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April 2009

Margaret Hodge MP with Mark Bradbury, LTGDC Deputy Director of Development and Chairman Bob Lane

Inspirational women at The Malthouse Studios!

In two separate VIP visits, Arc was delighted to welcome Margaret Hodge MP and Helen Bamber OBE to its home in Abbey Road, Barking.

On Wednesday 18 March, local MP and Culture Minister Margaret Hodge visited the historic Malthouse site as part of a special event to introduce London Thames Gateway Development Corporation’s (LTGDC) plans to transform it into a vibrant Creative Industries Quarter (CIQ) for Barking.

As well as seeing the future plans, Mrs Hodge’s tour of the Malthouse also revealed the diverse range of creative industries working with local people, underlined by the work of Arc Theatre and Studio 3 Arts.

Mrs Hodge said, “I was particularly interested to learn of the work of Arc Theatre and Studio 3 Arts in encouraging young people to talk about and tackle knife crime. Creative industries are not an alien import of no importance to local communities, but can and are playing a vital role in addressing real issues and providing real building blocks for communities to live together.”

Bob Lane, Chair of the LTGDC, said, “As a Culture Minister Margaret Hodge is highly knowledgeable about the role that creative industries are playing in bringing jobs, regeneration and a sense of place to many areas across the country.  It’s particularly encouraging – and extremely valuable – to get her endorsement today.”

Read full news release on LTGDC website…

General Manager Nita Bocking and Margaret Hodge MP talking about Arc’s work in the local community

On 26 March, Arc’s Artistic Director and CEO, Carole Pluckrose, hosted a very special evening in celebration of inspirational women. Attended by over 60 women from ages 15 to 80, the Inspiring Women’s Dinner was highlighted with a warm personal address from Helen Bamber OBE – co-founder of the Helen Bamber Foundation – the UK-based organisation formed in 2005 to work with a wider population of survivors of human rights violations.

Helen Bamber OBE speaking at the Inspiring Women’s Dinner

Helen has worked tirelessly in human rights for over 60 years and has helped thousands of survivors worldwide, starting at the age of 19 after the liberation of Belsen concentration camp after WWII.

She was an early member of Amnesty International and in 1985 established The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. Named European Woman of Achievement in 1993, Helen was awarded the OBE in 1997 and also received a lifetime Human Rights Achievement award for her work.

For more information visit:  http://www.helenbamber.org/

Arc’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer, Carole Pluckrose

Carole says of the event, “I have been very lucky during my life to meet some amazing women who have inspired me in many ways.  The common factor between them is that they are all engaged passionately in what they do and are great fun to be with!  So I asked myself that old question, ‘if you could invite anyone you liked to dinner who would they be?’ and this dinner is the result!” 

Carole’s own inspiration for the event is taken from an exhibition of American sculptor Judy Chicago’s work, ‘The Dinner Party’ –  an icon of feminist art representing 1,038 important women in history. It comprises of a huge ceremonial banquet arranged on a triangular table with 39 place settings, each commemorating a woman from history, while the names of another 999 women are inscribed in gold on the tile floor below.

For more information visit:  www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/dinner_party/home.php