International Women’s Day: #PressforProgress regional highlights

Celebrate the achievements of women by attending one of numerous events organised across the West Midlands.

There’s plenty to choose from for International Women’s Day, but in addition, you’ll find a host of art exhibitions and events created, curated, and organised by women beyond this week…


#MeToo Poetry Anthology
Fair Acre Press
Thursday 8 March

Rallying against sexual assault and harassment, #MeToo is a women’s poetry anthology edited by poet Deborah Alma.

“This book contains the poetry of necessity and truth, exploding into the light, where it goddamn belongs.
Please read these poems and then decide in what order you want to 1) cry 2) march 3) scream with relief and recognition 4) grab a sword-pen and write your own.” 

– Amanda Palmer, NYT-bestselling author, The Art of Asking

The book is published on International Women’s Day. On that day, in that week, and throughout the year you will find events where the poets in the #MeToo anthology will read their work – in public events held in front rooms, bookshops, poetry festivals, and everything in between. Dates include:

6 March Keele University
8 March Waterstones: Tottenham Court Road, London
8 March StAnza festival, St Andrews
9 March Waterstone’s, Birmingham
10 March StAnza bookstall: Poetry Market, The Town Hall, St Andrews


The Living Room, Dudley High St
Thursday 8 March

Collective Objective supports women in Dudley to connect, participate and lead social change. For IWD2018 the café will be filled inspiration, debate, and pop-up performances. Conversations, creative activities and art will spill into the new Living Room on the High Street, a family friendly room with cosy chairs, tables for crafts and making and a kids corner.

Bring: a pebble | a book | a struggle | a story | some art | an idea of something you’d like to start


International Women’s Day
Tour and Talk

Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Thursday 8 March, 11am – 12 noon, £2

Talk by emerging academic and art historian Hannah Squire about the forthcoming exhibition Women of Wolverhampton and The Fight for Women’s Equality, celebrating the city’s Suffrage campaigners and their part in the national movement for gender equality. Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 11am to 12 noon, £2 per person.


a seat in which to read:
University of Wolverhampton
until 9 March, all day

a seat

A reading event at the University of Wolverhampton for International Women’s Day. Fragments and excerpts from texts important to women will be read. We hope to open up informal conversations about making space for ourselves and others in education, how we acknowledge and share what we learn from other women, and the intergenerational narratives that emerge through this.




Digbeth Women’s Meet-Up
Dig Brew Co, 43 River St
Thursday 8 March, 5.30pm – 8.30pm

International Women s Day

A general meet-up and celebration of women who live or work in Digbeth, Birmingham’s creative quarter.


International Women’s Day Debate
Institute of Directors West Midlands
John Lewis, Birmingham
Thursday 8 March

Please join us at John Lewis, Grand Central, Birmingham, to celebrate International Women’s Day with a debate around the global theme, #PRESSFORPROGRESS.
We have partnered with WISH (Women in Social Housing) and also welcome Women Unltd members.

Full details here…


Presence: Silent Walk of Solidarity
Saturday 10 March


Performance Artist Hannah Taylor and Asylum Art Gallery are looking for participants to take part in their PRESENCE – Silent Walk of solidarity event at 1pm in Wolverhampton. Women will silently walk through the city centre wearing purple sashes and giving out cards with the quote ‘Deeds not Words’. For more details email Hannah at


Votes for Women
City Archives
until Saturday 24 March


Votes for Women is a free exhibition looking at the contribution of women from Wolverhampton in the fight to gain the vote. City Archives, Molineux Hotel Building, Whitmore Hill, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SF, Wednesdays 1pm to 7pm, Thursdays and Fridays 10am to 4pm and Saturdays 10am to 1pm.


New Art West Midlands Exhibition
Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent
until 13 May

New Art West Midlands 2018 Exhibition: work by Hayley McNally, Copyright Wolverhampton School of Art


Featuring some of the region’s most exciting emerging artists, including graduates of Wolverhampton School of Art…

The New Art West Midlands 2018 exhibition is displayed across three galleries in the West Midlands: Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, and AirSpace, Stoke-On-Trent.

An all-female panel made this year’s selections and the 28 featured artists can be viewed on the New Art West Midlands website .

The exhibition runs at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery until 13 May, the AirSpace Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent until 31 March and The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry until 13 May.


Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
until 15 April

Taking 1967 as a starting point, the exhibition features many prominent artists exploring gender, sexuality and identity. The show also reveals new research into LGBT history and visual culture, showcasing artworks from The Arts Council Collection, National Museums Liverpool and Birmingham’s collection.

More information here


The Past is Now
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
until 24 June

Photo by: David Rowan, 2017 Copyright Birmingham Museums Trust.


The Past is Now explores Birmingham’s relationship with our colonial past, challenging the typical narrative used to present the history of the British Empire. By focusing on a few key events and themes, the exhibition examines the museum’s own bias in telling difficult narratives and explores other perspectives, which have been historically misrepresented.

An all-woman team is behind the exhibition: Birmingham based graphic designer, Abeera Kamran; artivist, Aliyah Hasinah; writer, Mariam Khan; cultural activist, Sara Myers; textile designer, Shaheen Kasmani, writer and researcher Sumaya Kassim

Full details here


Ghost Streets of Balsall Heath
The photography of Janet Mendelsohn
ORT Gallery
10 March – 28 April 2018

In the late 1960s American filmmaker and photographer Janet Mendelsohn spent several months documenting the everyday life of Balsall Heath, as part of her studies at the University of Birmingham. These images are a vivid record of the community at a time of rapid change, and many of the streets depicted were demolished soon afterwards. The exhibition visually explores a social housing crisis, poverty, migration and the experience of childhood in the area.

Do you have memories of Balsall Heath in the late 60s? We’d love to hear from you! Email ORT here


Melanie Jackson, Deeper in the Pyramid
Grand Union, Birmingham
until 21 April 2018

Deeper in the Pyramid is an expansive new body of work comprising of animation, sculpture, a filmed performance and a publication in a graphic novel format, written in collaboration with Esther Leslie.


Saturday 26 May: Women of Wolverhampton and The Fight for Women’s Equality opens at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, free admission.


Want your event listed here? Let us know at the Contact Page.

Banner image:  David Rowan, 2017 Copyright Birmingham Museums Trust.