NYC Cultural Organizations Unite to Celebrate Women’s Suffrage Centennial

The exhibition Women March at the New-York Historical Society explores the efforts of a wide range of women to expand American democracy in the centuries before and after the suffrage. It is part of The Women’s Suffrage NYC Centennial Consortium, a collaboration of cultural organizations citywide with exhibitions and programs that, together, offer a multi-dimensional picture of the history of women’s suffrage and its lasting, ongoing impact © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(New York, NY) One hundred years ago, women earned the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th amendment. To honor their fight and commemorate this moment in history, a collective of New York City cultural organizations has formed the Women’s Suffrage NYC Centennial Consortium.

The Women’s Suffrage NYC Centennial Consortium is a collaboration of cultural organizations citywide that foregrounds exhibitions and programs that, together, offer a multi-dimensional picture of the history of women’s suffrage and its lasting, ongoing impact. The consortium has launched www.WomensSuffrageNYC.org to highlight the activities being presented across New York City throughout 2020.

Founding members are the New-York Historical Society, the Staten Island Museum, the New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Historical Society, the Museum of the City of New York, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Brooklyn Museum, Park Avenue Armory, and Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden.

Announced programming includes the exhibition Women March at the New-York Historical Society, which explores the efforts of a wide range of women to expand American democracy in the centuries before and after the suffrage victory (February 28 – August 30); Women of the Nation Arise! Staten Islanders in the Fight for Women’s Right to Vote at the Staten Island Museum, which presents the remarkable stories of local suffragists acting on the grassroots level to create the momentum necessary for regional and national change and the bold tactics they employed to win the vote (March 7 – December 30); the New York Philharmonic’s Project 19—a multi-season initiative to commission and premiere 19 new works by 19 women composers, the largest women-only commissioning initiative in history, which launched earlier this month and continues in the spring (May – June) and beyond; and 100 Years | 100 Women a partnership of Park Avenue Armory with National Black Theatre and nine other cultural institutions in New York City to commission work exploring the complex legacy of the 19th Amendment 100 years after its ratification from 100 artists who identify as women or gender non-binary (showcase of commissions on May 16).

For a full list of exhibitions, events, and programs, visit WomensSuffrageNYC.org.

The consortium is committed to showcasing women’s contributions to the past, present, and future. Though many women were given access to the right to vote 100 years ago, the fight for equality continues. Their goal is to expand the conversation through meaningful cultural experiences that convey that all women should be seen, heard, and counted.

The Women’s Suffrage NYC Centennial Consortium is co-chaired by Janice Monger, president & CEO of the Staten Island Museum, and Valerie Paley, director of the Center for Women’s History and senior vice president and chief historian at the New-York Historical Society, to bring together a group of vital New York City cultural organizations with a shared vision to honor the Women’s Suffrage Centennial.

“We are so proud to bring together this collective of organizations and colleagues who share the vision that women’s stories are important and need to be told. All of these activities represent multi-faceted, nuanced cultural and historical insights into the early 20th century movement and equality in progress today,” said Janice Monger, consortium co-chair and Staten Island Museum president & CEO.

“In an effort that was many decades in the making, a century ago, women came together to fight for and win the right to vote. While that right was not fully and immediately extended to all women, their continued collective action galvanized movements to expand and give substantive meaning to American democracy after the suffrage victory,” said Valerie Paley, consortium co-chair and senior vice president and chief historian at the New-York Historical Society, where she directs the Center for Women’s History. “Through these cultural experiences across New York City, we hope New Yorkers and visitors alike will be inspired by the women who made history and the women who are making history now,” she added.

The Women’s Suffrage NYC Centennial Consortium will continue to grow as new programs and exhibitions are announced during the year.

The Women’s Suffrage NYC Centennial Consortium has been supported by the founding organizations and Humanities New York.

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Deadline Looms to Sign Up for 16th Annual Global Scavenger Hunt Contest to Crown ‘World’s Greatest Travelers’

Global Scavenger Hunt “Lazy Monday” team of Kathryn & Eric of California race to complete the scavenge challenge at the archeological wonder, Petra, Jordan. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

LOS ANGELES, USA – Only a few spots remain for adventurous Indiana Jones-types and intrepid Nellie Bly hopefuls willing to compete in the Super Bowl of travel adventures that crowns The World’s Greatest Travelers and hands them a free trip around the world winner-take-all first place prize.  
 
