The stirrings in New York State to plan for the celebration of its 2017 suffrage centennial coincides with a recognition that 100 years ago the state was alive and cooking with organizing on the state level. The 1915 Votes for Women referendum didn’t result in a state victory for New York, but the groundwork was laid for 1917 when New York became a suffrage state. In 1915 three other states conducted spirited referendum campaigns: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. More to come on the 1915 referendum campaigns.
The New York State Council for the Humanities will hold a grants and programs workshop on March 11, 2015, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at VENUE Cultural Education Center (First floor Members Lounge) to discuss program and grants opportunities for the 2017 state suffrage centennial. The event is cosponsored by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network and the New York State Archives. On March 9, 2015 the New York Council on the Humanities will have a presence on Lobbying Day at the NYS Legislature with a “Suffrage Soapbox” with speeches by W.E.B. DuBois, Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, and Leonora O’Reilly. Volunteers are being solicited to play these parts.
The City of New York has staff in place that has initiated 2017 suffrage centennial planning. There’s a project underway to establish a statue in Central Park honoring Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. And the New York State Cultural Heritage Tourism Network is working on a web platform to promote the 2017 suffrage celebration. NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo mentioned the state’s rich suffrage history in his 2015 inaugural speech.
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