HBO Launching The Inspiration Room to Showcase Women’s Unedited Stories
Weeklong NYC exhibit will display real women’s diaries, host speaker series as a continuation of HBO’s #BecauseOfHer Campaign for Women’s History Month
HBO today announced it’s hosting a first-of-its-kind exhibit in New York City for Women’s History Month, featuring the unedited diaries of real women. The Inspiration Room will serve as a public archive of women’s journals spanning many generations, living and dead, to celebrate the power of authentic, unedited voices. The exhibit, located at 399 Lafayette Street, will be free to the public and open March 18–24, 11am–4pm EST Tuesday–Friday, 10am–4pm EST Saturday and 10am–8pm EST Sunday.
The physical space will house the diaries in various forms, including compilation books, large-scale installations and audio recordings, as well as other forms of self-expression. The Room will also feature a series of videos bringing several of the women’s real stories to life through dramatic readings by HBO talent Dominique Fishback (The Deuce), Natalie Gold (Succession), Margarita Levieva (The Deuce), Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Angela Sarafyan (Westworld) and Poorna Jagannathan (The Night Of, Big Little Lies). The videos cover a range of women’s experiences, including the trials and tribulations of dating, a father’s affair, depression, becoming a mother, and surviving breast cancer.
Hundreds of women all over the U.S. have contributed to this room, with diary submissions gathered via landing page HBOInspirationRoom.com, and through the help of media partners at The Wing, Bustle and theSkimm. Some of HBO’s own talent will also be featured in the exhibit, including Lena Dunham (Girls), Issa Rae (Insecure), Amanda Crew (Silicon Valley), Michelle MacLaren (director, Game of Thrones) and Lisa Joy (co-creator/executive producer/director, Westworld). The Great Diary Project, at the Bishopsgate Institute in London, has also contributed dozens of diaries, penned by women and focusing on women’s issues, for display inside the exhibit. The Room will also include an audio file contribution from the collection of the all-time best-selling novelist, Agatha Christie.
“HBO has a long history of bringing female characters to life in a way that is honest, relatable, and often unexpected,” said Dana Lichtenstein, Director, Consumer Marketing, Brand and Product at HBO. “We hope that the Inspiration Room will be a place for women to tell their own authentic stories, and feel a larger sense of community around our shared experiences.”
To bring different expressions of the female voice to life inside the Room, HBO’s partners also helped develop original nightly programming throughout the week featuring guest speakers, intimate talks and additional interactive sessions.
Nightly programming includes:
● Monday 3/18, 5–7pm: Power: Padma Lakshmi in Conversation with Soledad O’Brien
Author, actress, model and TV personality Padma Lakshmi will sit for a short discussion with journalist Soledad O’Brien on the topic of power: the power of women and their words, how we lose and gain it in our lives, and how it impacts everything.
● Tuesday 3/19, 6–8pm: A Night on Visibility, hosted by The Wing
The Room presents an evening of storytelling on the nature of visibility, led by writer and storyteller Sofija Stefanovic, hosted by The Wing.
● Wednesday 3/20, 6–9pm: A Night with Bustle
A special roundtable discussion and live performances presented by Bustle. The evening will feature a spoken word reading from Ashley August, as well as music from Sonya Kitchell.
● Thursday 3/21, 6–8pm: Skimm’d from the Couch LIVE Recording
Co-founders of theSkimm, Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, will record a live podcast featuring Sarah Goldberg, actress on Barry. Sarah has contributed a diary entry and a film to The Inspiration Room, and will discuss what journaling, performing and being a woman today mean to her.
● Friday 3/22, 6–8pm: The Writers Workshop, Presented by Girls Write Now
Nonprofit Girls Write Now will host an evening alongside HBO writers Amy Aniobi (Insecure, 2 Dope Queens, Silicon Valley), Carly Wray (Watchmen, The Leftovers, Westworld) and Lila Byock (Watchmen, The Leftovers) to talk about bringing multidimensional women and their stories to life.
● Sat. 3/23, 6–8pm: Sneak Peek of Gentleman Jack, coming to HBO in 2019
The Inspiration Room will host a sneak peek of Gentleman Jack. From Sally Wainwright and starring Suranne Jones as Anne Lister, this series tells a remarkable and unlikely love story, set in the complex, changing world of 1832 Halifax. Every part of the story is based in historical fact, recorded in the four million words of the real-life Anne Lister’s diaries, which contain the most intimate details of her life, once hidden in a secret code that is now broken.
● Sunday 3/24, 4–8pm: Live Diary Readings + Gallery Night
Several of the women who have contributed content to the Room will be reading their entries aloud, starting at 4pm. The Room will be open to the public during these readings, and afterwards, until 8pm.
To attend nightly programming in the Room, those interested can RSVP here: HBOInspirationRoom.eventbrite.com
Additionally, New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) will be holding an intimate fireside chat in the Room on the morning of Monday the 18th with Emmy-nominated journalist and documentary filmmaker, Alexandra Pelosi.
The Inspiration Room exhibit was brought to life in partnership with creative agency Wieden+Kennedy New York. “The Inspiration Room is a place filled with stories every bit as thriving and complex as the ones HBO puts on TV,” said Jaclyn Crowley, creative director at Wieden+Kennedy. “The network has a rich history of strong female leads in its programming, and we want to put that kind of complexity front and center by giving women a platform — and space — to inspire other women.”
For more information on The Inspiration Room, please visit HBOInspirationRoom.com.
Launched in 2018, the HBO campaign highlights the contributions of women who work behind the scenes on its shows, and celebrates the audiences who watch them.
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