One of the books I remember best from my childhood is a picture book about women’s suffrage. Although it may not have a place in the kids’ book hall of fame alongside such heavyweights as Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are and The Berenstain Bears, I think it probably had more influence over me than that literary triumvirate. As my mother read it to me, she would pause to talk about how relatively recent women’s liberation was; how she had been the only woman in her math and science classes in college; how her generation had fought for equal rights, equal pay and equal respect, all of which are still not always granted. It made me appreciate what my mother’s and my grandmother’s generations endured, and it taught me that I should never settle for less than what I deserved.
March is Women’s History Month, which exists to not only remind us about the battles women have waged against shortsightedness and prejudice, but also to celebrate women’s accomplishments throughout history. In recognition, the National Hispanic Cultural Center presents its fifth annual Women and Creativity initiative, a monthlong series of more than 60 classes, workshops, performances, exhibitions, lectures and other activities that rejoice in women’s contributions.
“The intention was to shine a light on women’s creativity,” says Shelle Sánchez, director of education at NHCC and co-coordinator of the initiative. “To bring together the creative resources and women in our community in order to demonstrate the amazing number of local creative resources that exist daily for us.” Sánchez adds that although Women and Creativity is about the ladies, NHCC tries to “have events that engage everyone—women and girls of all ages, but also men who love the art and who love women.”
To find a full list of events (including adult ballet and hip-hop classes, writing seminars, and jazz concerts) and information on how to register or purchase tickets, visit nhccnm.org. Here’s a small sampling of just some of the events to get excited about.
Annie Leibovitz is well-known for the celebrity portraits she’s snapped—the Rolling Stone cover photograph she took of Yoko Ono and John Lennon hours before his death is among the most iconic. She’s a legendary photographer who rarely makes public appearances, but she’ll be on the Lensic stage for one night to talk about some of her most famous work, spanning a 40-year career. The purpose of the event is to also honor Leibovitz as one of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum’s Women of Distinction, an award that’s been previously given to Gloria Steinem, Gail Sheehy and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Create Your Own Superheroine/Superhero Comic Book!
A Workshop for Teens with Maureen Burdock
Saturday, March 6, 13, 20 and 27 1 p.m. Domenici Education Center, NHCC 1701 Fourth Street SW $60 Presented by Littleglobe with the NHCC littleglobe.org
Graphic novelist Maureen Burdock
In this four-week series taught by graphic novelist Maureen Burdock, you’ll learn all about comic books—from the history of the craft to storytelling and drawing techniques—and produce a four- to eight-page book. Burdock was awarded one of the top two prizes in Judy Chicago and Through the Flower’s New Mexico Feminist Artists Under Forty competition last year.
Personal Safety and Self Defense Presentation
Monday, March 8, noon Student Union Building, Lobo A UNM Main Campus Free
We can all hope that we’ll never need to use some of the techniques demonstrated in this class, but we still need to know them. Learn about staying safe by analyzing body language, developing verbal skills in dangerous situations and debunking safety myths.
Friday, March 12, and Saturday, March 13, 8 p.m. Albuquerque Journal Theatre, NHCC 1701 Fourth Street SW $15 to $25, with a $5 discount for NHCC members ticketmaster.com
The flamenco of El Pintor
Theresa Cardenas based her flamenco dance drama on the works of Spanish painter Julio Romero de Torres—specifically, his obsession with painting the 14-year-old maid that worked in his home. It is a timeless tale of pain, love and death, told through the movement of three flamenco dancers.
Check back in on our monthlong coverage of Women and Creativity 2010, including interviews and assorted websclusives.