'Forward Into Light': See Museums, Libraries and Civic Buildings Illuminated Nationwide To Celebrate Women’s Suffrage Centennial — And Join In

  • August 25, 2020 12:00

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California State Capitol in Purple and Gold for California's 100th Anniversary of Ratifying the 19th Amendment.
Woman's suffrage parade, Wash., D.C. Mar., 1913. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
National Archives in purple and gold for 'Rightfully Hers' exhibit, opened on May 10, 2019.
Alice Paul unfurls ratification banner on August 18, 1920. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Officers of Women's League, Newport, R.I., 1899. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Cover of "Creativity and Persistence: Art that Fueled the Fight for Women’s Suffrage"
National Endowment of the Arts

A national initiative celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage has cultural institutions, national park sites and civic buildings illuminating their façades in purple and gold lights, the official colors of the suffrage movement, starting on Women's Equality Day (August 26). 

Organized by the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC) with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Forward into Light campaign marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which secured women’s constitutional right to vote. The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., is among hundreds of institutions across the nation in this public art project honoring the historic suffrage slogan, “Forward through the Darkness, Forward into Light.”  

From August 26, Snapchatters will be able to use augmented reality lenses to apply a purple and gold gradient to their surroundings and add their photos to a digital mosaic of suffragists inspired by the WSCC’s Our Story: Portraits of Change mosaic, created by artist Helen Marshall.

For a list of participating places and information on the Forward into Light project, visit womensvote100.org/forwardintolight

The NEA has also published a book outlining how the arts were used to sway public opinion of the women's voting rights movement entitled Creativity and Persistence: Art that Fueled the Fight for Women’s SuffrageSee this YouTube discussion of the book hosted by Mary Anne Carter, Chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts.


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