This year in Kingston, Women’s History Month is getting a dramatic upgrade.
About three dozen people have combined their all-volunteer efforts to put together a varied and deep schedule of events seeking to educate and celebrate women’s contributions to life in Kingston and beyond.
Women’s History Month Kingston grew out of last year’s Black History Month Kingston celebration, said Hillary Harvey, who helped assemble this March’s events, with substantial help, she said from Shaniqua Bowden and Sally Bermanzohn and many others. Harvey said she and others came out of the 2018 BHMK experience “feeling inspired” to take Women’s History Month to a higher level as Waters did for Black History Month. “There were a lot of people thinking the same thing at the same time and needing a place to gather it all together,” she said. “It’s all under this one umbrella to celebrate women together.”
Once Harvey and allies put a few things on the schedule, “it organically grew into a series of events,” she said. “It’s a big huge group effort to celebrate the contribution of women … and bring it home to Kingston and enjoy it together as a community.” Harvey added that another objective is to bring some attention to women in the community doing good works but not really doing them in the spotlight. Radio Kingston is helping to promote the entire event calendar, Harvey said.
Things get started on Friday, March 1 with a launch party featuring DJ Lady Verse starting at 8 p.m. at Rough Draft, 82 John St.
On Saturday, March 2, from 6:30-9 p.m. will be the opening reception for “The Book of Persistence” by Rita Bolla, a collection of 15 portraits of 15 women at Peace Nation Café, 636 Broadway. The exhibit will be up at the café through the end of the month.
On Sunday, March 3, from 1-3 p.m. at the upstairs theater at ASK at 97 Broadway will be “Performing Arts Visual Arts: Young Women Celebrate Their History.” Featuring original monologues about famous historical women with New Genesis Productions Youth Theater, performances by the Center for Creative Education’s Energy Girls, a student-choreographed dance by the Anne Hebard School of Ballet and a musical performance by the teen band Atria (produced by Donna Lewis). After the one-hour performance, participants are invited to stay for refreshments and check out the ASK galleries, where a member show themed “A Sense of Place” and “Voyagers: Artists in Italy” curated by Nancy Campbell are up.
On Thursday, March 7 from 5-7 p.m. at Kingston Artists Collective, 63 Broadway, will be The Nubian Café, a panel discussion from the perspective of women of color on various issues affecting the community.
There’s a lot more later in the month — a panel discussion on race and women (March 9), a Woodstock Film Festival symposium on women and film and TV, co-hosted by Radio Kingston and set for March 16 and March 31’s Kingston Women’s Bike Fest are three of several events planned. We’ll have coverage as the month unfolds; Harvey said more events are being added and suggests those interested check out the WMHK Facebook page at facebook.com/womenshistorymonthkingston.