In a just world, based on demographics, America would have had at least 22 female presidents by now, and at least half of all public events commemorating or teaching history would highlight the accomplishments of women. But, since we can’t have Women’s History Month six times a year, we’ll have to immerse ourselves in it when it comes around each March. The City of Kingston is one of the places that puts a lot into the observance.
Beginning with a reading by Bard College writer-in-residence Valeria Luiselli from her much-lauded novel Lost Child Archive at Rough Draft on March 2 and running through a dance/poetry performance piece by Nia & Ness about the black lesbian experience at the Idea Garden on the 31st, the offerings under the aegis of Women’s History Month Kingston are as diverse as women themselves. There will be several art shows, live performances, film screenings, lectures – including a couple at the A. J. Williams Myers African Roots Library about black women suffragists and Zora Neale Hurston – workshops, discussions, business networking events, a donation drive for the Darmstadt Shelter, a cocktail party honoring four prominent Kingston women and even an unclassifiable gathering on the 12th at the Love Hair Salon, aimed at women of color, that will include skin care tips, lunch and plenty of schmoozing about women’s history, wellness and relationships.
The full list of Women’s History Month Kingston events can be found below. Upon perusal, certain patterns emerge: Self-care for survivors of sexual abuse, for instance, is an ongoing theme, reflecting the exhaustion and depletion that many women feel at this point in history. Women’s spirituality intersects with the practice of agriculture, reflecting our ancient and sacred role as nurturers, at several of these events. The perspectives of women of color, including indigenous people, are intrinsically interwoven into this tapestry of offerings.
In a particularly intriguing juxtaposition, there are two events that focus on ways in which women liberate themselves via bicycling: a screening at the YMCA on the 21st of Ovarian Psycos, a documentary about a crew of female cyclists/community organizers in East LA, and a hands-on, feet-on Women’s Bike Fest at the Everette Hodge Community Center on March 8. See yourself more as a gathering storm at sea than Hell on wheels? This month has got you covered as well, with a Women’s Sailing Conference at the Hudson River Maritime Museum on the 28th.
Another emerging theme among these weavings is “radical” feminism as defined by the movement itself during the Second Wave of the 1970s – meaning working outside of existing patriarchal-dominated systems, instead of waiting for them to get fixed: women helping women. Attend several of these events and you might feel heartened, with a sense that a groundswell is happening.
That subterranean rumbling will erupt in front of the Ulster County Courthouse at noon on March 29, with a bilingual flash-mob performance of “Un Violador en Tu Camino” (“A Rapist on Your Path”). This choreographed protest chant, about three minutes long, describes how institutions uphold systematic violations of women’s rights and bodily integrity, ending with fingers pointed at the structure in question and the words “The rapist is you!” Originating in Chile, it has gone viral worldwide with the help of YouTube tutorials, and now comes to Kingston for the first time.
Whatever your age, socioeconomic class, color, profession, sexual orientation or level of radicalization, there’s something happening during Women’s History Month Kingston that will interest you. Most of the events, though not all, have free admission, and RSVPs through Eventbrite are not required but much appreciated by the organizers. Learn more at www.whmk.org/events.
Women’s History Month Kingston events
Monday, March 2
7-9 p.m.: Valeria Luiselli Reads from Lost Child Archive, Rough Draft Bar & Books, 82 John St., Kingston, RSVP
Rough Draft Bar & Books in Kingston, Women’s History Month Kingston and Radio Kingston combine to present Bard writer-in-residence Valeria Luiselli reading from her novel Lost Children Archive on Monday, March 2. Lost Children Archive was named by The New York Times as one of the best books of 2019. The Washington Post called Lost Children Archive “an epic road trip [that also] captures the unruly intimacies of marriage and parenthood.”
Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. An acclaimed writer of both fiction and nonfiction, she is the recipient of a 2019 MacArthur Fellowship and the winner of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, an American Book Award and the Carnegie Medal. She has been nominated for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, the Kirkus Prize and the Booker Prize.
