The 100th Anniversary Conference and Exhibition Celebration at the State Museum in Albany, NY

It was an incredible time experiencing the conference and opening reception of the exhibition! You could feel the exciting energy of the participants and the speakers. What we at the New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network had been working on and part of for three years came to an exciting culmination in this conference. Excitement and greater commitment to the cause were generated along with finding sisters and brothers akin to the task of working toward true equality and a bigger celebration nationally in 2020.

Speaking from her great passion, Sally Roesch Wagner shared her humorous stories working for women’s rights and equality in the 1960s and 70s as well as her suffering heartache from the pain of violation. We cried with her as she felt safe with us gathered in our mutual trust and care to declare what she had kept in her heart for too long.

Our dear friends and colleagues, Anne Rostosky and Brenda Conway, drove up from Pennsylvania to attend the opening reception dressed as suffragettes. With them, Ted and I experienced the excellent, thoroughly-detailed exhibition with countless artifacts related to the struggle for women’s rights and their right to vote.

I was so pleased to see that Lillie Devereux Blake was an integral part of the struggle for women’s right to vote. Her photographs and stories about her participating actively and leading parts of the movement in New York State were astounding. It was Lillie who championed creating the Margaret Fuller Memorial and Pavilion at Point O’Woods, Fire Island, in 1901.

It was exciting to see Rep. Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan leading one of the marches for women’s rights in a huge blown-up photograph in the exhibition. To hear and see Bella Abzug on film speaking about getting her own credit card without her husband’s signature of approval was extraordinary!

As I read the beautifully-illustrated and storied exhibition catalogue which accompanies the terrific show, I am grateful that the curators included Margaret Fuller in the initial chapter focusing on the agitation women were causing for their rights. They included her extraordinary book, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, in its 1855 edition which her friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson, helped bring forth.

Our dear, long-time friend, Marguerite Kearns, came from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to celebrate her Quaker grandmother’s “Spirit of 1776” Suffrage Wagon from Long Island which is on display in the exhibition. It was Marguerite who brought me into the New York Network’s Women’s Rights and Suffrage History committee’s monthly conference call as well as told me about the Pomeroy Foundation Historical Marker grants.

I will learn more and share more here as I carefully peruse and explore more about the suffrage movement in NYS from this extensive exhibition catalog.

It was a fabulous day and evening! If you can, please come out to the exhibition which goes on until May 18, 2018. You will never be the same!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Driving Up To The Albany Conference for the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote 2017

As I awakened in Lederach, PA this morning, I felt a great excitement as Ted and I prepared for the New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network’s conference focused on the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote on Saturday in conjunction with the State Museum’s opening reception for the accompanying exhibition. I felt the deepening presence of the Transcendentalists Emerson, Thoreau, the Alcotts, George Ripley, and Margaret Fuller blessing us as we prepared for our journey northward driving up to Albany. The trees were splendidly magnificent in their red and golden colors with the beautiful cliffs and rock formations surrounding us as we drove through the Hudson Valley. As an intuitive also, one of the tribe carrying on the lineage of the Transcendentalists, I “saw” in my mind’s eye a young native mother holding her baby up for Christian baptism in the Hudson at the time of colonial occupation. Suddenly while driving, I started singing “illiana,” the song Ted and I had written in the 1990s for our beloved native sister who was leaving her abusive husband to return to her family and people. It felt good remembering illiana while driving through this fabulous landscape which was filled with dark clouds looming overhead and spritzes of rain. November is Native American Awareness Month, which the Syracuse Cultural Workers’ Peace calendar honors with their “Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” through the art piece, “Walking With Our Sisters,” http://Syracuseculturalworkers.com. This past year has revealed the many years of the Unitarian Universalist Association being run by white supremacists, the exact opposite of what this inclusive liberal church stands for “On the Side Of Love.” At lunch a few weeks ago, I was able to visit with Greta Browne and her husband, Guy Gray, dear old friends who now live in Brazil. Greta had been a UU minister at the Pottstown, PA fellowship who was deeply loved. During our ministerial process (Greta brought me into the process in 2000), we were both prevented from offering our loving care and gifts to UU ministry. The white male ministers and lay leaders chosen for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Sub-Committee made me feel as though I was in a dark cave of the black widow spider during the interview. One leading public liberation theologist actually attacked my masculine and feminine aspects personally during the second and last interview. When Ted was also energetically attacked through the telephone as the UUA Coordinator of Ministerial Aspirants was talking with me, I “knew” it was time to quit. These dangerous and diabolical men were serious in their savage attacks on good people who wanted to serve the fellowships. So when I told Greta what had recently been revealed, she and Guy were so relieved because they were still suffering from that horrible treatment all these years. How important it is for us to find out the truth, stand up to injustice, and celebrate who we are. Margaret Fuller encouraged men and women to liberate themselves from stereotypical gender roles and embrace their fluid, ever-changing “sacred marriage within”. She shared this wholeheartedly in her exquisite work, “Woman in the Nineteenth Century,” which she wrote in Fishkill Landing, NY, in the fall of 1844. Hopefully, she will be included in the celebration and exhibition at the State Museum opening Saturday night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes! We Are Getting Closer to November 4, 2017: “2020 Commitment to the Vision – Glimpse Yesterday! Feel Today! Inspire Tomorrow!” New York Women’s Suffrage Centennial Conference

Please check out the agenda for the New York Cultural Tourism Network’s Women’s Suffrage Centennial Conference on November 4, 2017 at the State Museum’s Cultural Education Center in Albany, NY at http://www.nywomenshistory.com. It is a day of celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote in New York State with movement and planning toward the National Celebration in 2020 culminating in the opening reception for “Votes For Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial” at the State Museum from 5 to 8 pm. Please come out if you can!

Completing the Margaret Fuller Circle

Ted suggested that it would only take a little more time driving home from Boston to stopover in Beacon to see the Margaret Fuller Historical Marker I helped bring to Beacon last year. It was marvelous to be back! Carmen Johnson, coordinator of volunteers at the Beacon Visitors’ Center where the marker is located, was on duty and lovely to be with again. We explored the interesting shops on Main Street after eating lunch and seeing the contemporary art at Dea.

What a powerful journey to celebrate Margaret Fuller in Boston, Cambridge, and Concord, culminating in a spontaneous visit to Beacon, NY on the way home to complete the circle. Margaret led significant lives in Massachusetts and New York State before going to Europe.