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Here are some highlights from the EWHP in 2016. We are looking forward to a busy 2017!

  • in 2016, the Joan Barr Smith Endowment for Women’s History moved to the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF). Barr Smith was Evanston’s first female mayor and this move honors Joan’s long commitment to both women’s history and Evanston, and ensures the long-term sustainability of the EWHP. It also recognizes ECF’s significant role in developing and supporting the EWHP in its early years. The Endowment now stands at almost $50,000. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this fund, and please consider supporting it going forward. More details can be found on the ECF website.
  • the EWHP is in the second year of the Vickie Burke Internship for Women’s History program. In 2016, Ella Wagner, who is working on her PhD in History at Loyola University Chicago, spent the summer and early fall with the project. Ella updated our online exhibit of women’s suffrage material, primarily focusing on the story of the Evanston Political Equality League. Visit Evanston and the 19th to see what Ella’s been working on. Thank you to everyone who gave to the internship fund as this has been a key way for the project to move forward. We will begin recruiting 2017 interns in the late winter/spring.
  • in 2016, we also worked closely with the Frances Willard House, planning a full slate of women’s history programs both at the house and about town. We jointly hosted two women’s history walking tours (led by Kris Hartzell) and one lecture on plans for the restoration of the historic garden at the house. As the Willard House reopens after an amazing interior restoration (more here), I feel this partnership has great future potential. In addition, exciting plans are in the works to ensure this most important women’s history site is around long into the future, so stay tuned.

Looking ahead to 2017, we have a strong menu of programs scheduled for March, Women’s History Month. These will include the annual celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th and a lecture on March 2nd in conjunction with the Evanston History Center’s Underground Railroad exhibit (more here about the lecture at EHC). And, the EWHP is connected to national, state and local planning groups for the celebration of the 2020 women’s suffrage anniversary. From research, to exhibits, to public programs and celebratory events, EWHP is involved and this will continue to be a focus of our work.

Finally, all this work could not happen without the operational support of the Evanston History Center. If you are interested in making a donation to support the ongoing work of the Evanston Women’s History Project, you are welcome to do so through the EHC Annual Appeal. Thank you for your support – it makes our work to document and tell the stories of women’s lives in Evanston possible!

Lori Osborne, EWHP Director

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