Rochester Organizations Team Up to Celebrate Women's Suffrage Movement

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Several organizations are coming together this year to mark the women's suffrage movement's 100th anniversary in New York.

On Sunday, the University of Rochester’s Susan B. Anthony Center and the Eastman School of Music teamed up to bring the public the “Women’s Voice’s” concert.

Each piece, whether from the baroque period or more current eras, showed the variety of styles women have composed throughout the past century. These composers had to push past difficult barriers to have their voices heard.

“It really showed the breath of what women composers can write,” concert organizer Sylvie Beaudette said. “It can be very angular and arrhythmic or it can be sweet and touching, same as any other composer really.”

In addition to the music, guest speakers read quotes and lectures from women who contributed to the women’s suffrage movement. The day was about celebrating a century of women’s right to vote in New York and other issues related to the women’s rights movement.

“Of course we’re celebrating all the women who worked on behalf of the women’s right to vote and that was not only Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others, but their mentees because people had to continue doing the work after the original pioneers for the movement were no longer able to do that,” Susan B. Anthony Center director Catherine Cerulli said.

However, the concert wasn’t all about reflecting on the past. Organizers said it was also about looking ahead to what needs to be done, including the health and economic disparities women face.

“If we have the right to vote, why are we 20 percent of the House and Senate?” Cerulli said. “Why have we not had a female president yet? Why are four percent of movie industry directors women? If you look at every single industry, we lag behind.”

As the concert came to an end, Beaudette hoped it serves as an inspiration for attendees to continue pushing the women’s rights movement forward.

“If these women had to face such nonsense, really, and succeeded by persevering, by working very hard and together, I think we can accomplish anything truly,” Beaudette said.

For all the events the Susan B. Anthony Center, the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House and American Association of University Women are putting on throughout the year for the centennial celebration, click here.

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