Women and the Vote NYS: Remember suffragists

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ROCHESTER — Women and the Vote NYS encourages New York State residents to cast their ballot, then visit a suffragist’s grave site to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment.

New Yorkers can use the website Women and the Vote NYS, with its interactive map linked to a directory of suffragists to discover those buried in their community.

The website currently includes almost 300 individuals – women and men of all ages – whose grassroots efforts resulted in the passage of milestone legislation including the 19th Amendment (1920), the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

On Election Day, filmmakers will be stationed at a number of cemeteries across the state to interview visitors, capture insights and record footage that will form the foundation of a new documentary, Election Day 2020 NYS.

The film will be produced by Emmy award winning documentary filmmaker Linda Moroney of Low to the Ground Productions. Confirmed cemeteries at which filmmakers will be located include Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Westchester, and Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.

Visitors to grave sites where there are no filmmakers are invited to submit selfies and video via social media, which may be used in the film, by tagging #WomenandtheVoteNYS. Visit WomenandtheVoteNYS.com for the times filmmakers will be onsite at designated cemeteries.

Discussing her approach to the film, Linda Moroney said ”We are starting from a place of non-partisanship, as we want to create a space for civic dialogue on Election Day. This project is a bridge between New York State’s rich and diverse suffrage legacy and contemporary voters and, hopefully, future voters. We anticipate conversations will be varied, insightful, challenging, and honest, just as New Yorkers are known to be.”

This initiative, spearheaded by Moroney, who is also a film festival programmer, had collaboration from award-winning storyteller Lorraine Woerner- MacGowan, owner of Four Cats Creative, Laura Chekow, film educator and community project coordinator, and Carol White Llewellyn, Owner of CommuniVision Studio and award-winning producer of Conversations with Creatives.

The collaboration included the work of more than 30 dedicated volunteers who contributed to the research behind the directory. The Susan B. Anthony House & Museum is the fiscal sponsor for the Women and the Vote NYS initiative. The program was funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is also underwritten by a grant from The Sea Stone Foundation.

In addition to the interactive map, bios and photos, the Women and the Vote NYS website includes a portal for residents to submit information about suffragists buried in New York State who are not currently listed on the website.

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