All you have to do is circle the globe and visit ten secret countries in the one-of-a-kind travel adventure while out-doing, out-thrilling and out-traveling a worthy collection of international travelers participating in the 2020 event.

Serious travelers are a competitive breed, from: “How many countries have you been to?” and “We’ve been there, did you do…?” to watching TV’s Amazing Race saying, “I could do that!” Well now they can with a trip, trophy and title on the line, not to mention a free trip around the world to defend their crowns in 2021. 

The 16th edition of The Global Scavenger Hunt travel adventure competition aims to return the romance of travel while testing the travel IQ of the most travel savvy of globetrotters. They will complete a series of highly participatory, authentic and challenging cultural site-doing scavenges in ten secret countries over a 23-day circumnavigation between April 17th and May 9th, 2020. Trusting strangers in strange lands is required!

Last call interested travelers need to apply online at GlobalScavengerHunt.com as the deadline nears.

“The Global Scavenger Hunt covers a lot of extraordinary travel bases,” says author and Event Director William Chalmers, “Taking our blind date with the world is a 21st century version of spinning a globe and throwing out your finger. Maybe that’s why we’ve been called the ‘Super Bowl of Travel,’ the ‘Olympics of Travel’, and one writer even called our annual travel adventure the ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. I liked that one!”

The reviews for the annual world travel championship are in too: Conde Nast Traveler calls The Global Scavenger Hunt, “the best trip to take…”;  Frommer’s lists it as one of “best adrenaline adventures…” in the world; Outside magazine bills it as, “One of the most amazing trips in the world…”; and National Geographic says that the event is, “…like Survivor, The Amazing Race and the Eco-Challenge all rolled into one except with much more cultural interaction.” 

The 23-day around the world event is limited to 15 teams of two with the $25,000 per team entry fee including: all international airfare, first class hotels, 40% of meals and special event-sponsored travel gear. Single travelers are welcome to apply; and all travelers will be interviewed for suitability. Contact GreatEscape Adventures at +1.310.281.7809 or apply online at GlobalScavengerHunt.com.

See our series on doing the 15th Annual Global Scavenger Hunt at goingplacesfarandnear.com.

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Vermont Adaptive Files for Permit to Build New $2 Million Adaptive Sports Facility at Sugarbush Resort’s Mt. Ellen

Ray Hamilton, Veteran Ventures: “Vermont Adaptive makes the things you think are impossible, possible. I never thought I would see kids who are blind skiing or biking, but Vermont Adaptive makes it happen.” On top of learning to snowboard, becoming a volunteer snowboarding coach, and getting outside every single week, Ray said that being with Vermont Adaptive has taught him more about himself, and given him a second chance.

KILLINGTON, Vt. — Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports officials have filed an Act 250 permit application with the state of Vermont to build a new, $2 million adaptive sports facility at Sugarbush Resort’s Mt. Ellen. The application states that Vermont Adaptive is the applicant and Sugarbush Resort is the landowner. If approved, Vermont Adaptive’s Executive Director Erin Fernandez said the organization will break ground on the new facility in the spring. 

“We’re in the final stages of our fundraising and are grateful for the continued support from Win Smith, Sugarbush, and its new owner, Alterra, to allow us to build our second adaptive sports facility in the state right here at our home at Mt. Ellen,” said Fernandez. “Friends and participants of Vermont Adaptive’s programs at Sugarbush have pledged a generous challenge to match every dollar up to $1 million for this Sugarbush facility. Sugarbush officials have granted a long term lease of the land necessary to build upon. We saw huge growth in our programs and the number of people who can participate in year-round sports when we built our first adaptive sports facility at Pico Mountain in 2013. We’re excited for the potential growth in the Mad River Valley with this next phase of our Home Sweet Home permanent homes campaign.”

Architectural plans, renderings and permitting began in Spring 2018 for the new 4,000-sq. ft. adaptive sports facility. Plans for the Sugarbush facility were designed by Jeff Dunham Architecture. Fernandez said that in addition to donations from individuals, the organization is seeking in-kind support in the form of building materials and more.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Vermont Adaptive in their efforts to build a new adaptive sports facility here at Mt. Ellen,” said Win Smith, president of Sugarbush Resort. “We believe in the great work of Vermont Adaptive and provide full support to realize their vision.”

Vermont Adaptive, nationally recognized for its year-round daily adaptive sports programs for people with any disability, has a total goal of $4 million to build, open and sustain this facility at Sugarbush, as well as to build a new permanent home on the Burlington Waterfront and Bike Path, and to create a sustainability fund to support these programs and facilities into the future.