Luiselli will read from her novel. Journalist Mariel Fiori will facilitate a question-and-answer session with the audience. This event is free and first-come, first-serve. Those who wish to guarantee a seat can do so by purchasing a copy of the book from Rough Draft ahead of time.
Thursday, March 5
5-6 p.m.: Home Care Is a Women’s Issue, Restorative Justice and Community Empowerment Center, 733 Broadway, Kingston, Free admission
The Caring Majority will show a 35-minute film, Care, which follows three home workers, with a panel discussion featuring Julia Solow, Sandra Moore Giles, Gemma Calinda and Gladys Figueroa, and moderated by Christine Dinsmore.
Saturday, March 7 –
Kingston First Saturday
4-6 p.m.: Women & Earth
J. Williams Myers African Roots Library, 43 Gill St., Kingston
Sally Bermanzohn will talk about Native American women and Sarah Elisabeth will speak on the Wise Woman Tradition.
4-7 p.m.: The Source of Self-Regard
The Idea Garden, 346 Broadway, Kingston
Reception/donation drive for Darmstadt Shelter, featuring the artwork of women of color with food donated by Outdated Café. Bring along a clean/still-usable item of baby or women’s clothing or other necessities to be donated to the Darmstadt Shelter/Family of Woodstock.
5-8 p.m.: CelebrateWomxn845 x PUGG Opening Reception, Arts Society of Kingston, 97 Broadway, Kingston
Featuring women, femme and nonbinary visual artists in a show curated by PUGG students. Also opening: “Shapes of Fragmented Memories: Art by Isabel Nazario.”
5-8 p.m.: First SaturGAY Art Opening: “Untitled”, Sassafras Mercantile, 37 Broadway, Kingston
Featuring the work of Jamie Sanin with DJ Jere and drinks.
Sunday, March 8
10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Kingston Women’s Bike Fest, Everette Hodge Community Center, 15-21 Franklin St., Kingston
Free admission; RSVP
Peer support and education workshops to help participants develop the skills and improved confidence they need to become more active bicyclists, featuring a keynote by Cello Williams.
4-6 p.m.: Young People Celebrate Women’s History
Arts Society of Kingston, 97 Broadway, Kingston, Free admission
A student showcase featuring drama by New Genesis Productions, dance by the Vanaver Caravan and song by Hudson Valley Youth Chorale; includes a brownie reception.
Wednesday, March 11
7-9 p.m.: An Evening with the Sob Sisters Journalists’ Club
Rough Draft Bar & Books, 82 John St., Kingston, Free with food/drink/book purchase; RSVP
Featuring Karen Abbot, Susannah Cahalan and Ada Calhoun, three highly acclaimed journalists reading from their recently published books.
Thursday, March 12
7-9 p.m.: Womxn’s Open Mic
Arts Society of Kingston, 97 Broadway, Kingston
Sign up from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to perform sevenish minutes.
Friday, March 13
6-8 p.m.: Farming While Black: African Diasporic Wisdom for Farming and Food Justice YMCA of Kingston & Ulster County, 507 Broadway, Kingston, Free admission (includes food; childcare provided); RSVP
African Roots Center presents Leah Penniman in conversation with the public.
Saturday, March 14
1-3 p.m.: Women Making History
The Yoga House, 474 Broadway, Kingston
A feedback circle for women entrepreneurs and all women in business to help you grow and break into the next level of your enterprise.
5-7 p.m.: Black Suffragists: Standing up to White Supremacy, A. J. Williams Myers African Roots Center, 43 Gill St., Kingston, Free admission
A presentation and discussion about black suffragists, the Seneca Falls Convention, the Woman Suffrage Procession and the 15th and 19th Amendments.
Sunday, March 15
6-9 p.m.: Herstory: A Cocktail-Style Party to Honor Four Women Who Make Kingston History, The Church House, 355 Hasbrouck Ave., Kingston,$50 suggested donation (all proceeds go towards party costs), RSVP
Honoring Vera Van Dyke, Irene Lawson, Sally Bermanzohn and Andrea Shaut, with catering by Grounded, a film by Ethan Scott Barnett and music by Harambee.
