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Women’s Equality Day celebration at the Theodore Roosevelt Site will include a themed performance of O’Connell and Company’s “Suffragist Diva”

This Sunday, in honor of Women’s Equality Day, the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site and O’Connell & Company are teaming up to present a special edition of “Suffragist Diva: An American Patriot’s Journey.” This show was created by O’Connell & Company’s artistic director, Mary Kate O’Connell, to mark the anniversary of Women earning the right to vote in the United States. At the event, guests are encouraged to view the TR Site’s current exhibit “Votes for Women!” which examines the long struggle for women’s voting rights and President Theodore Roosevelt’s rather complex relationship with the movement.

Women’s Equality Day marks the day that the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution became law, and women could vote in the fall elections, including in the Presidential election. “Last year I wrote this special version of DIVA by DIVA to celebrate this auspicious journey, “said Mary Kate O’Connell, “as well as to commemorate this awesome step towards women’s equality. Researching the show has given me a greater appreciation and respect for the women who have come before me. For those women who paved the way for me and future Generations.”

In fact, on August 26, 1920, none of the leaders of the women’s suffrage movement were present when the proclamation was signed, and no photographers or film cameras recorded the event. However, that afternoon Carrie Chapman Catt, head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, was received at the White House by President Woodrow Wilson and First Lady Edith Wilson.

This wonderful and timely tribute show version of DIVA by DIVA is brimming with songs, readings, humor, and quotes by famous women and suffragists. The cast consists of local actors, artists, and community leaders. 

As an aside, Stanton Hudson, Jr., Executive Director of the TR Site recalls a story relating to women’s preservation efforts in the City of Buffalo, “it was a group of women from the Junior League of Buffalo who were instrumental in saving the house from the wrecker’s ball in the 1960s. The JLB also made what was then a huge financial commitment to the early restoration efforts at the historic house.” Hudson adds, “Since it’s opening in 1971, women have provided the leadership, both as volunteers and in staff capacities, which has gone a long way in making the Inaugural Site the cultural gem it is today and one of the Buffalo area’s most important heritage destinations.”

Tickets are $20 for general admission, but only $15 for TR Site members, and can be purchased here. A reception will follow the performance.

Performances of “Suffragist DIVA: An American Patriot’s Journey” are funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; administered by Arts Services Initiative of Western New York.

Written by Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli is an author, speaker, coach, marketer, and business development strategist. Her professional consulting company, MEMC handles all aspects of marketing and business development planning and implementation, assisting with strategic planning initiatives and the creation of marketing action plans, as well as planning and executing private and public events, including: the coaching of individuals, multi-day conferences, as well as other development initiatives. In addition to her work with MEMC, Jessica oversees the day-to-day operations and strategic marketing efforts at Local Matters, Inc. the parent company of Buffalo Rising.

She is active in her community and serves on several non-profit boards, such as WNY Heritage Magazine, O'Connell & Company Productions, and the Women's Business Center (WBC) Advisory Board. She is also a Democratic Committee Member in the Town of Tonawanda. Most recently, She has been asked to serve as the Marketing Consultant for the WBC's COVID Recovery Task Force.

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