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5 Ways To Commemorate The Centennial Of The 19th Amendment's Ratification

One hundred years ago on this day, Aug. 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified. This amendment gave women the right to vote. But it should be noted that the right was limited to white women. It would be many more decades until women of color could cast their ballots. And as we look toward election season, the ability to vote — and do so safely — has never been more important.

We have gathered five ways for you to commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment, from a concert featuring the compositions of women to a musical highlighting the importance of voting. And if you really want to kick celebrations up a notch, check out this guide to voting by mail and at the polls in the primaries. The election is right around the corner!

'She’s The First'

Boston Landmarks Orchestra

In celebration of the 19th Amendment centennial, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra is livestreaming a concert with music written by women. Boston native and Berklee alum Grace Kelly will host and perform at the concert. The saxophonist-singer will perform her original compositions, and her International Song Competition award-winning song, "She's the First," will have its orchestral premiere. The concert starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18.

Boston Landmarks Orchestra records with Grace Kelly along the Boston Women's History Trail. (Courtesy Boston Landmarks Orchestra)
Boston Landmarks Orchestra records with Grace Kelly along the Boston Women's History Trail. (Courtesy Boston Landmarks Orchestra)

'We Did It For You! Women's Journey Through History'

Framingham Public Library

This lively musical tells the story of women’s fight for equal rights in America. Told through the lens of a high school student, the play chronicles her mission to find the most influential women in history. The virtual event, hosted by the Framingham Public Library, also highlights the struggles people of color have endured to get the vote, and the importance of getting out the vote today. The musical starts streaming at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20.


'Anti-Racism. Intersectional Feminism. A Path Toward Equity.'

Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California

This conversation might be hosted on the West Coast, but it’s streaming everywhere for those interested in learning about anti-racism, intersectional feminism and a path toward equity. The panel features author and cultural critic Roxane Gay, California State Sen. Holly J. Mitchell, GirlTalkHQ founder Asha Daya and many others. The event starts at 1 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Aug. 18 and is the first in a series of events celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment ratification.


'Lighting the Way: Historic Women of the SouthCoast'

New Bedford Whaling Museum & Seaport Art Walk

This year, New Bedford’s Seaport Art Walk celebrates the anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the “unfinished legacy of the women’s suffrage movement.” The artwork is inspired by the women who shaped the SouthCoast community and was inspired by the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s project highlighting these historic figures — from an homage to WWI Army nurse Florence Eastman to a mural featuring portraits of 50 community leaders. The installations are on view through October 2020.


'I Now Pronounce You Lucy Stone'

History At Play

History at Play, a theater troupe that specializes in living history performances, is celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment by focusing on Lucy Stone, an abolitionist and suffragist. Born in Brookfield, Massachusetts, Stone eventually inspired Susan B. Anthony with her passionate speeches. When she married, in 1856, she refused to take her husband’s name. History at Play’s founder and artistic director Judith Kalaora plays Stone in an hour-long performance, followed by a Q&A session on Friday, Aug. 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Judith Kalaora in "I Now Pronounce You Judy Stone." (Courtesy History At Play)
Judith Kalaora in "I Now Pronounce You Judy Stone." (Courtesy History At Play)

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Dianna Bell is the editor for WBUR's arts and culture vertical, The ARTery.

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Tania Ralli is acting senior editor for arts and culture at WBUR.

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