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How to celebrate Women’s History Month in NYC

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Suffragists marching, probably in New York City in. New York, 1915. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress

Every March, Americans celebrate Women’s History Month, a chance to highlight the invaluable contributions of women who helped shape the history of the nation. In New York City, where the month-long holiday began in 1909, there is a large selection of engaging, informative, and entertaining ways to show your admiration for influential women. Ahead, here are some ways to celebrate Women’s History Month in NYC, from learning about women who changed the history of the five boroughs with the Urban Park Rangers to listening to hilarious comics at the Knockout Women’s Comedy Festival.

Culture Connection at the Queens Public Library
Virtual
March 1 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Kicking off Women’s History Month, the Queens Public Library is hosting an engaging conversation with Roxane Gay, Priscilla Gilman, and Rachel Abrams. Gay, a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and best-selling author, will join Gilman, a former professor of English literature at Yale University and Vassar College, and Abrams, a senior producer and reporter for “The New York Times Presents,” the Times’s award-winning television documentary. The conversation can be viewed on QPL’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Women’s History Month: Cass Gallagher
Van Cortlandt Nature Center, The Bronx
March 3 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Led by NYC Parks’ Urban Park Rangers, this educational event will help attendees see the world through the eyes of a naturalists as they hike through the Bronx’s Van Cortlandt Park. Participants will venture down a trail named for Cass Gallagher, a Bronx resident and renowned naturalist whose work made an everlasting impact on the local neighborhood and natural environment.

Women’s History Month: Historic Women of Queens
Mauro Playground, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
March 3 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Celebrate Women’s History Month with the Urban Park Rangers as they lead the way through Flushing Meadows Corona Park. On this informative walk, the guests will learn about the influential women of Queens who helped shape NYC throughout its history. The Rangers will take guests down the park’s Pat Dolan Trail.

Image courtesy of Uri Wegman and Richard Joon Yoo

Visit the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Memorial
23-29 Washington Place, Manhattan

One way to celebrate Women’s History Month is to visit the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Memorial in Greenwich Village. Dedicated last October, this permanent memorial serves as a tribute to the 146 lives lost in the infamous fire, with the majority being poor immigrant women and girls. The tragedy was exacerbated by terrible working conditions and neglect by the factory’s owners, shining a spotlight on the widespread mistreatment of laborers and appalling working conditions in factories across the nation.

Image courtesy of Bill Farrington

2024 Women’s Jazz Festival
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard, Manhattan
March 4, 18, and 25 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Hosted by the New York Public Library, the Women’s Jazz Festival is an annual event celebrating the innovation of Black women in the field of jazz. The 32nd edition’s opening night will feature “The Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni,” presented by Nikki Giovanni and Javon Jackson. This historic collaboration between saxophonist-composer Jackson and renowned poet, activist, and educator Giovanni promises to offer a “jazzy new perspective on timeless hymns and spirituals.” They will be accompanied by pianist Jeremy Manasia, bassist David Williams, and drummer Akin Hobson.

Hailing from New Orleans, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, the only all-women brass band in the world, will take the stage for the second performance. The final night features Melvis Santa & Jazz Orishas who will honor the legacy of women in Afro-Cuban & Jazz traditions.

NYPL has a ton of other events in store for Women’s History Month. Throughout March, the New York Public Library is celebrating women of the past and present who played an intricate role in media and storytelling. A full schedule of events and programs can be found here.

Ulla Jokisalo. “Wasteland,” from the series “Collection of Headless Women,” 2015. Pigmented inkjet print, pins. The Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl Photography Collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Brooklyn Museum. TL2020.6.77. © Ulla Jokisalo, courtesy Persons Projects. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

In the Now: Gender and Nation in Europe
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn
March 8 through July 7

The Brooklyn Museum is hosting a new photography exhibition featuring roughly 50 women artists who are challenging traditional ideas of gender, nationality, and the medium of photography itself. The exhibition, called “In the Now,” is the museum’s first survey of photography-based works by women artists born or based in Europe, analyzing the continent’s nationalism and patriarchal power structures that continue to impact everyday life, especially for women. The exhibit features more than 70 artworks offering a glimpse into what life is like for European women in the 21st century.

Pre-election parade for suffrage in NYC, in which 20,000 women marched. 1915. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress

Women’s History Month Greenwich Village Walking Tour
Barnes and Noble, 33 East 17th Street, Manhattan
March 9 from 11 a.m.
to 2 p.m.
This walking tour centers on influential women of Greenwich Village. Stops along the way include the New York Studio School, honoring champions of American art like Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Julianna Force, as well as the former homes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Emma Lazarus, and Bella Abzug. Participants will also see where Barbra Streisand launched her singing career and where Billie Holiday first performed “Strange Fruit,” among other significant locations. The tour concludes at Washington Square Park and covers roughly four miles in total.

Knockouts Women’s Comedy Festival
Venues across the city
March 4 through 9

NYC will host a brand new comedy festival for its inaugural year, celebrating Women’s History Month. The lineup includes big names like Phoebe Robinson, Sydnee Washington, and Emma Willmann, alongside other local favorites performing stand-up, improv, variety shows, and more. The festival kicks off on March 4 and runs through March 9, with shows hosted at venues across the five boroughs, including The Stonewall Inn, Stone Street Cafe, St. Mark’s Comedy Club, and more. Find the full schedule here.

Image courtesy of Raphael Del Rio

The Experts: An Improv Experiment
Brooklyn Comedy Collective, 167 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn
March 7 from 10 p.m. to 11:15 p.m.

