As Women’s History Month begins March 1, Natalie Naylor, one of Long Island’s most prominent women’s history scholars, reminds us that there is still work to be done to honor achievements of local women.
She notes that former Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced in 2017 that the state would erect two statues of female suffragists on state land. The Sojourner Truth statue was unveiled in Ulster County in 2020, but the statue of Cold Spring Harbor native Rosalie Gardiner Jones – Naylor’s favorite suffragette – has yet to be completed.
“Historically, Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman are the names that people remember, but there are many books available on prominent women and women’s history,” Naylor said. “Ideally, women’s history should not be limited to a month. It should be American history as it is.”
For his part, Naylor, professor emeritus at Hofstra University and author of the 2012 book “Women in Long Island’s Past: A History of Eminent Ladies and Everyday Day Lives” (History Press), will give several lectures on the subject.
Here are some upcoming events for those looking to learn more and celebrate the contributions of women on Long Island:
Women’s History Month Celebration and Art Exhibit
Enjoy a bilingual poetry reading with artist and author Rosalba Henao followed by a discussion. Paintings and works of art will be exhibited. Current CDC guidelines will be followed. Visit westburyarts.org/upcoming-events to register. There is no charge, but donations are accepted; 6:30-9 p.m., March 4; Westbury Arts, 255 Schenck Ave, Westbury, 516-400-2787.
Women’s Day Workshop
Take part in happy hour, female-led vendors, a mindfulness workshop, a beer cocktail class, and more. Visit bluepointbrewing.com/whats-happening to reserve your spot. The event is free. Participants must be 21 years of age or older; 5-9 p.m., March 8; Blue Point Brew Pub, 225 West Main Street, Patchogue, 631-627-8292.
Women filmmakers at Ashawagh Hall
A screening of five short films that were screened during a 1975 film series as part of the ‘Women Artists Here and Now’ exhibition at Ashawagh Hall in Springs. The films were made by members of Women Artist Filmmakers, a network created in 1974 to discover, celebrate and support female artists who make films. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Rosaline Schneider, founder of Women Artist Filmmakers, and visual artist and Springs resident Sara VanDerBeek.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for members, students, children and seniors and are available at parrish.org/event. Advance ticket purchase with pre-registration is recommended, although a limited number of tickets are available at the door. Masks are mandatory and guests must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
6 to 7:30 p.m., March 11; Parrish Museum of Art, Highway 279 Montauk, Watermill, 631-283-2118.
Women in space
Discover the women who have contributed to astronomy and aeronautical achievements. Then, take a stargazing lesson and enjoy the night sky. Registration is required and can be done at parks.ny.gov/events. An entrance fee of $4 per person is due upon arrival. The event is suitable for children aged 5 and over. Masks are mandatory in indoor spaces; 7-8:30 p.m., March 11; Connetquot River State Park, 4090 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale.
Women of Long Island’s past
Naylor will discuss the role women play in shaping Long Island history during this event at the Sayville Library. The program will take place in person and will be broadcast on the library’s Facebook page. The event is open to everyone; Visit Sayvillelibrary.org to register; 7-8:30 p.m. March 22; Sayville Library, 88 Greene Avenue, Sayville. 631-589-4440.