Celebrate International Women’s Day with Hannah Rich, The Red Box Project & Smart Works

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Hannah Rich, The Red Box Project & Smart Works

by Althaea Sandover

On 8th March 2019, the Hope Street Xchange in Sunderland will host a charity event in honour of International Women’s Day. Guests will have the opportunity to support the endeavours of women’s charities while celebrating the work of women from the North East region.

Illustrator Hannah Rich commented, “[the North East] tends to be overlooked when, in reality, there’s a lot of talent and passion here.”

“Many North East creatives and businesses feel like they have something extra to prove. As a young female illustrator, I understand that feeling because it is hard work just trying to get your foot in the door. But I can see things changing for me, for women, and for the North East in general.”

Hannah will be present at the International Women’s Day event, showcasing portraits of a trio of iconic women who advocate for gender equality. She will be joined by representatives from two fantastic women’s charities, The Red Box Project and Smart Works.

Period poverty charity, The Red Box Project, strives to ensure that young women and girls aren’t missing school when they can’t afford to pay for sanitary products. They have teamed up with Amika George and Pink Protest to launch a legal campaign calling for free, universal access to menstrual products for all young people in schools and colleges across the UK.

Meanwhile, Smart Works offer dressing and coaching services to unemployed women with upcoming job interviews. They reach out to the most vulnerable women in society; women from prisons, refuges, mental health charities, care homes, and job centres. They have a number of branches in the North of England and hope to become established in Leeds too.

On the day of the event, these two vital women’s charities will offer guests of the Hope Street Xchange the chance to donate funds, sanitary products and clothing.

“To me, International Women’s Day […] is a day of reflection, but it’s also about being optimistic for the future,” says Hannah Rich. Her portrait of Smart Work’s Royal Patron, Meghan Markle, was commissioned to commemorate the event.

The illustration of Meghan Markle will be exhibited alongside that of Malala Yousafzai and Emma Watson, whose own portraits were originally commissioned for The North East Equality Awards 2018. When asked why she chose these three women for the International Women’s Day event, Hannah said:

“All three women come from varying backgrounds, but they are working towards this common goal of equality. They are each leading many young girls by example and it is uplifting to see.”

Hannah’s art frequently honours the achievements of women and celebrates diversity. For a project called Unite This Kingdom, she took inspiration from the multi-ethnicity of the UK to create Victorian-style portraits influenced by the subject’s rich ancestry.

Join Hannah Rich, the Red Box Project and Smart Works at the Hope Street Exchange on 8th March for a morning of empowering speakers, followed by lunch.

Don’t forget to bring donations of smart clothes for disadvantaged women with job interviews, sanitary items to fight period poverty in local schools, and food and beverage donations for the local foodbank.

Event information and ticket registration can be found here.

Find Hannah Rich on Twitter (@HRIllustrator) and Instagram (@hannahrichillustrator)

Catch up recent news from The Red Box Project (@RedBoxProject) and Smart Works (@SmartWorksHQ)

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