Berkeley’s “Early Women” exhibit
Berkeley’s fall history season kicks off this weekend with the opening of a new exhibit, “Early Women of Berkeley (1878-1953),” at the Berkeley History Center.
During the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, women were far from idle in civic affairs. Excluded from voting, office-holding, and many occupations and activities, local women formed their own organizations and networks and took on political, social, and other community-minded causes.
The movement that ensured Berkeley’s character as a town filled with Arts & Crafts homes was started by women who formed the Hillside Club in the 1890s to lobby for “building with nature” and stand up to both city officials and local developers.
Berkeley women also organized vigorous chapters of the League of Women Voters, the College Women’s Club/American Association of University Women, and a dizzying array of home-grown social and activist societies from World War I’s Mobilized Women of Berkeley to the Women’s City Club, Town & Gown Club, and Berkeley Political Equality League.
The exhibit profiles several organizations as well as notable women in early Berkeley history from Barbara Armstrong (first woman law professor in the United States), to Phoebe Hearst (first woman to serve as a UC Regent), Carrie Hoyt (Berkeley’s first woman mayor), architect Lillian Bridgman, and philanthropist and naturalist Annie Alexander.
Also featured are Berkeley women who pioneered across daunting racial barriers, including artist Haruko Obata, African American schoolteacher Ruth Acty, and activists Frances Albrier and Tarea Hall Pittman.
Curated by Phyllis Gale and co-sponsored by the Berkeley Historical Society and College Women’s Club, the exhibit opens with a special program on Sunday, Sept. 28, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Berkeley History Center, 1931 Center St., in the Veteran’s Memorial Building.
The opening follows the annual “How Berkeley Can You Be?” parade in Civic Center Park, right in front of the Veteran’s Building.
Admission to the opening is free, as is admission to the exhibit during the Center’s regular hours, Thursday-Saturday, 1-4 p.m., throughout the fall.
Two weeks after the opening, on the afternoon Sunday, Oct. 12, a free Afternoon Tea honoring the Women’s Club Movement in Berkeley will be held from 3-5 p.m. in the exhibit space with a special guest speaker.
Berkeley Y hosts literacy night
The Downtown Berkeley YMCA holds its first Family Literacy Night from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Y, 2001 Allston Way.
Funded by a grant from Every Child Counts of Alameda County, the event features storytelling, music, games, book swaps, and a chance to make a book.
For further information, call 486-8408 or visit baymca.org.
Smut peddler honors Free Speech Movement
The Berkeley chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union will honor the 39th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement by hosting one of American’s most controversial First Amendment advocates.
Larry Flynt, recall election gubernatorial candidate and self-avowed smut peddler, will address ACLU members in the Pauley Ballroom West on the UC campus at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 6.
The publisher of Hustler magazine, Flynt has been an outspoken advocate of free speech rights, and occupies a wheelchair as the result of a near-fatal gunshot wound he received outside a courthouse where he was on trial for selling pornography.
Flynt’s address will be accompanied by remarks from a panel of First Amendment scholars who will discuss the role of controversial speech in American life.
Swimmers fight cancer
The East Bay Women’s Cancer Resource Center is looking for participants, volunteers, and donors for its annual Swim A Mile fundraising event, to be held Oct. 4 and 5 at Trefethan Aquatic Center on the Mills College Campus in Oakland.
Would-be swimmers can call 601-4040 ext. 180 for registration information or e-mail email@example.com. For more information on Cancer ResourceCenter Services, call 604-4040 or visit the site online, www.wcrc.org.