We stay involved!
Every month we engage with each other and our community. Here are a few of our recent activities.
Kansas City Athenaeum received recognition in April for a major donation sponsoring the Community Remembrance Project at Black Archives of Mid-America. The Story's in the Soil is a new permanent exhibit at the museum.
Women's History Month
Kansas City Athenaeum sponsored the Kansas City Public Library’s YouTube presentation of "Brides on the Santa Fe Trail" in recognition of Women's History Month. Historian Joy L. Poole featured five wives who traveled the Santa Fe Trail from Missouri to New Mexico between 1830 and 1870. She researched diaries kept by young brides who accompanied their husbands on the overland journey. This YouTube presentation was streamed live on March 14, but continues to be accessible at youtube.com/kclibrary. The bicentennial of the Santa Fe Trail is being celebrated in 2021.
Veterans Community Project Donation
Kansas City Athenaeum is very proud to join Team 49, part of the Veterans Community Project supporting 49 Tiny Houses for homeless veterans. Michele Orpin, Director of Development, accepted the $10,000 donation in February from our Vice President of Philanthropy, Tamara Miller (right). The donation sponsors one of the tiny homes, supporting the costs of a veteran's case management, health care, furnishings, utilities and household goods.
Donation to The Sewing Labs
Kansas City Athenaeum donated $10,000 to The Sewing Labs in January. President Virginia Wallace (left) presented the check to Eileen Bobowski, Executive Director, and Lincca Stevens, Co-Founder and Operation/Program Manager. The Sewing Labs conducts sewing classes to train women for higher paying jobs as seamstresses for the garment and mattress industries, as well as coordinating community service needs. The donation will help expand its social media communications, improve coordination with local organizations, and revamp its website.
Athenaeum members displayed signs on November 3, 2020, thanking Suffragists for their efforts in gaining the women’s right to vote in 1920. Our event held on Election Day encouraged pedestrians to place “I Voted” and “Thank You” stickers on the signs.
Virtual Reassembly Day
Our 127th Annual Reassembly Day Tea on September 9, 2020, was an unprecedented affair. With packages delivered in advance to our members, filled with tea bags and snacks, we “attended” while in the comfort and safety of our homes during the coronavirus pandemic. Our club’s 1918 Reassembly Day Tea was cancelled because of the flu epidemic that year, but modern technology allowed us to persevere in 2020. We’re moving forward with plans for virtual online club meetings and safe innovative community service projects until we can again meet and work together side by side.
19th Amendment Centennial Project
Kansas City Athenaeum donated $200 in Domino’s Pizza gift cards and 30 Suffragists Coloring Books to Missouri Girls Town in August 2020 for the girls to celebrate the 19th Amendment Centennial. GFWC South Kansas City Area Girls Town Club partnered in this project by donating crayons, markers, and colored pencils. MGT staff turned our project into a ten-day activity for the girls, adding extra emphasis on Suffragists’ efforts. Club member Becky Garrison compiled six pages of “American Suffrage Facts” that broadened this learning experience for the girls. Our $200 enabled them to have a pizza party at the onset of the project and another pizza party for the finale.
Black Archives of Mid-America Donation
Kansas City Athenaeum made a donation in January 2020 toward a new permanent exhibit at the Black Archives of Mid-America. The exhibit is called The Story's in the Soil with 60 pedestals, each displaying a portrait of a person who was wrongfully lynched in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma or Arkansas. Next to the portrait is a jar of soil dug at the site where the vigilante lynching took place and a biography of the victim whose life meant more than the unfairness of a tragic ending.