“People with disabilities are more likely to have other health issues like heart disease, stroke, or diabetes which is why it is so important to provide programs for people to be active and live a healthy lifestyle,” said Fernandez. “This new facility allows us to grow and expand our existing programs and to serve more athletes with disabilities in the Mad River Valley and in Central Vermont, for those vacationing in Vermont, and beyond. More programs like wellness and environmental camps, plus retreats, social events, training seminars, and sport specific programs will be added to serve more people. Additional storage and maintenance spaces allow us to increase equipment capacity. The opportunities are limitless. In designing these facilities we thoughtfully consider and include features that focus on inclusion, adaptability and the participant’s overall experience. It’s a special and exciting time for us as we plant permanent roots in Central and Northern Vermont.”

The organization built and opened the Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge at Pico Mountain in November 2013 with the Pico Ski Education Foundation, marking the completion of the first phase of the Home Sweet Home campaign. This facility houses the organization’s headquarters and is the hub for year-round programming in southern Vermont and the greater Rutland/Killington region. It is one of the only year-round adaptive sports facilities in Vermont and New England.

Vermont Adaptive’s humble beginnings began on the ski trails at Mt. Ascutney more than 30 years ago in 1987. As the organization expanded throughout the state to meet the recreational needs of those with disabilities, it also began summer programs to eventually become a nationally recognized year-round organization.

To donate or inquire about naming opportunities, contact Fernandez at 802.353.8129 or director@vermontadaptive.org; . Donors can give online at Vermont Adaptive’s website. For more information about the new adaptive sports facility at Sugarbush, visit  www.vermontadaptive.org/permanent-homes.

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NYS to Invest $300 Million to “Reimagine” Erie Canal, Expand Recreational Activities, Finish 750-Mile Empire State Trail

As part of the $300 million plan to “Reimagine” the Erie Canal, a 750-mile Empire State Trail will be completed, including closing gaps of Erie Canalway that makes possible the annual  eight-day, 400-mile, Cycle the Erie bike tour (registration now open) © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

by Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

This is huge for New York State’s tourism and recreational opportunities: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s is proposing a $300 million plan to reimagine the Erie Canal by creating recreational activities on the Canal to boost tourism and recreational fishing, mitigate flooding, enhance irrigation and restore wetlands. 

“When the Erie Canal was created in the 19th century it set the state and the nation on a path to prosperity, and this year we will repurpose the canal to fit our state’s 21st century needs,” Governor Cuomo said. “This bold and visionary plan to transform this historic waterway will build on the success of the Empire State Trail (750 miles of connected bikeways), grow tourism across Upstate New York, improve resilience of today’s Canal communities and ensure the economic sustainability of the waterway into the future.”

“The canals have played a crucial role in New York’s history and growth, and with the implementation of these new exciting projects, the canals will remain a vital force and make a positive contribution to the economic well-being and quality of life in the 225 communities they travel through,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

A first phase of funding starting this year – through the New York Power Authority Board which oversees the Canal Corporation as a subsidiary –  includes a $100 million economic development fund to invest in communities along the Canal and a separate $65 million investment in solutions that will help prevent ice jams and related flooding in the Schenectady area.

The remaining $135 million of the plan’s funding will subsequently be allocated to research recommended by the Reimagine Task Force, as well as to solutionsrelated to flood mitigation, invasive species prevention and ecosystem restoration.

New Economic Development Fund for Canal Communities

In the first phase of the program, a $100 million economic development fund will support projects that adaptively reuse canal infrastructure to enhance water recreation, tie the Canal’s new recreational improvements to the Governor’s Empire State Trail, celebrate historic canal structures, and develop unique canalside attractions and activities. Roughly $25 million of that will be allocated immediately to a set of initial projects:

Connecting Communities: The “Brockport Loop” project in Monroe County will connect SUNY College at Brockport to the Empire State Trailand the village of Brockport through the transformation of a canal guard-gate into a pedestrian bridge and overlook, with a supporting grant of $2 million from the Ralph Wilson Foundation. 

Celebrating “Iconic Infrastructure”: Interactive, hydro-powered illumination of Canal “movable dams” – initially in Amsterdam and Canajoharie in the Mohawk River valley – will celebrate the Canal’s heritage and its history as an engineering marvel.

Expanding Water Recreation: A new whitewater destination, at the north end of Cayuga Lake near Seneca Falls, will rely on existing water control infrastructure to construct an active water sports course adjacent to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, to increase eco-tourism and sport visitors to the region.

