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February 19, 2010

CW presents the role of women during Women's History Month in March

During Women’s History Month in March, Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg feature the programs that showcase the many roles of women on the eve of the American Revolution.

“The role of women in 18th-century Virginia has long been overlooked,” said Kristen Spivey, program developer in Colonial Williamsburg’s public history department. “Our Women’s History Month programs tell the stories of the vital roles women played at work, in the home and at war.”

Programs include:

  • A Lady and Her Music. Enjoy the music that enlivened the households of the 18th century. When time permitted, ladies of the middling and better sort indulged themselves and their families with music on harpsichord, spinet or English guitar. Presented 10 a.m.- noon on Mondays at the Wythe House from March 1-30 and 2-4 p.m. on Fridays from March 5-26 at the Geddy House. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes.
  • In the Parlour. A woman’s domain was her parlour where she spent her time engaged in the skills necessary to be considered both amiable and accomplished. Tea, poetry, music and dance – discover the world of the 18th-century woman. Presented 10:30 a.m., Raleigh Tavern on Tuesdays, March 2 and 9 and Thursdays, March 4 and 11. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes.
  • An Uncommon Soldier. Women serving in the military in the 18th century was not common. Many women followed the army as wives, nurses, cooks and laundresses. There were a few women who joined the ranks in disguise, and this program explores the experiences of one of them. Presented noon, Magazine yard, Wednesdays, March 3-31 and Saturdays, March 6 and 20. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes. Weather permitting.
  • The Duties of the President’s Wife. When George Washington was elected president, no one gave thought to what Martha Washington would do while he served his country. Mrs. Washington has been called upon to define a role that has served as a model down through the centuries. Join Mrs. Washington in the spring of 1789 and discuss with the first First Lady her duties and help her decide what role she will play. Presented 1:30 p.m., Monday, March 8 and 12:30 p.m., Mondays, March 15, 22 and 29, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Ticket: A Colonial Williamsburg admission pass or museum ticket allows guests to enjoy this program.
  • Only Your Hairdresser Knows: The Latest Fashions and News of the Day. Discover the world of women wigmakers and the ladies who wore them. Presented 1, 1:15, 1:30, 1:45, 2 and 2:15 p.m., Wigmaker Shop, March 9 and 23. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes. A free reservation is required.
  • Women’s Work in Business and Trade. Join skilled tradeswomen from Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Trades in a group discussion that focuses on women in commerce in colonial America. Presented 3 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, March 11 and 25. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission and museum passes.
  • Mother, Sister, Wife: The Women Around Washington. There were three women in George Washington’s life that knew him best and depended on him. Examine the relationships that Washington enjoyed with his mother, Mary Ball Washington, his sister, Betty Washington Lewis, and his wife, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington. Presented 1:15 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, March 12 and 26. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission and museum passes.
  • Meet a Nation Builder, Anne Wager. The Bray Society in England promoted education for enslaved children in the colonies. In Williamsburg, Ann Wager conducted the Bray School. Meet her and learn about her hopes and aspirations for their academic achievement. Presented 10 a.m., Mary Stith House, March 15, 22 and 29. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes.
  • Women In Portraits. Learn how women have been depicted in 18th- and 19th-century portraits on this guided tour. Presented 4 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, March 16, 23 and 30. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission and museum passes.
  • Freedom to Slavery. Hear the compelling story of Elizabeth, an enslaved African American woman forced back into slavery after living free with the Shawnee Indians on the western frontier. Presented 10:30, 11 and 11:30 a.m. and noon, Milliner Shop, March 20 and 27. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes. A free reservation is required.
  • Dyed in the Yarn at the Weaver. During the American Revolution, many of Virginia’s free citizens turned to newly established local cloth producers for their textile needs. Today guests are invited to stop by and see some of the yarn of various weights and types as it is dyed in the 18th-century manner. Presented 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m., Weaver, March 27. Ticket: Included in all Historic Area admission passes.

    Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

    Entrance to the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg is through the Public Hospital of 1773 at 326 W. Francis St. For information, call (757) 220-7724.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at www.history.org.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121



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