Created by comedian and host Olivia Scenna, “The Experts” is a rapid-fire improv comedy show held at the Brooklyn Comedy Collective. During the show, a panel of “historians” delves into some of the most notable past and current events using PowerPoint slides, a laser pointer, and a strict 90-second time limit. In honor of Women’s History Month, this event features a ladies-only lineup. Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased here.

Central Park’s first statue of historical women debuted in 2020. Photo by Emily Dombroff

Larger Than Life: Women of Central Park Tour
Central Park
March 8, 10, and 23

On this tour of Central Park, participants will discover the little-known history of women who played pivotal roles in shaping many of the park’s most iconic sites and contributed to NYC’s history as a whole. Featured sites include the Pulitzer Fountain, Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Wollman Rink, and the Bethesda Terrace. Tickets cost $35, and you can sign up for one of the dates here.

Celebration of Women: Poetry Art Expression
Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center, The Bronx
March 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Travel to the Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center for an evening of self-expression through poetry and art in celebration of women. This engaging, do-it-yourself arts and talents program will lead participants through the creation of fun projects while listening to music and poetry. The event is for adults only.

International Women’s Day at the Hard Rock Cafe
1501 Broadway, Manhattan
March 8 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

On International Women’s Day, Midtown’s Hard Rock Cafe will host neo-alternative rock artist Élishia Sharie. The Los Angeles-based musician tastefully fuses elements of classic 80s rock, the edginess of 90s alternative, and the grit of punk rock, all set against her soulful vocals reminiscent of artists like Tina Turner and Betty Davis. You can reserve a table at the Hard Rock here.

Image courtesy of Sally Jennings on Flickr

Women’s History Month: Gravesend Cemetery Tour
Gravesend Cemetery, Brooklyn
March 10 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Celebrate Women’s History Month alongside NYC Parks’ Urban Park Rangers at Brooklyn’s landmarked Gravesend Cemetery. Established by Lady Deborah Moody in 1643, the cemetery is the final resting place of early settlers and founding families of Brooklyn. During this informational event, participants will learn more about Lady Moody’s important role in the neighborhood’s history and her contributions.

Women’s History Month: Anne Hutchinson
Pelham and Split Rock Golf Course, 870 Shore Road, The Bronx
March 10 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Join the Urban Park Rangers for a relaxing hike in the Bronx’s Pelham Bay Park. Along the way, participants will learn about the life and complex legacy of Anne Hutchinson, the 17th-century religious reformer, movement leader, and colonialist.

She’s Got It: Great Women of Green-Wood Trolley Tour
Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th Street, Brooklyn
March 16 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Head to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery to celebrate and honor the trailblazing women who challenged social, cultural, and political norms of the 19th and early 20th centuries and are buried there. Guests will learn about Grace Nail Johnson, civil rights activist and a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance, socialite and philanthropist Louisine Havemeyer, who was arrested for trying to burn an effigy of Woodrow Wilson, entrepreneur Elizabeth Gloucester, who funded John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, and more. Tickets cost $30 and can be purchased here.

Special Virtual Tour: The Moore Family
Tenement Museum, Manhattan
March 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This special virtual tour hosted by the Tenement Museum celebrates Women’s History Month and Irish American History Month. Held on Zoom, the tour explores the story of Joseph and Bridget Moore, Irish immigrants living with their children at 97 Orchard Street in the 1860s. Through their story, attendees will discover how Irish immigrants navigated a diverse city, maintained their pride, and built a community in Lower Manhattan.

Women in Salsa & Brass: A Women’s History Month Celebration
Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn
March 24 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Bowl is hosting two renowned female salsa and brass groups. The Brass Queens is a nine-piece all-female horn section hailing from Brooklyn. The acclaimed group has performed at prominent events like the 2021 Met Gala, Good Morning America, the Governor’s Ball Music Festival, and more. Lulada Club is an all-women salsa orchestra that was created to address the lack of female ensembles within NYC’s live music scene. Tickets cost $20 plus fees and can be purchased here.

Image courtesy of the Museum at Eldridge Street

On the Lower East Side: 28 Remarkable Women…and One Scoundrel
The Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street, Manhattan
Through May 5

A new exhibition at the Museum at Eldridge Street transports visitors back to the Lower East Side at the turn of the 20th century. Created by Adrienne Ottenberg, the exhibition features a variety of mixed-media portraits of 29 women who lived or worked on the Lower East Side during the early 20th century. The portraits include maps of the Lower East Side and are printed on silk or cotton banners that are hung throughout the museum’s gallery and historic sanctuary.

Women featured in the exhibition include Frances Perkins, a political activist who played an important role in the workers-rights advocacy movement following the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, a suffragette and activist who was the first Chinese woman in the United States to earn her doctorate. Tickets are $15, and on Mondays and Fridays, the museum offers pay-what-you-wish admission.

Women Who Built Woodlawn Tour
Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx
March 26 at 2 p.m.

The Bronx’s Woodlawn Cemetery is inviting guests to ride back in time to remember the many notable women who are buried at the cemetery. On the trolley tour, guests will see the gravesites of the “Queen of Salsa” Celia Cruz, America’s first self-made female millionaire C.J. Walker, and America’s first investigative reporter Nellie Bly. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased here.

Unidentified photographer, Students at the Henrietta Industrial School learning millinery, ca. 1908-1913. Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, New-York Historical Society

Women’s Work at New-York Historical Society
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, Manhattan
Through August 18

This new exhibit at the New-York Historical Society aims to reclaim the misogynistic term “women’s work” by chronicling the history of women’s incomparable contributions to labor. The exhibit presents roughly 45 objects from the New-York Historical’s collections that illustrate how the term “women’s work” defies categorization. Items include a 19th-century mahogany candle, a 20th-century doctor’s dissection kit, a pin reading “Shirley Chisholm for President,” and much more. Tickets can be purchased here.

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