Adapting Industrial Property for New Uses: Winner of the Reimagine the Canals competition, a canalside pocket neighborhood, will be developed by Madison County in Central New York at a former industrial property in Canastota along the Old Erie Canal – demonstrating a new model for 21st century canalside living.

Developing Destination Accommodations: The historic Guy Park Manor, on the Mohawk River in Amsterdam, will be reborn as a hospitality destination and a pedestrian bridge constructed across the already-existing Canal lock will provide access to additional overnight accommodation along the Empire State Trail on the opposite side of the river.

World-Class Fishing and Restored Wetlands 

To create world-class fishing in Western New York, the new plan recommends managing water releases from the Canal to enhance fish habitat, improve angling opportunities, and extend the fall fishing season in Lake Ontario tributaries. It also includes funding to expand public fishing access along key streams in Orleans, Monroe and Niagara Counties. In addition, it identifies a program to divert Canal water to restore and re-nourish wetlands in Central New York that were compromised a century ago by the Canal’s construction. This will allow areas in close proximity to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, a migratory stopover for more than 1 million birds each year, to be significantly enhanced to further attract naturalists, locals, and visitors from throughout the region and beyond. 

Ideas in this plan originated from the Reimagine the Canals Task Force recommendations,  launched by Governor Cuomo in May of 2019 to pursue a comprehensive investigation of how the 195-year-old Erie Canal could be reimagined for the 21st century. The Reimagine the Canals Task Force Report  was just released.

The Task Force engaged with municipal leaders, stakeholders, local business owners, scientists and other experts, along with community members, to identify opportunities and solutions that support a new vision for future investments in the waterway. Many of the ideas that the Task Force explored came from the completed Reimagine the Canals competition, held last year by the New York Power Authority and New York State Canal Corporation. SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute of Government, on behalf of the Task Force, conducted a series of outreach sessions during the summer in five canal communities – Lockport, Brockport, Schenectady, Utica and Syracuse – to solicit new ideas from the public at large. Ideas were also solicited on a Reimagine the Canals website, offering more distant canal users an opportunity to provide their views to the Task Force.

The “Reimagine” initiative builds on successful efforts by Governor Cuomo to invest in the canal corridor, including the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative and successful Taste NY program, which have stoked new industries, businesses and housing in canal communities. Harnessing the Canal’s full potential to attract more tourism and recreation is a key focus of the Initiative. Governor Cuomo and state agency and authority staff will collaborate with Empire Line communities and continue to consult with Task Force members and other stakeholders to ensure the success of projects as they move forward. 

There are 1.6 million trips taken annually on the Erie Canal Trailway, the former towpath used by mules and horses to pull barges in the canals’ early days. The Trailway is part of Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Trail, which at 750 miles will be the largest state multi-use trail network when completed in late 2020. Governor DeWitt Clinton began work on the original Erie Canal on July 4, 1817. 

In addition to investing $300 million in the Canal System, there are also plans to create two new state parks in the Hudson Valley, add 4,000 acres of land to parks and introduce a $3 billion “Restore Mother Nature” bond act.

Meanwhile, registration has opened for the 22nd Annual Cycle the Erie, eight-day 400-mile, fully supported biking/camping trip, from Buffalo to Albany, operated by Parks & Trails NY, taking place July 12-19, 2020. For information on Cycle the Erie Canal, call Parks & Trails New York, 518-434-1583, email eriecanaltour@ptny.org or visit www.ptny.org/cycle-the-erie-canal.

(See our series on Cycle the Erie, at goingplacesfarandnear.com)

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Country Walkers Offers Responsible Travel Itineraries That Support Conservation, Charitable Projects

Porto, a delightfully walkable city in northern Portugal, is featured on Country Walkers’ Porto-Lisbon tour which also supports “Farming for the Future” initiative © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Williston, VT –By 2030, 1.8 billion people – about 20 percent of the global population – are predicted to be tourists traveling the world. As the demand for global travel increases, consumers are faced with numerous decisions on how to make their trips more sustainable, including where to go, what to pack and how to get there. Country Walkers, a leading provider of walking adventures and a leader in responsible tourism for decades, offers travelers the opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable world through preserving indigenous cultures, supporting local economies, conserving wildlife and protecting the environment. 

