It’s March, which also means that it’s Women’s History Month!
What first began in 1980 as a weeklong celebration in California’s Sonoma County, would eventually be recognized in 1995 as a month-long celebration, honoring generations of women and their vital contributions in American history.
Every “Women’s History Month” is designated by a presidential proclamation and is given a yearly theme by the National Women’s History Alliance. The 2022 theme ‘“Providing Healing, Promoting Hope” is both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.”
When it comes to participating in Women’s History Month 2022, museums can be one of the best places to start. Throughout March, museums across the country are highlighting the stories of historical and contemporary women through fun and educational programming (virtual and in-person).
Here are a few of this year’s festivities and resources from the field.
The National Women’s History Museum (not to be confused with the Smithsonian’s Women’s History Museum) is a 25-year-old virtual museum, filled with resources, tools, and programming specific to Women’s History Month. Dive into NWHM’s curated list of book recommendations or explore their virtual exhibitions.
There is no limit of what you can learn from an NWHM Women’s History Month virtual exhibition. The Museum’s diverse, engaging collection of online exhibits shines a light on trailblazing women, past and present. Learn all about The Women of NASA, explore the history of Women in the Olympics, or read about Harriet Tubman – an advocate for African American and women’s rights. View the entire collection of NWHM Women’s History Month online exhibits here.
Click here for more educational resources, news, and tools from the National Women’s History Museum.
Women’s History Month 2022 is being celebrated at Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) with some truly unique programming.
Every day in March, you can tune in for a free, online screening of Without a Whisper: Konnon:Kwe – a picture about the untold history of Native women’s influence on the early women’s rights movement in the United States. The screening is followed by a directors’ roundtable discussion.
In addition to Without a Whisper, NMAI is hosting their 2022 Mother Tongue Film Festival – an event that celebrates cultural and linguistic diversity by showcasing films and filmmakers from around the world, highlighting the crucial role languages play in our daily lives. This year features two films in particular:
- Centering Women’s Voices: Directors Roundtable
- I Ka Wā Ma Mua, I Ka Wā Ma Hope/Through the Past is the Future
If you’re a parent, NMAI even has a fun workshop for your kids! In the Celebrating Black & Native Women and Girls in Skateboarding 30min workshop, children will explore the innovative roles of Black and Native women and girls in the world of skateboarding. After the presentation, children will design some cool skateboard art as a form of self-expression. Activity kits are limited, so register soon!
View the National Museum of the American Indian’s Event Calendar here.
In honor of Women’s History Month 2022, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is delivering videos, a new podcast on Black feminism, blog articles, and other online resources to everyone at home. These performances, lectures, activities, and reading materials, celebrate America’s rich cultural heritage and help us understand our shared history.
NMAH is airing webcasts all month long. The March episode of NMAH’s HistoryTime object-based learning video series will feature the story of Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress. In “Brief and Incomplete: Votes for Women,” educator Julie Garner and activist Billie Krishawn will explore the history of woman suffrage, and the relevance of modern-day voting rights. You can even Cook Up History with a cooking demonstration from Chef Juliet “JuJu” Harris. Click here to view NMAH’s Women History Month videos and programs.
All during March, you can access NMAH’s Women’s History Resource Guides. These resource guides focus on women’s histories from the early days of the United States to the present, reflecting a wide range of content in a variety of formats. You can explore a variety of NMAH’s women-centered museum objects, podcasts, lesson planning guides, and more.
If you’re a fan of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, you won’t want to miss the posthumous presentation of the Great Americans Medal to Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her groundbreaking judicial work and commitment to gender equality and human rights. RSVP here.
For a comprehensive list of Women’s History Month programming from all Smithsonian institutions, head to the Heritage and History Month Events webpage.
Aside from these highlighted events, there’s an array of others in the field who are offering unique virtual programing in honor of Women’s History Month 2022. Here’s the start of our growing list:
- Conversations with Holocaust Survivors – 2022 First Person Series: Susan Warsinger – US Holocaust Memorial Museum
- A Women’s War: Teaching the Role of Women in the Revolutionary War – Museum of the American Revolution
- Women of Science: The Science of Being Human: What is Cultural Anthropology and What is it Doing in a Museum? – New York State Museum
If you'd like to add a virtual event to this list, please email the event to WMA staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Jessica Noyes, Communications Specialist, WMA