It’s National Women’s History Month and members of The Haggin Museum could not pass up the opportunity to celebrate San Joaquin County’s women of significance.
HERstory, an archive and ancestry white-glove event, is slated for 6-9 p.m. today at the museum. It’s also a celebration of International Women’s Day, which is today.
“It was a natural development from The Haggin’s community involvement to partner with The Eleanor Project and Goodstock Productions,” said Susan Obert, deputy director at the museum for the past 16 years.
“When they approached us to host the event, the benefits to all were readily apparent,” she added. “As the planning unfolded, it provided us the opportunity to interact and engage with a number of incredible women and women’s organizations.”
The one-night only event will feature interactive exhibits, an opportunity to learn the art of papermaking, vintage clothing for sale, local artisans, historical archives about dynamic women in Stockton, libations, live music and Go Falafel Greek Food.
Musicians include Me and You The Acoustic Duo, who play radio hits from the 1970s to the current, and Wendi Maxwell & Tres Hot Jazz.
Dr. Edith “Edie” Sparks, chair of the University of the Pacific’s history department and vice provost for undergraduate education, will talk and have her book, “Boss Lady,” available for sale.
Sparks’ book highlights three first-generation women entrepreneurs: Tillie Lewis, founder of Flotill Products; Olive Ann Beech, co-founder of Beech Aircraft; and Margaret Rudkin, founder of Pepperidge Farm.
According to a description of her book, “Sparks adds a vital dimension to the history of twentieth-century corporate America and provides a powerful lesson on what it took for women to succeed in this male-dominated business world.”
Obert, who was born in San Francisco and raised in Southern California, said she feels the event is vital to Stockton’s community.
“It opens pathways and opportunities for women of all ages,” she said.
“The evening will be highlighting just a small sampling of the women and women’s organizations that make a difference in our community every day. From early business owners to activists, it will be a snapshot of the diversity and strength that they offer our community.”
The white-glove event is also symbolic.
“It represents an era, fashion and working conditions in modern day archives,” said Obert.
The Eleanor Project, also a part of the evening’s event, is a nonprofit named after Eleanor Roosevelt. It was established in 2015 by Kristen Birtwhistle and Stacey Jackson.
“Their vision aims to create productive and supportive events and programs that actively promote women, advance their community causes and celebrate their accomplishments,” said Obert. “Using creative ways to connect, to mentor, to build important relationships, Eleanor’s vision is to actively boost women at both the personal and professional level.”
The evening is open to all ages at $25 per person. Members of The Eleanor Project are admitted free.
Most importantly, Obert hopes to reach a large audience, especially among youth.
“I certainly hope we are developing a world that young girls recognize that they can do anything they can dream,” said Obert.
“Our community has a rich heritage of strong women who have had a positive impact on our city’s history,” she added. “That legacy is carried on today by strong, creative and talented women. We want to share this empowering message with as large an audience as possible.”
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit theeleanorproject.com or hagginmuseum.org.