“At Country Walkers, we are committed to a healthier planet and to giving back to the destinations we explore,” said Timo Shaw, President of Country Walkers. “Sustainability is one of our core values, from staying in locally owned and operated hotels whenever possible and seeking out environmentally and socially responsible accommodations, to our ardent support of the Slow Food movement in order to preserve culinary traditions and support biodiversity. As a result, those who travel with us contribute to a more sustainable world as well.” 

To further support special conservation and charitable projects in communities and habitats worldwide, Country Walkers created The Travelers Fund, which makes a donation on behalf of every traveler who books a specific tour. More than half of Country Walkers’ tours are associated with an initiative, including:

Mountain Rescue at Club Alpino Italiano (Country Walkers tour: Italy: The Amalfi Coast & Capri). Safety comes first on the Amalfi Coast with a donation to the local mountain rescue team, which primarily relies on volunteers and donations to obtain and maintain equipment for rapid emergency response for visitors and locals.

Wildlife Conservation in the Rocky Mountains (Country Walkers tours: Montana: Glacier National Park and Wyoming: Grand Teton & Yellowstone[KG1] ). The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative seeks to re-connect segments of land that have been separated by development, allowing animals to safely move from region to region on wildlife-friendly highway overpasses. Contributions are used towards constructing one of these wildlife structures.

Therapeutic Travel for Cancer Survivors in Quebec (Country Walkers tour: Quebec: Quebec City & the Saguenay Fjord). Country Walkers supports the Fondation Sur La Pointe des Pieds (“On the Tip of the Toes”), which provides young people ages 14 to 29 living with cancer with an opportunity to regain their sense of well-being through therapeutic adventure expeditions.

Assisting Pilgrims on Camino de Santiago (Country Walkers tour: Spain: Classic Camino de Santiago). The Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago coordinates a vast national network of hostels, volunteers, parishes, churches and shelters in an effort to keep more than 200,000 pilgrims safe, healthy and informed as they walk the Camino de Santiago.  

Clean Water in Zambia (Country Walkers tour: Zambia Safari: Exclusive Camps & Bush Walks). In Africa, currently 345 million people live without access to clean drinking water. Together with local partners in Zambia at Charity Begins Home, Country Walkers supports the “Commit to Clean Water” Fund, an initiative that seeks to transform rural communities by drilling wells into deep aquifers and pumping potable water to the surface.

Maintaining the Long Trail in Vermont (Country Walkers tour: Vermont: Fall Foliage). A highlight of the tour is walking along one of the most spectacular portions of the legendary 270-mile Long Trail, the nation’s first long-distance hiking trail. Country Walkers supports the Green Mountain Club, the stewards of this “footpath through the wilderness,” who also promote conservation of and education about Vermont’s mountains and rural land.

Advocacy for Small Businesses in Palermo (Country Walkers tour: Italy: Sicily). Country Walkers supports the nonprofit Addiopizzo movement, a grassroots coalition of over 850 shopkeepers aimed at squashing corruption in Sicily and educating locals about ethical business practices.

Conserving a Historic Chapel in Monterosso (Country Walkers tour: Italy: Portofino & Cinque Terre[KG2] ). In 2013, severe landslides destroyed the grounds of the historic Convento dei Cappuccini chapel and monastery. “Let’s Rebuild Monterosso’s Paradise” raises funds for the restoration, a cost far beyond the modest means of the town or diocese.

Cornwall Coastal Preservation (Country Walkers tour: England: The Cornwall Coast). The South West Coast Path Association advocates for improvements to more than 630 miles of this historic coastal trail system. As maintenance is costly, donations from Country Walkers on behalf of guests help maintain these paths that are heavily utilized on the tour.

Farming for the Future (Country Walkers tours: Portugal: Sintra, Óbidos & the Coast and Portugal: Porto to Lisbon). The Herdade do Freio do Meio farm applies principles of sustainability within the context of the Portuguese montado, a traditional pastoral agricultural system in which reducing reliance on fossil fuels and marketing regionally to provide fresh foods and minimize transport costs are key policies. The farm processes and sells many products on site, providing training and employment for locals.

Campobello Whale Rescue Team (Country Walkers tour: New Brunswick: Bay of Fundy & Campobello Island). Created by Mackie Green, the same captain who offers a whale watching excursion and boat transfers on the Country Walkers tour, the team is trained to dive and rescue whales trapped in fish netting. Donations support equipment and training.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Country Walkers tour: England: The Cotswolds). Stretching over 790 square miles, the Cotswolds is the largest recognized Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England due to its breathtaking scenery and rolling hills. Country Walkers supports efforts to keep the area well-preserved on behalf of every Cotswolds guest.

