Archive for May, 2014

NWHM on Panels At the Berkshire Conference on Women’s History and the American Alliance of Museums

May 27th, 2014

The Sixteenth Berkshire Conference was held in Toronto, Canada May 22-25.  A panel, Making the Case for a National Women’s History Museum on the National Mall, included seven participants with varying museum and exhibit expertise.  NWHM President Joan Wages was pleased to be on the panel with such distinguished members as the Chair, Jean Pfaelzer, Ph.D. from the University of Delaware, Kathleen Franz, Ph.D. American University, Karen Offen, Ph.D. Stanford University and the International Museum of Women, Gail Reimer, Ph.D. Jewish Women’s Archive, Faith Davis Ruffins, National Museum of American History, and Jennifer Brier, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago.

Ms. Wages described the challenges of building a national museum on federal land that is on or near the National Mall and other panelists offered their experiences.  NWHM gathered many suggestions from participants and attendees.  While some will be contemplated after the Museum secures a building site, there were ideas that can be implemented in the short term.

NWHM has the greatest respect for the 40-50 years the “mothers of women’s history” have been working to enhance and expand the body of knowledge on women’s history.  NWHM looks to serve as the bridge for that information to be disseminated to the general public. Just as the field of women’s history has evolved and changed over the years, NWHM looks forward to developing new and better ways to communicate the wealth of information on women’s history to enlighten and inspire future generations.

The Berkshire Conference is held every three years and draws the most forward thinking historians in the field.

On May 20, 2014 NWHM Program Director Liz Maurer chaired a panel at the American Alliance of Museums 108th annual meeting, in Seattle, Washington. Co-presenters included Steve Shwartzman from the Institute of Museum and Library Services; Max van Balgooy, president of Engaging Places and former director at the National Trust for Historic Preservation; and Laurie Baty, deputy director of the National Capital Radio & Television Museum. The panel addressed the technical aspects of creating and implementing a strategic plan as well as government funding trends for museum projects.

House of Representatives Passes National Women’s History Museum Bill

May 7th, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

House of Representatives Passes National Women’s History Museum Bill

MAY 7, 2014 – ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) announced today that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation to form a Congressional Commission on the Potential Creation of a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, DC. The bipartisan legislation (H.R. 863) co-sponsored by Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) passed by a vote of 383 to 33 and now heads to the Senate where Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) are leading the charge.

According to NWHM President & CEO Joan Wages, “We are delighted with the results of today’s vote! Women represent 51% of our nation’s population, but account for only 1 in 10 figures represented in U.S. history textbooks and only 13 of the more than 200 statues in the Capitol. Clearly, Americans only know half of our history. A national women’s history museum will ensure the contributions American women have made to this great nation will become a part of our national narrative.” Wages added, “We are forever indebted to Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Marsha Blackburn. Their commitment, courage and tireless efforts in support of a national women’s history museum have been extraordinary, as is evidenced by today’s successful vote. Their partnership on this effort demonstrates what has been true since this nation was founded – women get things done! And, we get it done, despite our differences, by working together.”

“A National Women’s History Museum has a rightful place in our Nation’s capital,” said Representative Carolyn Maloney. “This bill will establish a Congressional Commission to help secure that place. Women gained the right to vote in 1920. I hope that a century later, in 2020, their efforts and accomplishments of women throughout our history will be chronicled in a museum that both our daughters and sons can learn from and enjoy. I am grateful for the leadership of Representative Blackburn and to the support of the many Republicans and Democrats who worked together to pass this bill.”

“This legislation takes an important step in our effort to recognize the accomplishments of women who have contributed to freedom and the promise of opportunity which we Americans cherish,” Blackburn said. “This museum is about bringing together women and remembering those visionaries who changed the course of American history. All this would be done through private donations, and not one dime of taxpayer money. It is only appropriate that during the same week we celebrate mothers around the country for their contributions to our families, that my colleagues in the House would come together in this bipartisan effort to honor our nation’s most influential women.”

