Ruthie Collins is the Founder and Creative Director of Cambridge Art Salon. She talks to Female Arts about 'Women Of Influence' a programme of support for young women across Cambridge led by Romsey Mill and Cambridge Art Salon. Using contemporary art and creative media, the project celebrates female role models in the community and helps young women engage on equality issues who might not normally do so.
There are 8 days left if you'd like to sponsor our crowdfunder. I've heard rumours that Female Arts reviews can be "bought". This is not and has never been the case! In exchange for sponsorship we can promote your show with an interview or a feature (these are the most popular options). If you have a show in the Camden or Edinburgh fringe you may welcome the extra publicity. In exchange this enables us to carry out vital fixes and updates to our website. Our reviews are impartial, cannot be paid for and are subject to the review team's availability - they choose what they want to review, once you've told us about your production.
Why do you even need a crowdfunder?
In three years we have not had any funding (from any source). Female Arts is run entirely by passionate volunteers. Editor Wendy Thomson and Deputy Editor Sophie Porter have put thousands of hours of free, unpaid work into running Female Arts: publishing, updating social media and dealing with press enquiries, venues, PR and our volunteer team of reviewers. We also both happen to be working single mothers with pre-school children who do this in our spare time . We met at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. We are both feminist playwrights and care about gender equality on and off stage. Sophie co-founded theatre company The Minty Crimples and I co-founded sketch group The Reading Berks My writer's cv is http://www.wendythomson.co.uk please take a look at some of our work.
Our review team (all volunteers, many are industry professionals) have reviewed hundreds of productions which focus on women in the arts. The work we do is much needed and well regarded.
This blog entry is the 1000th article published since Female Arts was launched in May 2011! Thank you and congratulations to all involved @femalearts!
With this very special entry I'd like to share with you some exciting events coming up in March that the Female Arts team will be involved in to help celebrate, commemorate and campaign for gender equality on International Women's Day (Saturday March 8th).
Wednesday 5th March Very pleased and excited to announce that Female Arts are co-hosting a WOW party at Southbank centre #WOWLDN @WOWtweetUK with GAP Salon @GAPsalon and So and So Arts Club @soandsoartsclub. You are welcome to join us and the other charities / organisations involved in the Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall from 6pm-7.30pm to help us celebrate our achievements http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/wow-parties-81651
Friday 7th March Female Arts are running an information stall in the WOW marketplace, Southbank centre between 10am-6pm. We will be blogging and tweeting live, follow us @femalearts #wowfemalearts, meet the team! find out more about what we do, and what we'd like to do in the future! http://wow.southbankcentre.co.uk/
Saturday 8th March Morning - Female Arts will be involved in the 'Walk in Her Shoes' march for women and girls living in poverty, Care International. Join Helen Pankhurst and the Olympic Suffragettes in a walk from Tate Britain to the Southbank centre. To register and for more details please see http://www.femalearts.com/node/983
Then - Female Arts will dash to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama @CSSDLondon to join in with their International Women's Day Festival @IWDfest14
It will be a busy week, I feel tired already. Thank you for your support and please share with us news of what you are doing for International Women's Day 2014 - email firstname.lastname@example.org tweet us @femalearts write on our wall www.facebook.com/femalearts
As a new playwright I was thrilled to have two playlets produced by London Grey and Green theatre co http://greyandgreentheatre.co.uk/ at the Hen and Chickens and Rosemary Branch theatres in May and October and even more surprised and chuffed when Cathy Tyson came down to support me - and the other new writers. London Grey and Green are a fantastic theatre company please follow them on Twitter @GreyGreenTheatr and Facebook www.facebook.com/LondonGreyAndGreen
I attended a meeting of the League of Professional Women in Theatre UK. I am a volunteer for this group who have nearly 1000 members and is rapidly growing. The group aims to promote visibility and increase opportunities for women in the Professional Theatre. If you would like to join please click on this link. https://www.facebook.com/groups/484847981569852 Like the facebook page www.facebook.com/LeagueOfTheatreWomenUk follow on Twitter @LofPTW
I attended UK Feminista’s summer school in Birmingham http://ukfeminista.org.uk/ which was an inspiring weekend and met some of the campaigners who are bringing feminism back into public focus including Lucy Anne Holmes from No More Page 3 @NoMorePage3 – which aims to remove topless models from The Sun newspaper.
