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COVID-19: Times are tough, but our communities are tougher. Learn more about how you and your neighbors can play a part in tackling community challenges.
project leader
Ginny F
location
785 Riverside Drive
(Thompson and Woodstock)
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the project

With the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1919 and its ratification in 1920, the right to vote was confirmed for women in the United States, giving them an equal voice in determining the fate of the  nation.  The Thompson Historical Society and Thompson Together, along with other local groups, are recognizing this milestone by organizing Six Months of Suffrage, a series of arts and humanities educational programs and events that will remind us of the importance of voting. As a presidential election year, we feel that message to be especially relevant in 2020. Kicking off in May of 2020, the program includes performances by historical interpreters, concerts, and interactive lectures. All activities will incorporate voter registration drives, in honor of the spirit of the Suffragettes. 

We believe that the commemoration of the work of the Suffragettes is more than a historical curiosity.Taking note of this centennial of the expansion of the franchise, we hope to illustrate that the struggle for full representation in American democracy is ongoing, and is in fact fundamental to the preservation of our
radical experiment in self-governance. Each of the events and performances planned during Six Months of Suffrage hopes to demonstrate the relevance of our shared history, in a manner that is accessible to all residents of Thompson and our surrounding towns.

the steps

Our volunteer committee formed in late 2019, in response to the call for statewide celebrations of the American centennial of women's suffrage. After several months of dilligent planning, we are pleased to announce the following calendar of events:

  • May 14 at the Thompson Public Library - A sash and button-making workshop open to the public, accompanied by a presentation on the importance of fashion to the Suffragette movement.
  • May 25 on Main Street - The Thompson Suffragettes 2020, will march in the Memorial Day parade in costume and sashes. Participants in the May 14th workshop, and anyone else interested, are invited to join us to march!
  • June 4 at Ryscavage Auditorium - Performance artist Sheryl Faye will present her show as Susan B. Anthony in the historic TMHS Ryscavage Auditorium.  The Memorial Room and Kenney Store museum rooms will be open before and after the event.
  • July 14 at Old Town Hall - Thompson native and former State Senate President Pro Tem Don Williams will lead a discussion on Prudence Crandall’s Legacy, at Thompson’s Old Town Hall on Thompson Common.
  • July 17 at Riverside Park - Tyra Penn and the Snakes of Amazonia will perform their themed program "The United Snakes of America" in Thompson’s summer concert series.
  • August 22 at Roseland Cottage, Woodstock - Historic New England and the Thompson Suffragettes 2020 will co-host “No More Pink Teas”. This high tea, lecture and discussion will welcome Progressive-era suffrage historian Joanie DiMartino for a talk about how national and Connecticut suffragists participated in a surge of militant political activism that led to women gaining the right to vote in 1920. Ms DiMartino will also facilitate a discussion of what suffrage means in the 21st Century, according to CT Secretary of State Denise Merrill’s
    initiative.
  • September 17 at Ryscavage Auditorium - The Proper Ladies, a musical and story-telling group, will perform popular songs of the Suffrage movement. As with the June event, the Memorial Room and Kenney Store museums will be open to the public.
  • October 3 at Riverside Park - Students from TMHS will present a commemorative performance at Community Day 2020
  • The public library will offer books, movies, and other related resources highlighting Suffrage throughout the year.
  • Voter registration drives will be conducted at all of these events.

Donations received through IOBY will be applied to performers' fees and expenses; materials for the sash-making workshop; promotional and informational handouts to offer throughout the series of events; a number of subsidised admissions to No More Pink Teas at Roseland Cottage (our only ticketed event); and advertising expenses for print and radio. 

why we're doing it

It can be easy to lose the lessons of the past. In 21st Century America, it may appear that the hard work to gain equal rights for women has largely been done. Women have access to the workplace, and the voting booth. Women can own their own property, manage their own money and live independently. A contemporary American citizen could be forgiven for asking why s/he should care about the protest movements of an earlier century. As Faulkner famously said, however, "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past". It is well-documented that women in the workplace, on average, earn 77-cents to the dollar, when
compared to a man's wage for the same work. Women remain under-represented in high-earning professions, and over-represented in lower-earning service jobs. Some arguments for these discrepancies would be familiar to the Suffragettes: women choose less challenging jobs because they aren't "tough"
enough; women will lose interest in work once they become mothers. The past isn't even past, indeed.

In our program of events, actors, authors and musicians have the opportunity to remind us that the work of expanding democracy is constant. From the time of the founding of the nation until the ratification of the 19th amendment, over half the population was excluded from the ballot because of their biology. By telling those stories, and illustrating the specious justification of that exclusion, we can see how efforts to erode ballot access remain unjust in our own time. To further emphasize the importance of participation in the political process, we will be actively promoting voter registration at all of our events. If we are able to make the connection between the programs on the stage and the exercise of the individual right to vote, then we will have accomplished not just
our own goals, but the goals of those Sister Suffragettes as well.

budget

Sash Making Workshop & Parade $650
Sheryl Faye performs the story of Susan B. Anthony $700
State Sen. Don Williams presents "Prudence Crandall" $100
Concert in park $550
"No More Pink Teas" lecture and high tea at Roseland Cottage $650
Proper Ladies perform Songs of Suffrage $1250
Community Day promotional materials $500
Advertising Budget $1541
Misc. Supplies $550



PROJECT FUNDING NEEDED = $6,341
ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $197
TOTAL TO RAISE = $6,573

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photos

This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration

donors

  • Joseph P.
  • Tasha B.
  • KDurlach
  • Deborah Doucette
  • Eric Kelley
  • Brian L
  • Erica Groh
  • Lucille L.
  • Teri T.
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • renee waldron
  • John Kubilis
  • Anonymous
  • Charlene L.
  • Tyra Penn-Gesek