The bill, H.R. 863, calls for the establishment of a Congressional Commission to prepare a report containing recommendations for establishing and maintaining a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, D.C. Specifically, it would address the governance, organizational structure, fundraising, operations and location of the Museum. The 8-member bipartisan commission would have 18 months to produce the report and submit it to Congress for approval.

This bipartisan legislation passed with the support of Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. The growing list of cosponsors has increased from 25 at this time last year to 94 today. A similar bill in the Senate has been introduced by Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). It has 21 co-sponsors, including 19 of the Senate’s 20 female lawmakers.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the commission and the museum would have no significant impact on federal spending.

The bill was approved unanimously by both the House Natural Resources Committee on April 9, following a March 25 hearing, and the House Committee on Administration passed the measure on April 2, following a December 11 hearing.

About the National Women’s History Museum: Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM, Inc.) is a nonpartisan, 501©3 nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the general public about the diverse historic contributions of women and raising awareness about the critical need for a national women’s history museum in our nation’s capital. Currently located online at www.nwhm.org, the Museum’s goal is to build a world-class, permanent museum on or near the National Mall that will herald and display the collective history of American women. Current legislation is underway to create a Congressional Commission that would be charged with producing a feasible plan which would include the governance, estimated cost, location and organizational structure of the museum. For additional information visit NWHM.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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NWHM Welcomes Susan E. Danish to Board of Directors

May 6th, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NWHM WELCOMES SUSAN E. DANISH TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – MAY 6, 2014 – The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) today announced the addition of Susan E. Danish to its Board of Directors. She joins the Board as Treasurer. Ms. Danish has served for more than a decade as Executive Director of The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI), one of the largest, oldest and most respected women’s organizations in the world.

Prior to joining AJLI, Susan served as Executive Director of the Center for Women’s Leadership at Babson College. She has also held senior management and marketing positions with Christie’s (the world’s oldest fine art auction house) and the 600-store fashion retailer, Express, and built several successful brands, including Calvin Klein hosiery and tights and HUE.

“We are delighted to welcome Susan to the NWHM Board of Directors. Her vast experience with women’s organizations and women’s great contributions to society – through philanthropy and good works — will add tremendous value to the Board,” said NWHM President & CEO Joan Wages.

“I am thrilled to join the Board of an organization dedicated to celebrating the contributions of women at all levels of our country’s history, from contemporary life to its earliest days,” Ms. Danish said. “Beginning with our founder, Mary Harriman, Junior League members have included women like Eleanor Roosevelt, Katharine Hepburn and Sandra Day O’Connor, among many others, who refused to conform to the roles that many expected of them and, instead, went on to blaze trails so others could follow.”

About The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.

Founded in 1901 by New Yorker and social activism pioneer, Mary Harriman, the Junior Leagues are charitable nonprofit organizations of women, developed as civic leaders, creating demonstrable community impact. Today, The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) is comprised of more than 155,000 women in 293 Junior Leagues throughout Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. Together, they constitute one of the largest, most effective volunteer organizations in the world.

About the National Women’s History Museum: Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM, Inc.) is a nonpartisan, 501©3 nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the general public about the diverse historic contributions of women and raising awareness about the critical need for a national women’s history museum in our nation’s capital. Currently located online at www.nwhm.org, the Museum’s goal is to build a world-class, permanent museum on or near the National Mall that will herald and display the collective history of American women. Current legislation is underway to create a Congressional Commission that would be charged with producing a feasible plan which would include the governance, estimated cost, location and organizational structure of the museum. For additional information visit NWHM.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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PRESS CONTACTS:

Susan Murphy, NWHM — 703-461-1920 or SMurphy@nwhm.org

Tracy Van Buskirk, Marketcom PR — 212-537-5177 Ext. 8 or tvanbuskirk@marketcomPR.com