For more information on The Travelers Fund and Country Walkers’ sustainable travel initiatives, visit www.countrywalkers.com/sustainable-travel/ or call 800-234-6900.

For more than 40 years, Country Walkers has provided active, experiential, and stunning travel experiences on five continents. Based in Williston, Vt., the company’s specialized adventures and insider access bring the beating heart of a destination to life with well-crafted itineraries for Guided Walking and Self-Guided Walking. All walking trips highlight local cuisine, authentic accommodations, and immersive cultural experiences. Country Walkers is recognized as one of the leading providers of Walking Adventures worldwide, having garnered countless awards including National Geographic Traveler’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime” and Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” Awards.

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New-York Historical Society Leaps into Election Year with Exhibitions Showcasing Pillars of American Democracy

Rembrandt Peale. George Washington (1732–1799), 1853. Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, Bequest of Caroline Phelps Stokes

Women activists with signs for registration, 1956. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Frances Albrier Collection. © Cox Studio

Choctaw Nation Constitution of 1838 / The Constitution and Laws of the Choctaw Nation Park Hill, Cherokee Nation: John Candy, 1840. Photo credit: Ardon Bar-Hama

Herman Hollerith’s Punched Card Tabulator. Scientific American, vol. 63., no. 9. New York, 1890. Courtesy of David M. Rubenstein

Free Admission to Civics Exhibitions for College Students Through 2020

NEW YORK, NY –
As election year 2020 begins, the New-York Historical Society launches a series of special exhibitions that address the cornerstones of citizenship and American democracy. Starting on Presidents’ Day Weekend, visitors to Meet the Presidents will discover how the role of the president has evolved since George Washington with a re-creation of the White House Oval Office and a new gallery devoted to the powers of the presidency. Opening on the eve of Women’s History Month, Women March marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment with an immersive celebration of 200 years of women’s political and social activism. Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions: Creating the American Republic explores the important roles state constitutions have played in the history of our country, while The People Count: The Census in the Making of America documents the critical role played by the U.S. Census in the 19th century—just in time for the 2020 Census.

To encourage first-time voters to learn about our nation’s history and civic as they get ready to vote in the presidential election, New-York Historical Society is offering free admission to these exhibitions to college students with ID through 2020, an initiative supported, in part, by The History Channel. This special program allows college students to access New-York Historical’s roster of upcoming exhibitions that explore the pillars of American democracy as they prepare to vote, most of them for the first time.

“The year 2020 is a momentous time for both the past and future of American politics, as the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, coincides with both a presidential election and a census year,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of New-York Historical. “This suite of complementary exhibitions showcases the ideas and infrastructure behind our American institutions that establish and protect our fundamental rights to make our voices heard and opinions count. We hope that all visitors will come away with a wider understanding of the important role each citizen plays in our democracy.” 

Meet the Presidents (February 14 – ongoing)
Opening on Presidents’ Day Weekend, a special permanent gallery on New-York Historical’s fourth floor features a detailed re-creation of the White House Oval Office, where presidents have exercised their powers, duties, and responsibilities since 1909. Visitors to New-York Historical can explore the Oval Office, hear audio recordings of presidential musings, and even sit behind a version of the President’s Resolute Desk for a photo op. 

Presidents can furnish the Oval Office to suit their own tastes, and this re-creation evokes the decor of President Ronald Reagan’s second term, widely considered a classic interpretation of Oval Office design. The Resolute Desk, which has been used by almost every president, was presented by Queen Victoria of England in friendship to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880. The original was made from timbers from the British Arctic explorer ship H.M.S. Resolute, which was trapped in the ice, recovered by an American whaling ship, and returned to England. Other elements reminiscent of the Reagan-era on view include a famous jar of jelly beans, an inspirational plaque reading “It can be done,” and artist Frederic Remington’s Bronco Buster bronze sculpture of a rugged cowboy fighting to stay on a rearing horse.

The Suzanne Peck and Brian Friedman Meet the Presidents Gallerytraces, through artwork and objects, the evolution of the presidency and executive branch and how presidents have interpreted and fulfilled their leadership role. Highlights include the actual Bible used during George Washington’s inauguration in 1789 and a student scrapbook from 1962 chronicling JFK’s leadership during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Meet the Presidents is curated by Marci Reaven, vice president of history exhibits, and Lily Wong, assistant curator.

