"Hear My Voice" Celebrates the Centennial of Women's Suffrage

Tone Lund is the executive director of Pend Oreille Arts Council, which in turn is a multi-year recipient for the The Bonner County Endowment for Human Rights grant. We invited Tone to tell us about the organization and its Living Voices initiative.

The Pend Oreille Arts Council exists to facilitate quality experiences in the arts through educational programs and presentations that benefit the people of North Idaho.

One of the ways POAC fulfills its mission is through exciting, educational performances that range from world music to classical dance and children's theater. We are proud to bring back

Living Voices from Seattle for the fourth year with a particularly timely production in honor of the centennial of women's right to vote. Living Voices combines dynamic solo performances with archival film and sound, turning history into a moving and personal journey. The story follows Jessie, the daughter of a Political columnist from Tennessee growing up in Washington, DC during the early 1900s. She dreams of being as important to her father as her younger brother is. When her Great-Aunt Charlotte, a longtime suffragist, comes to Washington, she introduces Jessie to the movement. Jessie begins to learn about the history of the women who started the movement, such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the new generation who have continued the fight, like Alice Paul and Lucy Burns--and those who oppose it, including her own parents. Despite their objections, Jessie soon becomes deeply involved in the suffrage movement, comparing their fight for democracy to the one her brother Will stands for when he goes overseas as a soldier in World War I. As tragedy strikes both at home and abroad and the battle for the vote continues to escalate, everyone in Jessie's family must face their own decisions about what they believe is right and the actions they are willing to take on this pivotal issue.

POAC is grateful to receive ongoing support from the Bonner County Endowment for Human Rights in support of these educational programs designed to share our nation's stories through the eyes of young people from underrepresented communities. Storytelling experiences like this have the power to bring communities together. Thanks to their generous support, we are also able to bring this program to 400 Bonner County students for in-school presentations.

Tone Lund, Executive Director (right) with Claire Christy, Arts Coordinator (left)

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