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Explore the roles of women during the Gilded Age at Macomb Community College's Lorenzo Cultural Center

– Tuesday, March 5, 2013 12:00AM

In an era in which women have orbited the earth, announced their candidacy for the presidency and run multimillion dollar corporations, it’s easy to forget that women did not even have the right to vote in the United States until 1920. The Lorenzo Cultural Center’s latest program series,The Gilded Age to the Great War: America at the Turn of the Century, which runs through May 5, features a number of presentations that explore the redefinition of women’s roles and rights during the period.

On March 14 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., historical re-enactor Marie Papciak portrays both Susan B. Anthony, the iconic activist for women’s rights, and Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, in Women Who Changed America: Susan B. Anthony and Juliette Gordon Low.

On March 20 at 11 a.m., the founding of Pewabic Pottery in 1903, which produced nationally renowned vessels, tiles and architectural ornamentation, by Mary Chase Perry Stratton, who was a founding member of the Detroit Arts & Crafts Society, is presented in Mary Stratton and Pewabic Pottery:  Then and Now.

On March 21 at 1 p.m., Elton Weintz, professor of history at Macomb, examines New York City’s worst occupational disaster in which 146 workers died, mostly immigrant women, and the building, fire and safety code reforms it initiated in The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911.

On March 23 at 1 p.m., storyteller Rosie Chapman performs the story of Madame C.J. Walker, a daughter of former slaves, who in the 1900s created a multinational company that in turn gave other women the opportunity to make their own fortune by selling her products door-to-door in Madame C.J. Walker: The First American Self-Made Woman Millionaire.

On April 5 at 11 a.m., Tara McCarthy, Central Michigan University history professor, recounts how women transcended traditional gender roles in the name of service and patriotism through participating in the Land League, a short-lived but popular agitation for land reform in Ireland, in Charitable Colleens or Voracious Viragoes: The Ladies’ Land League in America.

On April 19 at 11 a.m., Lara Vapnek, assistant professor of history at St. John’s University, shares the stories of the visionary women, who participated in campaigns to gain economic independence and political equality, from the end of the Civil War and - through the winning of women’s suffrage in 1920 in Breadwinners: Working Women in the Gilded Age.

On May 2 at 1 p.m., Macomb Community College Professor Elton Weintz presents an Emmy-nominated film that describes the efforts of suffragettes Alice Paul and Lucy Burns in their fight to gain voting rights for women during the Progressive Era in Real to Reel: Iron-Jawed Angels.

The Gilded Age program series also features a special exhibit from the Michigan’s Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame, Petticoat Patriots: How Michigan Women Won the Vote.  It explores how the women’s suffrage movement unfolded in Michigan, featuring stories, images and artifacts, as well as interactive elements including a voting booth and visitor dialogue area.

Preregistration is required for all presentations by calling 586.445.7348 or going online to  No registration is required to visit the exhibits.  The Lorenzo Cultural Center is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. 

About the Lorenzo Cultural Center

The Lorenzo Cultural Center ( explores the influences and experiences that shape our community's heritage, examining topics from a variety of perspectives and creating interactive opportunities for learning, celebration and entertainment.  Located on Macomb Community College's Center Campus, Hall and Garfield Roads in Clinton Township, the cultural center is adjacent to the Macomb Center for Performing Arts.

Media Contact: Tish Wirth, 586.445.7560,