Social in Seattle

Celebrating Women Making History Month

Honoring women’s contributions throughout Seattle

By Linda Lowry April 11, 2024

Celebrating Womens Making History Month_16x9

In March, the Seattle community united to honor and celebrate Women Making History Month and International Women’s Day, creating an atmosphere of empowerment and recognition.  

In a vibrant celebration marking the commencement of Women Making History Month, the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) proudly unveiled a transformative exhibit featuring the works of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, an esteemed artist from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation. The new exhibition is a journey of introspection, exploration, and cultural resonance. 

Smith’s art combines abstraction, expressionism, and pop art to offer a unique perspective on American life and identity. “Memory Map,” the most extensive retrospective of her work to date, ignites crucial discussions on biases in art recognition and societal narratives. Born in 1940 on the Flathead Reservation in Montana, Smith’s story is about resilience, determination, and creativity. She started as a self-taught artist drawing animals on scrap paper and overcame childhood discrimination to become a trailblazing figure in the art world. 

The opening night reception was attended by many art enthusiasts and supporters, including members from SAM Supporters. Smith’s journey is a story worth sharing, and an experience that will resonate with all who engage with it. The exhibit will be on display until May 12, 2024. 

In a night brimming with inspiration and camaraderie, the 2024 ZGIRLS Gala illuminated the Crystal Ballroom at the Washington Athletic Club. The event celebrated a decade of empowering young girls, bringing together community leaders, supporters, and alumni to honor the remarkable achievements of the Bellevue-based nonprofit. ZGIRLS is dedicated to nurturing confidence and resilience in young girls. The evening’s centerpiece was a captivating panel discussion moderated by Courtney Thompson, a two-time USA Volleyball Olympic medalist. The panel featured esteemed guests, including Olympic gold medalist Michelle “Shot Diva” Carter and WNBA Champion Mistie Bass-Boyd. Their insights about the importance of nurturing self-worth in young women deeply resonated with the guests, highlighting the powerful impact of mentorship and empowerment. A particularly moving moment unfolded when Katelynh, a 15-year-old alum of the ZGiRLS Confidence Program, shared her heartfelt story of personal growth. She went from being timid and uncertain to becoming a confident leader. Her narrative beautifully highlighted the profound impact of ZGiRLS’ initiatives, and exemplified the organization’s unwavering commitment to empowering girls. Jilyne Jarvis, co-founder and Executive Director of ZGiRLS, celebrated the achievements of more than 4,000 girls influenced by ZGiRLS’ programs. Donors raised $238,410, ensuring that more middle school girls will benefit from confidence-building skills.

The recent IGNITE Worldwide Gala empowered young girls in STEM, showcasing the organization’s commitment to providing free programs to schools globally. Supporters played a vital role in expanding IGNITE’s program to new schools and communities, paving the way for a more inclusive future in STEM. 

The gala featured a lineup of distinguished speakers and panelists, each lending their expertise and insights to the cause. Among them were Deedee Sun, weekend anchor and reporter at KIRO 7, who served as master of ceremonies, and Jamila Conley, vice president of global talent acquisition at F5, who delivered a powerful keynote address. Additional featured speakers included Bianca Richman, inclusion diversity and equity business partner at Amazon Web Services, and Cathi Rodgveller, founder and CEO at IGNITE Worldwide, whose leadership has been instrumental in driving IGNITE’s mission forward. 

Highlighting the evening were panel discussions featuring IGNITE students from Federal Way Public Schools, Renton School District, Seattle Public Schools, and West Valley School District. The students offered firsthand accounts of their experiences and aspirations in STEM. Leading the discussions was Lindsay Hua, vice president of global deployment and head of diversity in technology at Afiniti, who guided insightful conversations on the importance of diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. Attendees left with a renewed commitment to IGNITE’s mission, highlighting the power of collective action in breaking barriers and creating opportunities for girls in STEM. This sets the stage for a future where every girl can pursue her passion in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

In a heartwarming celebration of exceptional women, the Legends Campaign, a partnership between Seattle Reign FC and Starbucks, highlights individuals making remarkable contributions to our community in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Prior to the 2024 home opener of Seattle Reign FC, where OL Reign triumphed in a 1-0 victory over Washington Spirit, the club paid tribute to Michele Smith, CEO of The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) in Seattle, for her exceptional leadership and dedication. 

