2021 Annual Report

2021: New beginnings take shape

Some of Maryland’s accomplished women have lived in the public eye. Others have quietly made contributions that have been overlooked. Our pledge is to seek out, listen and preserve the stories of women who have changed our world in some way. We embrace the rich diversity upon which our country and state was built and remain committed to “Add HERStory to history to tell OURstory.”

See what’s kept us busy this year. Read/download a print copy of MWHC’s 2021 Annual Report

We need you now more than ever to help us continue our momentum. Please donate, volunteer and/or attend our programs to ensure that the legacy of Maryland’s women is preserved.

We are transforming the historic storefront at Marian House/Woman’s Industrial Exchange into a welcoming space that honors Maryland women

Since our move in December 2020 into Marian House/Woman’s Industrial Exchange at 333 N. Charles Street, we have unpacked, reorganized and refurbished thanks to a $7,500 grant from Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. Our meeting and exhibit space celebrates women from all over Maryland.

Given Baltimore City’s COVID guidelines, we have hosted small tours and events by appointment only.  We hope to begin a regular visitor schedule in Spring 2022. 

This is an evolving project and depends on funding and resources. We envision a dynamic place with interactive and engaging exhibits and timely programs.

We spotlighted fascinating women in 2021 programs

(January) The Next 100 Years: Continuing the Work of our Maryland Foremothers, supported by a $2,000 grant from Maryland Humanities (Virtual)

(February) A Salute to Maryland’s Black Women Legislators (Virtual) 

(March) MWHC co-sponsored African American Suffragists of Maryland, with Anne Arundel County Public Library. Speaker: Ida Jones PhD and MWHC board member (Virtual)

(August) Women’s Equality Day with an inaugural open house at MWHC headquarters. The Maryland Women’s Legislative Caucus presented a citation marking the occasion (Onsite)

(September) Traveling While Black: Tales & Tips from Black Women Travel Writers led by board member and former CNN travel correspondent Kalin Thomas (Virtual)

(November) A conversation with Old Mill High School student Rebekah Mueller about her Maryland History Day winning essay From Uncle Tom to The Hill We Climb: The Legacy of Harriet Beecher Stowe, MWHC sponsors Maryland History Day’s Women’s History Award each year. (Virtual)

MWHC and our partners celebrated forgotten Maryland suffragists with statewide historical markers

To honor women in Maryland who fought for the passage of the 19th Amendment, MWHC commemorated Maryland suffragists with the installation of permanent historical markers. We do this in collaboration with volunteer women’s history experts and funding from William G. Pomeroy Foundation.

These markers put Maryland on the map since they become part of the National Votes for Women Trail. The MWHC represents Maryland on the National Collaborative of Women’s History Sites, which manages the National Votes for Women Trail.

Last year, we came together with other women’s history advocates to celebrate markers at Goucher College and Druid Hill Avenue in Baltimore City. Four additional markers were unveiled this year in Carroll, Harford, Howard and Montgomery counties. Eventually, there will be ten markers placed around the state. 

We explored all options to remain financially stable in uncertain times

We are grateful for several COVID relief grants:  

  • Small Business Administration: $15,000
  • Maryland Humanities SHARP recovery grant: $10,000
  • Baltimore City COVID relief fund: $3,817

Thank you to the Baltimore National Heritage Area for their general support and a $15,000 grant. We are honored to a part of the effort to preserve and celebrate Baltimore’s historic people and places.

However, there were significant losses in fundraising and donor engagement this year. Several board members stepped up with personal donations and social media appeals that raised approximately $5,000.

Though we will continue to seek grant support, COVID-related grants will likely not be available next year. Future fundraising campaigns will focus on donations, sponsorships, new grant opportunities and planned giving.  

New this year: we highlighted women artists and their work in our street facing bay-style exhibit window

This year we initiated the MWHC Woman Artist Window with three exhibits and receptions in 2021. This adds energy to Charles Street as businesses reopen. Increased foot traffic will draw attention to our new location.

We celebrate diverse female Maryland artists who create in sculpture, acrylics, oils, fiber and other ways. .