Women March (February 28 – August 30)
For as long as there has been a United States, women have organized to shape the nation’s politics and secure their rights as citizens. Their collective action has taken many forms, from abolitionist petitions to industry-wide garment strikes to massive marches for an Equal Rights Amendment. Women March celebrates the centennial of the 19th Amendment—which granted women the right to vote in 1920—as it explores the efforts of a diverse array of women to expand American democracy in the centuries before and after the suffrage victory. On view in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery, Women March is curated by Valerie Paley, the director of the Center for Women’s History and New-York Historical senior vice president and chief historian, with the Center for Women’s History curatorial team. The immersive exhibition features imagery and video footage of women’s collective action over time, drawing visitors into a visceral engagement with the struggles that have endured into the 21st century. 

The exhibition begins with the many ways women asserted political influence long before they even demanded the vote. Objects and images demonstrate how they risked criticism for speaking against slavery, signed petitions against Indian Removal, raised millions to support the Civil War, and protested reduced wages and longer days. A riveting recreation of an 1866 speech by African American suffragist and activist Frances Harper demonstrates the powerful debates at women’s rights conventions. Absence of the vote hardly prevented women from running for political office: one engaging item on display is a campaign ribbon for Belva Lockwood, the first woman to argue before the Supreme Court, who won around 4,000 votes in her own presidential bid. 

Multiple perspectives on the vote, including African American and working-class activism, are explored, upending popular assumptions that suffragists were a homogenous group. The 19th Amendment is hailed as a crucial step forward, but recognized as an incomplete victory. One photograph shows an African American women’s voter group in Georgia circa 1920, formed despite wide disenfranchisement, and another shows women of the League of Women Voters who sought to make suffragists’ goals real with legislation that addressed issues such as public health and child welfare. A digital interactive monitor invites visitors to explore the nuances of voting laws concerning women across the entire United States.  

Offering an examination of women’s activism in the century after the Amendment, the exhibition concludes by showing how women engaged with issues such as safe workplaces, civil rights, reproductive justice, and freedom from violence. Photographs and video footage of women building warships, boycotting segregation, urging voters to register, and marching for the Equal Rights Amendment convey the urgency of their desire for full citizenship. The dynamism of women’s collective action continues to the present day with handmade signs from the 2017 Women’s Marches and footage of a variety of marches and speeches on topics ranging from reproductive justice to indigenous peoples’ rights to climate change. Visitors can also learn about many individuals who have been instrumental in women’s activism over the past 200 years in an interactive display compiled by New-York Historical’s Teen Leaders program. Meanwhile, young visitors can explore the exhibition with a special family guide. 

Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions (February 28 – May 31)
America has been singular among nations in fostering a vibrant culture of engagement with constitutional matters and the fundamental principles of government. Featuring more than 40 books and documents from the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation’s collection, Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions: Creating the American Republic illuminates America’s continuing debates on the role and limits of government and the fundamental rights of all citizens. From the early days of the American Revolution, to the American Civil War, to the eve of World War I, the rare and early printings of state and federal constitutions trace defining moments in American history and are testaments to our nation’s continuing experiment in self-government and the relentless quest for improvement. 

Among the highlights on view is a rare example of the original Dunlap and Claypoole 1787 printing of the U.S. Constitution—one of few surviving copies. Manuscripts, such as the first known description of the Great Seal of America from 1782 and a certified 1802 handwritten copy of the 12th Amendment that altered the system for electing the president and vice president are also on view. The Choctaw Nation Constitution of 1838, written by members of the tribe forcibly relocated from Mississippi to Oklahoma, combines American constitutional forms with traditional practices in an effort to preserve self-government and prevent further violations of their fundamental rights. The Constitution of the Republic of Texas (1836) sanctioned slavery and led the United States to initially decline Texas’ requests for annexation; the inclusion of slavery in the Missouri Constitution of 1820 also led to a bitter fight in Congress to deny Missouri admission to the union. The progressive Louisiana Constitution of 1868 of the Civil War Reconstruction period prohibited segregation of schools by race. Kansas was the first of more than 30 states to prohibit alcohol with the Kansas State Prohibition Amendment of 1880, eventually leading to national Prohibition through the 18th Amendment in 1919. The Wyoming Constitution of 1889 declared that “male and female citizens” could exercise all rights equally, including the right “to vote and hold office”—three decades before federal ratification of the 19th Amendment. The bilingual New Mexico Constitution of 1910—Constitution of the State of New Mexico/Constitucion del Estado de Nuevo Mexico—guaranteed that all laws, including the constitution, would be published in both English and Spanish for at least 20 years. 

Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions: Creating the American Republic also includes a selection of songs from WNYC’s Radio Lab “27: The Most Perfect Album,” in which contemporary musicians were asked to interpret the 27 amendments of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights in their own distinctive style with original new music. Musicians include Flor de Toloache, Sons of an Illustrious Father, Nana Grizol, Dolly Parton, and Caroline Shaw. The full album was conceived by the podcast More Perfect, a production of WNYC Studios, and is available for free online.

This exhibition is the first public viewing of these selected historical documents together, and after its run at New-York Historical, it travels to the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia (June 12 – July 5, 2020). Curated by James F. Hrdlicka of Arizona State University with Michael Ryan, New-York Historical vice president and Sue Ann Weinberg director of the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue written by Dr. Hrdlicka, with a foreword by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and with contributions by Dorothy Tapper Goldman and Robert McD. Parker.

The People Count: The Census in the Making of America (March 13 – June 7)
What does it mean to be counted? As the 2020 Census kicks off, The People Count: The Census in the Making of America from the David M. Rubenstein Americana Collection provides an in-depth look at the origins and story of the U. S. Census from 1790 through the 1800s, using 30 books and manuscripts that reveal the critical role the Census played in the development of the country. America became the first country to count its inhabitants for reasons of governing, as it dictates the number of House of Representatives seats that each state gets. In the 19th century as the country grew, so did the stakes of the census process, which further drove our nation west—and to war with itself.

The 2020 census will be the 24th decennial count undertaken without fail for 230 years. Censuses before the Constitution were the charge of the Board of Trade, which sent questionnaires to every colonial governor. “The Present State of the British Colonies in America” on display transcribes the results from 1773 to 1775, just as the American Revolution began, describing the people and land that England controlled at the time. On March 1, 1790, the First Census Act passed. The first census took 18 months to finish and counted almost 4 million people. Thomas Jefferson, then secretary of state, improvised a 56-page report, signing and circulating it privately, a copy of which is on view. 

The People Count pays particular attention to the problem of the Three-Fifths Compromise, the census-related clause in the Constitution that regarded slaves equal to 60% of freepersons. Unable to vote, enslaved people unwittingly added to the political representation of slaveholders. Displayed in the exhibition is the 1860 census, which counted 3.95 million slaves, an eighth of all Americans, and uncovered that in 10 years the North had gained 41% more people while the South grew by only 27%. On view are printings of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Ninth Census—Volume I, The Statistics of the Population of the United States, the 1870 census, when there was no longer slaves to be counted for the first time in nine censuses.

In the wake of the Civil War as the population grew and expanded west, the 1880 census reports took eight years to finish. An 1890 copy of Scientific American illustrates how the counting was accomplished in less time with the Punched Card Tabulator system invented by Herman Hollerith, a former census employee from Buffalo, New York. Divided into four devices for perforating, reading, and sorting, workers completed 62.9 million returns of 30 questions in less than five years.

The People Count: The Census in the Making of America is curated by Mazy Boroujerdi, advisor to the David M. Rubenstein Americana Collection, and by Michael Ryan, New-York Historical vice president and Sue Ann Weinberg director of the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library. 

Programming


Historians and scholars engage in a slate of related conversations, lectures, and intimate salons throughout the winter and spring. Black women and the 19th Amendment (March 12), older women in American history (March 19), and the life of Harriet Tubman (April 14) are among the topics explored during Women March. Programs that focus on the spirit of the law and the separation of powers (April 30), foreign influence in the 2020 election (May 2), and the presidents vs. the press (May 21) illuminate the presidency and the importance of the Oval Office. Scholars discuss power, politics, and madness (February 22) and the enduring constitutional vision of the Warren Court (April 25), among other programs focused on civics.

Family programs that take place on select weekends throughout the exhibitions’ run bring history to life for young visitors. One of the highlights is International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8, when families can make crafts and meet historical interpreters portraying famous and little known leaders of the women’s rights movement.

The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s preeminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research and presenting history and art exhibitions and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City and State and the country, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history. New-York Historical is also home to the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, one of the oldest, most distinguished libraries in the nation—and one of only 20 in the United States qualified to be a member of the Independent Research Libraries Association—which contains more than three million books, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, manuscripts, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings.

The New-York Historical Society is located at 170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street), New York, NY 10024. Information: (212) 873-3400. Website: nyhistory.org. Follow the museum on social media at @nyhistory on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Tumblr.

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