Committee plans activities for Women’s History Month

By Rick Moreci

Next March, the theme for Women’s History Month will be “Creating Women: Art, Action and Social Commentary.”

A committee of students, faculty and staff members has been formed in order to begin rigorous planning for the month.

Women’s History Month has been celebrated at NIU in various capacities since the mid-1980’s said Lois Self, director of the Women’s Studies Program.

In the past, there have been several different themes associated with this month. Some of these include “Women in Science,” “Women in Spirituality,” and “Women in Work.”

“This year’s theme looks at how the image of women is focused in art,” said Self.

Some of the events for the month include a play, several speakers, panel discussions, a luncheon, film presentations, colloquia, a poster contest and an essay contest.

The poster contest has been held for the past three years, but this is the first year for the essay contest. The purpose of both contests is to promote the celebration of Women’s History Month through educational programs and cultural activities.

Additionally, from Feb. 28 to March 6 the play “The Trojan Woman” will be performed.

Patricia Ridge of the theatre department will direct the play as it was first written, but it will be set in the context of the present situations of Bosnia and the problems women are experiencing there.

In addition to the above programs, the art department also has plans for this month. It will be bringing in two artists to give lectures on their individual fields.

One of the speakers is a painter and the other is a designer of jewelry, which is actually a health monitor. People can wear this monitor and it looks just like jewelry, but if there is an emergency, they can signal for help.

Margie Cook, coordinator of the activities planned for Women’s History Month, said there are four ways that students can get involved. First, they can join the planning committee itself to help get programs organized. They also can participate in either the poster contest or the essay contest or both. Finally, they can propose a program that can be utilized during the month of March.

“I think that there is a tremendous amount of women on this campus who are doing really creative things with art and I hope they will see this as an opportunity to get involved by showing their art or doing some program of how their art is related to their identity as women,” Cook said.

In the same vein, Self said, “My hope is that a wide variety of programs attracted to many people on campus can be put together and that students, in particular, can learn more about how art is related to creating images of women throughout history.”

The next meeting of the planning committee for Women’s History Month will be at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 26 in Watson Hall 110. If anyone has any questions about this month, would be interested in joining the planning committee or has an idea for a program, contact either Lois Self or Margie Cook at 753-1038.