motherhood to ensure the voluntary sector thrives and community spirit is nurtured. Their time allows communities to unite, older people to feel less isolated and diversity to flourish.”
This exhibition also formed part of the International Women’s Day party held at the Museum of Futures in Kingston. In an evening of music and poetry by young female artists, the combination of music and words of recognising self-value and worth added its own important universal message. There was also the opportunity that evening for guests to take part in “It’s not your Birthday, but…”, a fun workshop encouraging people to leave messages in the form of a short letter, to the women that have left a significant mark in their lives.
As the fun-filled evening came to a close, guests both men and women left feeling encouraged, inspired and grateful, as it was the opportunity to gain an insight into how many bold and courageous women were here in our own borough. Whilst there is a long way to go until the gap in gender equality closes, events such as these raise hope that such contributions have, and will continue to make an impact.
The Global Arts Kingston exhibition of inspirational women will be available for display in the Guildhall, Kingston for a week. For more details, visit https://www.globalartskingston.org/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org