Six Months

Newsletter_BannerWhat if you only had six months to live? That’s a scary proposition. It’s also freeing and surreal when you realize how short life truly is. Being passionate and having the courage to embrace strong beliefs can be the unexpected gifts of brevity.

The Museum of Motherhood has been a ‘love’ project. Based on what I experienced as a parent, I came to believe that motherhood was the next stage platform for the feminist agenda. I worked hard to leverage the Mamapalooza Festival into M.O.M. (The Museum of Motherhood). When local Gymboree Franchise owners Deb Whitefield and Barry Hanson handed over a space in New York City to host the first ever exhibit space in Manhattan I knew what a privilege it was.

What I didn’t know was how challenging it was going to be. Pushing myself to show up for work six and seven days a week, commuting up to three hours, with little or no budget. I didn’t know what extent of the vision could be realized with just a few allies. I laugh now, thinking to myself this is the definition of the ‘impossible dream’. None-the-less, my team set out to “put motherhood on the map” and for the last two years we have.

For 25 months we’ve hosted up to sixty interns a year, engaged in community activities, educated the public about ‘Mother-The-Job’ and examined social history and global perspectives through a woman’s lens.

In six months, on March 31st, our lease at the Dunhill, sponsored by Deb and Barry is officially up. I find myself  living as if I only had a few months left on the planet. Once again I’m liberated (and terrified) to think that this journey might be over.

I’m putting the museum experiences into a book, teaching classes, tapping my friends for ideas, talking to universities and real estate brokers, and creating traveling exhibits, but essentially – the project, at 401 East 84th Street will be over very soon. It’s liberating and heartbreaking.

Would we like to continue? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is, I’m only interested in growing. That means looking for university affiliation or a slightly increased budget with a stronger partnership.

I know that time waits for no one. I assuage myself by observing that all great things are impermanent. Even things that appear formidable eventually dissipate. In the meantime I also acknowledge that there is still plenty of BANG left in M.O.M.

Just see the amazing people on our advisory board, notice the incredible women we’re honoring this year at our first Hall of Fame awards ceremony, as we celebrate our 8th Annual Conference on March 6, 7and 8, 2014 and please, if you have a lead, send it our way. Mostly – Keep the faith. I do, every day.

Joy Rose

Calling all angels; if you know one, or are one, please contact


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