Celebrating the Centennial of Women's Suffrage
In honor of the centennial of women’s suffrage, the National Endowment for the Arts is celebrating the many ways the arts have empowered and elevated women, as well as the many ways that women artists have shaped and elevated American art. As part of the agency’s commemoration of this event, we encouraged applicants for fiscal year 2020 grants to submit funding requests for projects that celebrated women’s suffrage and equality. We are featuring a number of those projects in this issue of American Artscape, ranging from a festival that highlights the creativity of women filmmakers to a play for young audiences that outlines the history of the suffrage movement.
As part of our commemorative efforts, we have also published a book highlighting the role that the arts played in the suffrage movement, and ultimately, in the successful passage of the 19th amendment—an excerpt from that book is included in this issue. We are also encouraging federal agencies and arts organizations across the country to light up public buildings and landmarks in purple and gold on August 26, 2020, as part of the Forward Into Light campaign, which has been spearheaded by the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission. We are working with the commission to support a nationwide public mural project celebrating women’s suffrage as well.
Women in America have certainly celebrated many triumphs since our nation’s founding, but we know that there is still work that remains to be done, both within the arts industry and elsewhere, and especially for women of color. We are hopeful that through our commemorations we are not only celebrating a milestone in our nation’s history, but also helping women today advance our continued march toward full equality.
Mary Anne Carter