6 February 2018 marked one hundred years since the Representation of the People Act in 1918, the legislation that brought voting rights to all men and some women over the age of 30 and paved the way for full democratic equality and Universal Suffrage in 1928.
Throughout 2018, I have led as Creative Producer on the One Hundred project for Lincoln Performing Arts Centre and supported by Arts Council England. The aim being to bring women across Lincoln’s communities together and create a project that will celebrate this important anniversary and look forward to the next century to come.
In the first half of the year, I developed a steering group of women which included members of existing social groups and organisations, academics, students, community leaders and artists. We explored, created, debated and curated.
Over the summer I programmed a series of workshops and public talks, inspired by the steering group, that supported and empowered women. Highlights being a public speaking workshop, self-defence and a philosophical inquiry. In addition, I invited women in the community that could share perspective for public talks, which included Lincoln’s MP Karen Lee, lecturers, charity leaders and artists, focusing on current issues that are affecting women today.
The key has been to develop deep partnerships with organisations that already do brilliant things for their own communities. Through One Hundred we have developed unity, which has been both rewarding and energising. I have had the absolute pleasure in meeting countless women that live and work in Lincoln, all doing incredible things, often under the radar. This project has genuinely filled my heart to the brim and topped me up with rocket fuel to continue a commitment to celebrating and empowering women.
One Hundred is drawing to a close, but not with out our last roar! We culminate in a celebration performance and public procession marking 100 years (and a day) since the first General Election where women could vote. The procession, taking place on the Saturday 15th December on Lincoln’s Highstreet, will close with a specially devised performance, directed by friend and colleague Rachel Baynton (Proto-type Theater) and performed by women of the One Hundred project steering group.