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The Museum, in partnership with the League of Women Voters of McLean County, are pleased to host a virtual program with musician Phil Passen, who will perform songs on his hammer dulcimer about women’s suffrage, along with additional sons about women’s role in mid-nineteenth century and early twentieth century society. The program will be presented on Saturday, August 8 at 1:15 p.m. via the Museum’s Facebook page.
The year 2020 marks a salient moment in Women’s History in the United States; the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Illinois has the distinction of being one of the first three states to ratify the amendment just six days after Congress passed it in 1919. Passen’s program consists of songs about women’s suffrage from the mid-nineteenth century through 1920, along with additional songs about the role of women in society, including songs about equal work for equal pay, reproductive rights, and other relevant topics. His program will begin with “Winning the Vote,” a humorous but pointed song written in 1912 as a conversation between men and women about women’s suffrage; and conclude with “Bread and Roses,” the anthemic song of women workers based on a poem inspired by the 1912 Lawrence textile strike. This is an entertaining and informative look at the fight for women’s right to vote and the continuing fight for women’s rights today.
A native of Ohio, few musicians play the hammered dulcimer. Fewer still sing while accompanying themselves on this fascinating instrument. Phil Passen does both. He was a full-time activist in the antiwar and civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s before he became involved with Folk Music. Itching to learn how to play a musical instrument, Passen did not pick up the dulcimer until 1994 when he saw it being performed at a concert. He has been playing ever since. He regularly performs at libraries and has also performed in the World Symphony Orchestra at Chicago’s Auditorium Theater. Following his performances, Passen also invites audience members to come up and take a closer look at his dulcimer and try their hand at it too.
For more information about this program, please contact the Education Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 309-827-0428.