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Reed Library to welcome New York State Museum’s ‘Votes for Women’ exhibition
Monday, October 30, 2017

Reed Library to welcome New York State Museum’s ‘Votes for Women’ exhibition

The New York State Museum’s traveling exhibition, “Votes for Women,” will be on display in Reed Library throughout November, beginning with an opening reception on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 5 pm.

Also featured is a companion exhibition, curated by Fredonia English students, that focuses on local women’s suffrage history, as well as the history of the League of Women Voters.

The opening reception will include a guest lecture by Niagara University professor Dr. Shannon Risk, who served as a content editor of the traveling exhibition. The event will commemorate the centennial anniversary of women's suffrage in New York and the role of local Chautauqua County women in the suffrage movement.

For those who cannot travel to Albany to see the state museum’s suffrage centennial exhibition in person, it is a great alternative opportunity, as the traveling exhibition curated by the state museum reflects the rich legacy of the women’s suffrage movement throughout the state. On the centennial anniversary of woman’s suffrage, the local opportunity to partake in the statewide celebration is also a great way to learn of the prominent grassroots campaigns women from Fredonia, Dunkirk, and throughout Chautauqua County played in the fight for liberties and equality for women.

According to the state museum, the exhibition is intended to raise public awareness of the struggle for women’s suffrage and equal rights in New York State from the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention through 1917 when New York State granted women the right to vote. The exhibition also address the nationally significant role of New York State leaders in regards to women’s rights and the feminist movement through the early 21st century.

The exhibition and reception event at Reed represents a culmination of women’s suffrage centennial activities that students in Dr. Emily VanDette’s English Senior Seminar have been involved with this semester. Earlier this fall, a guest lecture by Professor Traci Langworthy highlighted the Political Equality Clubs of Fredonia and Dunkirk during the suffrage movement, which helped Chautauqua County earn the distinction of having New York’s largest political equality clubs. Following Ms. Langworthy’s lecture, Carol Adams, author of “The Sexual Politics of Meat” and numerous other books, visited Fredonia and spoke about Western New York’s unique role in the 19th century women’s rights movement and addressed the legacy of racism in that movement and in society.

Additionally, Dr. VanDette’s Senior Seminar teamed up with the WCA Home of Fredonia to celebrate the home’s 125th anniversary this fall and to shed light on the activist roots of its founding. Community members and residents of the home were treated to displays of local women’s history created by Fredonia students.

The lecture and reception, which last until 6:30 p.m., are sponsored by Fredonia’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Division of Engagement and Economic Development and Reed Library, and the Chautauqua County League of Women Voters. The event is free and open to the public, with an appetizer and cake reception catered by the Faculty Student Association. For more information, contact Dr. VanDette via email.

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