Other campaigns I followed with interest in 2013 were Caroline Criado-Perez @CCriadoPerez who fought to get women back onto English banknotes and her other campaign The Women’s Room which challenges the media's poor gender ratio with a 3000+ expert women database.@thewomensroomuk
I attended a GAP Salon (Gender and Performance) meeting where members discuss, debate and strive for better representation on stage and in other areas of performance http://www.femalearts.com/node/890
Another personal highlight was being involved in organising an art exhibition on behalf of a talented individual who had passed away, it was great to see their work on display and shared with the public.
I’m probably better at promoting other people than myself! But if you like the work I’m doing and would like to boost my ego please...
In December I attended a Gender and Performance salon in London. These are monthly meetings to discuss gender - and performance ... this could be interpreted as women in theatre but is much more than that - and men are welcome.
Co founded by Amy Clare Tasker, Susan Crothers and Kate Baiden the group grew out of a conversation in the League of Professional Women in Theatre, and is a much welcome place where people can meet in person, after networking online or elsewhere!
At the December salon I was really pleased to meet Sam Hall founder of 17 percent, if you are a female playwright do check out her site! http://17percent.wordpress.com/
On Wednesday 18th December I was a panelist at the So & So / Tristan Bates Theatre / Actors Centre 'Women In Arts' festival - on the 'Writing for Women' panel alongside the founder of the So and So Arts club Sarah Berger @SarahJaneBerger, playwright Sarah Rutherford @Sar_hRutherford, editor and media trainer Susan Grossman @wordsallowed, writer/director Trent Burton @TrunkmanUK, comedy writer/performer Karen Haley @roaring_girl and Actor, TV & Radio presenter Jean Rogers @TalkToVP
Please join me at new writing of 4 short plays by female playwrights (includes one of mine 'Chelsea and Henriette'), produced by all female 'London Grey and Green Theatre' @GreyGreenTheatr at the Hen and Chickens Theatre, Islington @TheHenChickens, Tuesday 17th - Saturday 21st September 2013 'City Slices and Country Crumbs'
This week saw the start of the 8th Camden Fringe run by two hardworking and inspirational ladies - Michelle Flower and Zena Barrie. I take my hat off to them, not only were they the co-artistic directors of the Etcetera Theatre in Camden until 2012, they also organise arguably the largest fringe festival in the UK after Edinburgh. Many productions tour both London and Edinburgh - so even if you can't get up to Scotland you can see the same level of talent and diversity closer to home.
This year Female Arts are reviewing 33 shows at the Camden Fringe (and counting) we hope to bring you a comprehensive coverage of shows that have a strong female presence, whether that be writer, director, cast or subject matter.
Please check out our listings for relevant productions that we think you should see. Many shows are on for less than a week, so don't wait for our reviews, decide now! http://femalearts.com/information
All our friends are dead
Lend Me Your Ears
I Am Happy
Me and My Big Mouth
Gender the Elephant
Tea with Terrorists
Sarah Jones Does Not Play Well With Others
Psycho-Geography: An Exercise to Remember My Future
The Hard Comedy: Offline
Very Still and Hard to See
The Wrong Side of Right
The Family Plot
Whispers turn into a Cry
Chris is Dead
Dirty, Flirty, Thirty
Pot Noodles & Knickers
The Destruction of Kreshev
Suzanna Gonzo : Dark Lady
Two Heads are Better than One
Too Cool To Care
No One Belongs Here More Than You
Four Femmes on the Thames
Paris, Mon Amour
An Insomniac's Guide To Ambulances
The Philosopher's Tale
My Dad Sucked Lemons With Bela Bartok
On the Permanence of Fugitive Colors
Truly, Madly, Keighley
Death By Karaoke
Laughter on the Brain
Just saw Kathy Lette on This Morning she is right to attack the press who created the derogatory term of WAGs. Kathy says that women should be written about as career women in their own right rather than as wives or girlfriends of a more successful partner (whatever the partner does for a living).
Female Arts is two this month. Female Arts was launched one month after the birth of my first child in May 2011. Both were a struggle but worthwhile! I'm proud and grateful that in this time we have grown from one writer to over twenty contributors who review and update on events happening across the UK and globally.