Get us in your inbox


12 events you won't want to miss at HeForShe Arts Week

Alexandra Sims

Tens of thousands of people across the globe kicked off 2017 by marching in celebration of women’s rights and equality; taking on ‘locker room talk’ and championing feminist activism. Now, coinciding with Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, HeForShe Arts Week is coming to London for the first time, championing gender equality through the arts.

You’ll be familiar with HeForShe, the UN Women’s gender equality campaign launched in 2014 by UN-Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson. Now, the movement’s Arts Week, taking place from March 8 to March 15 in various cities across the world, aims to shine a spotlight on gender equality, raising awareness and funding through various arts projects with women's rights and human rights at their core.

From screenings of big-budget biopics about American poets to smaller-scale comedy and music nights, HeForShe Arts week is taking London by storm. Here are some of the unmissable events taking place in the capital

National Maritime Museum, London

Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity Exhibition 

This immersive exhibition traces the remarkable story of the daughter of a Cheshire blacksmith, who rose (with a little help from her looks and charm) to become the lover of one of England’s most famous military heroes, Horatio Nelson. See more than 200 objects tracing her extraordinary life, many of which have never been on public display before. National Maritime Museum. Greenwich Cutty Sark DLR. 10am to 5pm, until Mon April 17. £14. 

Exclusive Screening: 'A Quiet Passion' 

Watch an exclusive screening of 'A Quiet Passion', Terence Davies' dramatic biopic of American poet Emily Dickinson. A Q&A with Davies will follow the screening and attendees will get the chance to interact with those responsible for making the film. Curzon Soho. Leicester Sq. 6:30pm Wed Mar 8. £25.  


Century: 10 women x 10 Decades

Catch this documentary portraying ten portraits of London women aged 0-100. Meet a wild swimmer, a female rabbi, a body builder and a vascular surgeon. A panel discussion with the film's creators will follow the screening, which is also part of the 100 Londoners online documentary series, produced by Chocolate films and showing a digital portrait of London. Hackney Attic at Hackney Picturehouse. Hackney Central Overground. 7pm Wed Mar 8. £5. 

GIRL: Greatness in Real Life

Join live acts, including Katey Brooks and Doll Duncan, for an evening of music focusing on women's empowerment through fashion. A portion of all tickets sales will be donated to the UN Women Fund For Gender Equality. Paper Dress Vintage. Hackney Central Overground. 7:45pm Wed Mar 8. £6.

Drop-in Drawing Class

Re-imagine what the National Portrait Gallery’s Victorian Collection might have looked like if women had been afforded the same opportunities as their male counterparts and their achievements recorded in portraiture at this drop-in drawing class hosted by artist Robin-Lee Hall. National Portrait Gallery. Charing Cross. 6:30pm Fri Mar 10. Free.  

Panel discussion: 'Being a Woman Artist'

Kirsty Lang, British Museum Project Curator Catherine Daunt and art historian Griselda Pollock discuss what it is to be a woman artist at this panel event. British Museum. Tottenham Court Rd. 6:30pm Fri Mar 10. £5. 

'Low Level Panic' followed by 'The Female Stage: From One Generation to the Next'

Watch the first major revival of Clare McIntyre's feminist classic 'Low Level Panic' since 1988. Afterwards join a post-show discussion with a panel of female playwrights. The Orange Tree Theatre. Richmond Station. 7:30pm. Fri Mar 10. £25. 

Women Making Waves 

Uncover the epic tales of women who explored the globe and celebrate the lives and achievements of women whose adventures and stories have been lost to history: women like Ching Shih (who may have been one of the most powerful pirates in history), Phillis Wheatley (the first published African-American female poet) and Jeanne Baret (the first woman to have completed a circumnavigation of the world), amongst others. National Maritime Museum Greenwich. Greenwich Cutty Sark DLR. Noon to 3pm Sat Mar 11. Free. 

HeForShe Gender Equality Debate

Join Laura Haynes, Chair of UN Women UK, Rufus Norris, Artistic Director of the National Theatre, Tamara Rojo, Lead Principal and Artistic Director of English National Ballet, and Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Director and Chief Executive in this panel debate discussing the role of the arts in promoting greater gender equality and how this benefits all of society. Sadlers Wells. Angel. 9:30am to 11am Mon Mar 13. Free.

From Chromosomes to KA-POW

A panel discussion exploring how gender diversity has led to the most exciting creative explosions throughout history, from NASA to the lab and library. Celebrate and explore ideas of gender across science and the arts with UCL and the Francis Crick Institute and performance from poet Belinda Zhawi and opera singers CN Lester and Sarah Dacey. The Bloomsbury Theatre. Euston. 7pm Mon Mar 13. Free. 


The UK's original all-female musical improv troupe present their five star sell-out show featuring a live band and improvised songs, which has already graced the Edinburgh Fringe and The Vaults Festival. The Kings Head Theatre. Angel. 7pm Tues Mar 14-15. £18. 

Pre-release screening of 'Beauty and the Beast'

Catch an exclusive pre-release screening of 'Beauty and the Beast' and meet those responsible for creating the film. Curzon Mayfair. Green Park. 6:30pm Wed Mar 15. £25. 

For a full programme of events taking place across the world see here. For more information about HeForShe Arts Week March 8 – 15, visit here.

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news

      Read next