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Arts Organisations Championing Women in the UK

These UK collectives are supporting women in, and with, the arts

In the lead up to International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the contribution that women everywhere make to the world of arts and culture. Around half of all artists in the world are women, but when we look at representation in galleries, the number falls a lot lower, with Tate telling us that 78% of galleries in London represent more men than women. Here, we give you a round-up of just a few of the organisations and collectives in the UK that are working to support women in the arts.



Women & Theatre
 
A female-led charity based in Birmingham, Women & Theatre aims to support collaboration and create theatre that explores issues affecting contemporary society – focusing on everyone’s experiences, not just women. Their passionate team is made up of members with experience in theatre, the arts and the social sector. The organisation is currently working on a project celebrating the arrival of women’s cricket at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, publishing monologues online to reflect their research – with more to come in March.
 
The Society of Women Artists
 
Originally founded in 1855 as the Society of Female Artists, the Society of Women Artists holds annual exhibitions in London celebrating visual art by women, and consists of a maximum 150 members working across all areas of visual art. Their young people’s initiative aims to nurture young artists in the development of their career, and any emerging or seasoned artists seeking membership are encouraged to submit to the society’s yearly open exhibition. The 2021 exhibition, which will be held virtually in September, is open for submissions from 4th March until 25th June 2021. Find more information here.



Birds’ Eye View
 
Birds’ Eye View is a not-for-profit organisation that supports women’s work in film, centring the “female gaze” and campaigning for gender equality across film spaces. Founded in 2003, the organisation provides support for women across the industry with advocacy, mentoring and events. Their Reclaim the Frame project spotlights new and classic films by women, and has so far supported over 40 films and filmmakers, with networks in 12 UK cities. You can take a look at past and upcoming events here, and latest film releases here.



FiLiA
 
FiLiA gets its name from the Latin “filia” for daughter. The female-led volunteer organisation focuses mainly on their annual Women’s Rights Conference – with the 2021 conference being held at Portsmouth Guidhall in October. FiLiA’s aims are to build solidarity, amplify women’s voices and defend women’s human rights, and one of the paths to this goal is through their support for art as activism – with the Emerging Female Artists Prize and Artists in Residence, supporting young women artists in the UK. 
 
Black British Female Artist Collective
 
The BBFA Collective was born out of the lack of representation that black women see in the arts, providing a platform for emerging female diasporic artists. It is very clear to us in the present day that women face a disadvantage in many career paths, but women of colour are subject to even more discrimination, and are often victims of racism and sexism across the industry. The BBFA Collective has exhibited at design festivals and delivered talks across the world in recent years, speaking out against the treatment of women of colour, as well as platforming emerging talent from diaspora communities. You can read more about the artists and their work here.
 
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