Celebrate Women’s History Month and Irish American Heritage Month at the Smithsonian
The Smithsonian invites the public to celebrate Women’s History Month and Irish American Heritage Month this March through a series of vibrant performances, lectures, family activities and exhibitions at its museums. All programs are free unless otherwise indicated.
On Saturday, March 10, the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., will host “We Can Do It! Women in Aviation and Space.” From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. families can learn about the historical contributions women have made to aviation and space exploration. The day will feature presentations from women in STEM fields, hands-on activities and historical characters and stories. Parking is $15.
Also on Saturday, March 10, the National Postal Museum will host Women’s History Month Family Day. Visitors can explore the various roles women have held in the Post Office Department throughout history. Special guests include female USPS postal inspectors and an Amelia Earhart re-enactor.
The National Museum of the American Indian, in collaboration with the Embassy of Canada, will host a three-day series of demonstrations and dialogues honoring Canadian artists Carla Hemlock (Kahnewake Mohawk) and Naomi Smith (Anishinaabe). “The Art of Canadian Women” will run Thursday–Saturday, March 8–10, from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.
On Wednesday, March 14, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Anacostia Community Museum will host “Ten Strong: Women of Barry Farm/Hillsdale.” Curator Alcione M. Amos will discuss the lives of 10 women from the historic settlement of Barry Farm/Hillsdale, a community established by the Freedmen’s Bureau to help solve the housing problem created by an influx of African American refugees to Washington during the Civil War. Registration is available at www.anacostia.si.edu or (202) 633-4844.
On Saturday, March 17, “Urban Waterways Community Forum: Women and Environmental Leadership,” will examine the role of women in the stewardship of the environment. Visitors can join conservation leaders as they describe projects and processes at the Anacostia Community Museum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration is available at www.anacostia.si.edu or (202) 633-4844.
On Saturday, March 3, at 3 p.m., the Smithsonian American Art Museum will present Who Does She Think She Is? in its McEvoy Auditorium. This documentary, from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Pamela Tanner Boll, tells the story of five women who refuse to choose between motherhood and art. Sybil E. Gohari, art history professor at American University, and Boll will lead a post-film discussion.
On Saturday, March 10, at 6 p.m., the Shannon Gunn Ensemble pays tribute to women composers in the McEvoy Auditorium at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Trombonist Shannon Gunn and her ensemble will perform music written by women in jazz, from Lil Hardin Armstrong in the 1920s to a multimedia performance of today.
On Friday, March 23, at 6 p.m., the Luce Unplugged Community Showcase will celebrate women artists with local female bands Governess and Antonia. Visitors can discover artworks by women and enjoy free spirit tastings hosted by the women-owned distillery Republic Restoratives. The showcase will be held in the Luce Foundation Center at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
“American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith” is on exhibit at the National Museum of American History. This recently opened exhibition shares stories of the women who fought for and obtained the right to vote. Artifacts on display include Susan B. Anthony’s red shawl, the women’s suffrage wagon, the 19th Amendment pen and the “Declaration of Sentiments” table.
“Many Voices, One Nation” is on exhibit at the National Museum of American History. This exhibition highlights the stories of immigrants who came together to create the United States known today. Stories of Irish American immigrants include that of John L. Sullivan, who fought his way to the boxing heavyweight championship. Several artifacts highlighting Irish American history and heritage are also featured.
Also at the National Museum of American History, the “Within These Walls” exhibition, a colonial-era house, explores the story of Irish immigrant Catherine Lynch, who rented a side of the house in the 1870s and ’80s. It chronicles her home-laundry business and the kinds of tools she would have used in her work.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum will host special walk-in tours in honor of Women’s History and Irish American Heritage Month. On March 7 and 14, the tours will examine some of the struggles and achievements of women through pieces at the museum. On March 9 and 16, a docent will lead a tour and conversation on Irish American art and artists from the museum’s collections. Tours are offered at 12:30 p.m. and groups meet in the F Street lobby.
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