Smith, a lifelong admirer of the arts, seeks to create a future where everyone has equal access to the transformative power of art and cultural experiences. She is also an enthusiastic advocate for mentorship, encouraging young women to embrace their individuality and advocate for themselves. Her recognition as a Seattle Reign FC Legend underscores her commitment to promoting inclusivity and empowerment, serving as an inspiration to others. 

MoPOP recently celebrated the opening of its latest exhibit, Massive: The Power of Pop Culture, for the first time. This flagship exhibition promises to immerse visitors in timeless pop culture moments and stories by showcasing iconic artifacts from MoPOP’s permanent collection alongside immersive interactive exhibits and more. 

The exhibit’s curators are Amalia Kozloff; associate curators are Adeerya Johnson and Stefanie Terasaki; and the exhibition designers are Rosie Alyea, Fernanda Casar, and Madison Schneider.  “We designed this exhibit with three main themes: Pop culture is global, a catalyst for change, and always changing and transforming,” Kozloff says. 

Highlights include items such as the Dorothy Gale Dress worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz (1939); the Ancuta Sarca X Nike Bugatti Sneaker Pump limited edition worn by Kim Kardashian in 2022; and the special effect shirt worn by Robert Patrick in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). The opening celebration featured a performance by the 8-Bit Brass Band and a DJ set by Wax Witch. Coffee Dance Studio also hosted a K-Pop dance-along. 

The opening party was attended by notable community leaders, including Chelsea Most, director of programs and events at Seattle Center; Mrs. Universe Arpita Ghosh-Dacy; Dr. Michele Terry from the University of Washington Department of Medicine, assistant dean, Office of Faculty Affairs; and Dr. Pela Terry, executive director of Atlantic Street Center. 

Massive: The Power of Pop Culture promises an unforgettable experience, spanning 2,400-square-feet of exhibition space. This installation is a tribute to the influence of global pop culture in our everyday lives. It explores our dual roles as consumers and creators. 

University Village also hosted an empowering and stylish event to commemorate Women Making History Month and International Women’s Day. The shopping center extended invitations to guests to join them for the Women Supporting Women event, which went beyond the typical shopping experience, serving as a platform for celebrating female entrepreneurship and fostering community connections. 

This year’s event highlighted more than 30 participating retailers, featuring more than 20 local, women-owned brands. The day was filled with exploration, inspiration, and support for fellow women in their entrepreneurial endeavors. To ensure guests made the most of their visit, personalized itineraries meticulously mapped out the locations of each store for seamless navigation. Attendees embarked on a curated journey, starting at Piatti, where they enjoyed a delicious lunch. Next on the agenda was a stop at Trophy Cupcakes, where guests satisfied their sweet cravings with International Women’s Day Cupcakes. The exploration continued at Jenni Kayne, where attendees delved into The Rookery Flower Farm and History and Industry pop-ups that showcased the talents of local women entrepreneurs. 

At Something Silver, guests had the opportunity to meet owner Kris Hussey, explore a curated selection of women-owned brands, and take advantage of an exclusive offer: 40% off permanent bracelets. The journey then led to Levi’s for the Terra Prints pop-up, followed by a captivating finale at Anthropologie, where guests indulged in the Wells + Willa Hat Club pop-up and captured cherished memories at the lively photo booth experience. The event extended beyond mere shopping, providing a platform to connect with like-minded individuals, support local businesses, and honor the remarkable contributions of women throughout history. 

Let’s continue to honor and celebrate women’s remarkable achievements and contributions every day of the year. 

Until next time, Seattle!

About the Social in Seattle Column

Linda Lowry is the director of opportunity at Seattle magazine. She has a pulse on the greater Seattle region’s social landscape and provides insight on the people and personalities that make our city vibrant and unique.

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