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March 03, 2023

Celebrate Women's History Month with special programs at Philly museums and libraries

The city's cultural attractions are hosting events throughout March to honor the contributions of American women

Arts & Culture Women's History Month
Museums Womens History Month Provided Image/Museum of the American Revolution

Celebrate Women's History Month with author discussions, special programming, tours and craft workshops at Philadelphia's museums, historical attractions and libraries this March.

All through March, Philadelphia's museums, historical attractions and cultural institutions will honor Women's History Month with a slew of special programming, craft workshops, live performances and discussions by female authors. 

MORE: Penn Museum to celebrate Women's History Month with live dance performances and craft workshops

Looking to learn more? Here are a few exhibits and talks available across the city:

Museum of the American Revolution

On weekends from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., the museum will host a craft workshop where visitors can make a heart pin cushion and learn about 18th century women's fashion and style choices. 

On Saturday afternoons, it will put on "Meet Elizabeth Freeman," a 20-minute live theatrical performance about the life and experiences of Elizabeth "Mumbet" Freeman, a Black woman who sued for freedom from enslavement and won. 

Guests can also join Kerri K. Greenidge, author of "The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family," for a discussion with museum educator Adrienne G. Whaley onsite or online on Friday, March 24. The evening discussion will cover genealogical research, abolition, suffrage and education among the Grimke, Forten and Douglass families leading up to the present day. 

Tickets are pay-as-you-wish, and include a hands-on stitching activity, food and drinks from Cross Keys Cafe and access to the Black Founders exhibit

National Constitution Center

The museum's newest exhibit, "The 19th Amendment: How Women Won The Vote," focuses on the trials and triumphs of the suffrage movement in the United States. 

The museum's virtual programming includes a live discussion about the 19th Amendment designed for elementary school students, a tour of the museum's "Civil War and Reconstruction" exhibit and a guided tour of suffrage movement artifacts. 

On Saturday, March 25, Wawa is hosting a free admission day at the museum with free coffee, hot chocolate, pastries and soft pretzels for visitors from 1 to 4 p.m. During the free admission day, guests can make suffragette buttons, signs and sashes, tour the museum, hear a talk about protest movements over voting rights and learn about the "Four Harriets of History" — Harriet Robinson Scott, Harriet Tubman, Harriet Jacobs and Harriet Beecher Stowe. 

Betsy Ross House

Each Saturday at the Betsy Ross House, meet a different woman from early Philadelphia history and learn about her life and experiences.

Hannah Lithgow rented out a portion of her boarding house — which is now the Betsy Ross House — to a young woman who would go on to stitch the American flag. Margaret Woodby was a free Black woman who owned a shop nearby selling cakes, puddings and pies with immense success until at least the 1790s. 

Susannah Cook was an 18th century laundress, and Mary Crathorne was a chocolate and mustard maker who owned a successful mill in 18th century Northern Liberties. 

Each Sunday, Once Upon A Nation storytellers will be onsite to tell short, interactive stories about these women.

National Liberty Museum

The National Liberty Museum is hosting "It Is Better To Speak: A Women's History StorySlam," on Thursday, March 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. in Liberty Hall. Seasoned storytellers will weave heartwarming and thought-provoking stories about women's lives all evening long. Guests can sign up to participate in the open mic portion of the evening. Tickets are $15 or $10 for students and museum members. 

Independence National Historical Park

For the entire month, Independence National Historical Park is hosting a pop-up event each Saturday and Sunday from March 4 through March 26, beginning at 10 a.m. Every week, a park ranger will explore how women throughout American history championed for equal rights, from the abolitionist movement and suffrage movement up to the present day. 

Free Library of Philadelphia

There are plenty of women writers featured in the Free Library of Philadelphia's upcoming author eventsTickets are available now, and signed books will be available for purchase. 

Heather McGhee, author of "The Sum of Us (Adapted For Young Readers): How Racism Hurts Everyone" will be in conversation with journalist and broadcaster Tracey Matisak on Tuesday, March 7. 

On March 9, the library hosts Debra Lee, former CEO of BET and author of "I Am Debra Lee: A Memoir," in a discussion with 6ABC anchor Tamala Edwards. 

Historical romance novelist Connie Briscoe, known for her work on Black women's relationships, will speak about her book "You Never Know: A Novel of Domestic Suspense" on Monday, March 20 alongside fellow author Diane McKinney-Whetstone. 

The Parkway Central branch will host an evening of conversation on Wednesday, March 22 with Stephen Shames and Erika Huggins, the authors of "Comrade Sisters: Women of the Black Panther Party." The authors will be joined by Regina Jennings and Ethel Paris, local members of Philadelphia's Black Panther Party. 

To close out Women's History Month, Emily St. John Mandel, author of "Sea of Tranquility," will speak about her novel alongside Laura McGrath, assistant professor of English at Temple University, on March 28. On March 29, Angela Saini will discuss her latest book, "The Patriarchs: The Origins of Inequality," which delves into the history of gender-based oppression.