Wednesday, March 18
6-7 p.m.: Revoked Consent: A Workshop for Caregivers, Kingston Library, 55 Franklin St., Kingston, Free admission; RSVP
A workshop for caregivers and educators to learn more about modeling and supporting youth with setting and respecting healthy boundaries. Facilitated by Maria Jansdotter Farr, with free childcare provided by Radio Kingston.
Saturday, March 21
6-8 p.m.: Intersections: A Film Screening of Ovarian Psycos and Panel Discussion
YMCA of Kingston & Ulster County, 507 Broadway, Kingston, Free admission (includes food; childcare provided)
A film about a feminist group of women in Los Angeles who take back the streets. Film runs about an hour, with community/panel discussion immediately to follow.
Sunday, March 22
2-4 p.m.: The Seven Faces of the Feminine: Tender, Fierce and Whole, Anahata, 35 North Front St., Kingston, Donations accepted
Come and learn of the Seven Faces revealing the fullness of the feminine nature, and how we are to embody and live these energies in our world today. With featured speaker Meghan Don of New Zealand. All are welcome.
6-9 p.m.: Women in Film and Media Panel, Aaron Rezny’s Studio, 76 Prince St., Kingston, Free admission; RSVP
The Woodstock Film Festival presents a diverse group of accomplished women working in the film and media industry for an open discussion on career trajectories.
Monday, March 23
7-8:30 p.m.: Women’s New Moon Shakti Circle, Anahata, 35 North Front St., Kingston, Donations accepted
Join Nidhi Huba and Theresa Widmann for a ceremony to the divine cosmic energy of the feminine, Shakti. All are welcome.
Thursday, March 26
7-9 p.m.: “I’m Sorry”: A Writing- and Discussion-Based Workshop for Survivors
The Idea Garden, 346 Broadway, Kingston
18+ to register; preference given to folks who identify as black, indigenous, POC, LGBTQIA
A writing workshop inspired by Eve Ensler’s The Apology, designed to give self-identified survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and coercive control the opportunity to write themselves a version of an apology from the responsible party.
Friday, March 27
March 27/28, 7 p.m.; March 29, 3 p.m.: HVSS Players Present Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, Arts Society of Kingston, 97 Broadway, Kingston, $12
Youth actors put on a retelling of the Orpheus myth from the female perspective, featuring a live band. For audiences of all ages.
Saturday, March 28
9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Women’s Sailing Conference
Hudson River Maritime Museum, 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston, $35
Modeled on the National Women’s Sailing Conference. Beginner and advanced sailors can expect a full day of exploration at this women-teaching-women sailing conference, with keynote by Dawn Riley.
6-8 p.m.: An Evening with Zora Neale Hurston, A. J. Williams Myers African Roots Center, 43 Gill St., Kingston, Free admission
Featuring the life and work of the American author, anthropologist and filmmaker.
Sunday, March 29
12-1 p.m.: Un Violador en Tu Camino performance, Outside the Ulster County Courthouse, 285 Wall St., Kingston, Free admission
A Rapist on Your Path is a feminist performance started in Chile, which has been staged in cities around the world and is now coming to Kingston. Spanish-speaking and English-speaking women and female-aligned people are invited to come and perform this bilingual three-minute song together. The event will be livestreamed by Radio Kingston.
5-7 p.m.: The Future of #MeToo with Onnesha Roychoudhuri & Courtney Zoffness, Rough Draft Bar & Books, 82 John St., Kingston, Free admission with food/drink/book purchase
A conversation with writers who will read from their published work on feminism and the MeToo Movement.
Tuesday, March 31
7-8 p.m.: Our Home Is Worth Fighting For, The Idea Garden, 346 Broadway, Kingston, Free admission
Dance and spoken-word duo Nia & Ness will perform an excerpt of their piece, Home, followed by a question-and-answer session. This closing event for Women’s History Month Kingston explores the daily realities of a black, lesbian couple living and loving in Rosendale.