  • (August) Leigh Marget displayed her unique mixed media portraits of women
  • (October) A posthumous exhibit of Sony Florendo’s vivid paintings that inspired Maryland’s Filipino American community
  • (November) Megary Sigler whose sculptures explore parallels between the mundane and the magical by using the human body and an array of embellishments

There is a schedule of upcoming featured artists in place for 2022.

Lending our expertise

At the request of Notre Dame University Renaissance course, we coordinated the six-session Maryland Women of Achievement course. A special thanks to Dr. Pamela Young who is the course’s volunteer coordinator as well as to board members who hosted a session: Dr. Ida Jones, Dr. Amy Rosenkrans, Sally Grant and Kate Campbell Stevenson.

MWHC was proud to partner with AAUW (American Association of University Women)-Garrett Branch to celebrate the accomplishments of Western Maryland’s valiant women at the annual Victorian Chautauqua in Garrett County’s Mountain Lake Park. 

MWHC was asked to contribute to programs and presentations at the Jewish Museum, Maryland Commission for Women, AAUW, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Dubois Circle, Laurel Historical Society, Maryland Business Professional Women, at the Montgomery County marker ceremony and at Maryland ERA events.

Board development

MWHC welcomed Dr. Amy Rosenkrans as a new board member. She has a strong background in women’s history and is a long-time social studies educator.

Our board consists of women from various fields of expertise including education, communications, the arts and community activism. Their contributions of time and talents plays an important role in program development, web site enhancements, social media campaigns, fundraising events and personal fundraising social media campaigns.

Over the past several years, we have maintained our status as a nonprofit in “good standing.” In addition, we upgraded our nonprofit organizational infrastructure and processes. This enhanced our grant eligibility and acquisitions. Our new location provides credibility and new collaborations with local historic organizations.

We welcome inquiries from potential board members, especially in Maryland’s western and eastern counties.

Stronger together

We annually sponsor the Women’s History Award as part of Maryland Humanities’ Maryland History Day. This year’s winner, Rebekah Mueller from Old Mill High School, joined us in a virtual discussion of her research paper From Uncle Tom to The Hill We Climb The Legacy of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Registration proceeds will support a 2022 award.

Maryland Humanities provided $7500 worth of technical support from TimeLooper to our volunteer researchers to develop Valiant Maryland Women, a virtual reality app that will be accessed in our exhibit space as well via the internet.  

Maryland Historic Trust awarded MWHC certificates of achievement for our work in producing Ballots and Beyond, a 25-episode podcast that explored the lives of Maryland suffragists and voting activists. The production was a collaboration with Preservation Maryland. Over 20 MWHC volunteer contributors researched, edited and recorded these podcasts.

We donated the Maryland Women’s Hall of Hall of Fame exhibit to Notre Dame University. The display is too large for our current location. The University is designing a space for a permanent installation. In its place, we plan an on-site kiosk and virtual access to our ever-expanding Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame biographical collection.  

Please click on photo gallery to enlarge photos and read captions. 

Samuel Storey, Director of Economic Development at Downtown Partnership of Baltimore:

“Downtown Partnership of Baltimore was honored in 2021 to support the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center’s relocation to 333 N. Charles Street. We are confident their community programming and accessible historical resources will contribute to the inclusive and dynamic growth of the Downtown and Mt. Vernon areas.” 

Beverly B. Carter, Dubois Circle historian:

“The Maryland Women’s Heritage Center (MWHC) sponsored a historical marker dedicated to Dubois Circle member suffragists Augusta Chissell and Margaret Gregory Hawkins to commemorate their role in the struggle to obtain voting rights for women. Working in partnership with the MWHC, the Dubois Circle, a Baltimore African American women’s group, was able to highlight the role that its members, along with other members of Baltimore’s African American community, played in the fight for voting and civil rights.”

Judy A. Carbone, AAUW-Garrett Branch President, Swanton, Maryland:

“The Maryland Women’s Heritage Center is critical to highlighting the stories of the untold but, more importantly, educating our communities on what it means to be at the forefront of creating a movement. Their contributions, collaboration, and commitment to our Maryland women are simply phenomenal.”