Spirit of the Suffragettes is a summer concert series and community resource fair based in North Troy at Freedom Square. Heads up–this will be Saturday June 8 from 3-6 PM as well as every Tuesday July 16th to August 20th from 5-8 PM and Saturday September 21 from 3-6 PM!!
The century-old suffragette message needs to be heard and updated to be made more inclusive. Women, especially women of color, still struggle for equity in their everyday lives. We’ll bring history alive with music, positioning the suffragettes as radical role models to explore gender imbalance throughout society–from music festivals to single mother households in low-wealth communities.
Our history books omit the story of the powerful influence of Seneca Mothers of the Hodinöhsö:ni’ (the Iroquois Confederacy), whose matriarchal society inspired the early suffragettes in their fight for gender equality. We hear little of the abolitionist roots of the suffrage movement. And few are aware of the hunger strikes, forced feeding, and brutal beatings that female picketers endured during sustained protests in Washington, D.C. With this Spirit of the Suffragettes Festival we wish to share this ignored history. Thanks to the generous contributions from the Ganondagan State Historic Site, we are able to share this information as well as some beautiful art pieces created by Shelly Niro and Brandon Lazore.
Highlighting discrimination of women, non-binary, and gender non-conforming artists, particularly women of color, Spirit of the Suffragettes responds to the inequity facing women artists. All-male acts make up the overwhelming majority of festival lineups; femme artists face pervasive under-representation in museums and galleries.
The community resource fair is an opportunity to highlight the organizations and opportunities that can support women and families in North Central Troy and beyond. Our neighborhood is rich in loving people, important history and ecological significance, but more than two thirds of children here live below the poverty line. Women bear the heavy load of caring for their families against all odds. We can still learn from the suffragettes, elevating the concerns of women to a statewide and national level.
Thank you to the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for making this project possible!
In anticipation for the Spirit of the Suffragettes summer concert series and resource fair, Hudson Mohawk Magazine correspondent Cassidy McCabe is producing radio segments showcasing local activists and organization work that connect local social justice work to our history. These radio segments will be shared on the WOOC 105.3 FM Troy, WOOS 98.9 FM Schenectady, and uploaded to Soundcloud and iTunes for download and unlimited access.
We also would love to thank the sponsors of our Spirit of the Suffragettes Festival!