SOMA Celebrates Women’s History Month 2021: ‘Women Lifting Women’

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From the Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture

Elected officials in Maplewood and South Orange, in partnership with township departments, divisions, and organizations, join with local business districts to celebrate the achievements of women. The focus for 2021 is ‘Women Lifting Women which will be realized through more than 45 unique events including safe, socially distant and/or virtual concerts, performances, author events, exhibits, classes, fundraisers, drives, projects, and initiatives.

“We invite residents to celebrate our mothers, daughters, sisters, educators, first responders and frontline workers during these very challenging times,” said Maplewood Township Committeewoman Nancy Adams, “our two-town leadership is filled with support for the contributions of women throughout the years and especially today! Women are carrying the weight of the pandemic in “sheroic” ways: juggling their careers, families, homes, elderly parents, and their children’s education—which became virtual almost a year ago.” 

Sheena Collum, first woman to hold the title of Village President in South Orange, is proud that despite the limitations due to the ongoing pandemic, SOMA will honor our women in a variety of ways. “Our goal is to elevate, empower, support and showcase women throughout our community—in the news, via zoom, and sprinkled in the windows of our brick and mortar businesses in our two towns.”

“When we reflect on the events of the past year, Women’s History Month has taken on new meaning in 2021. With 55 percent of U.S. jobs lost in 2020 accounted for by women, COVID-19 has not only further exposed the pre-existing gender inequities that continue to exist in our society, the pandemic has deepened them. This cannot stand. We need women and girls to continue to lead and to thrive at all levels of our society and in our local community so that we do not run the risk of unwinding decades of hard-fought progress for generations to come.” – Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee

Highlights of events include: SHEROES, an exhibit of Female Essential Front-Line Workers; Windows-For-Women, two-town wide window gallery exhibition collaboration with 30+ female-owned SOMA businesses and 30 local female visual artists participating; ‘She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry’ Documentary Watch Party and Discussion with Columbia High School Current Events Club and POWER the Intersectional Feminism Club at CHS; Women’s History Month Day of Service: Food, Feminine Hygiene Products, and Women’s Clothing Drive; and WOMEN IN MUSIC Virtual Chamber Music Concert with Members from South Orange Symphony and Garden State Philharmonic, from SOPAC and The Woodland, with generous support and sponsorship from Pollock Properties Group, Keller Williams Premier Properties, and Matt Kean Guaranteed Rate.

So that everyone may enjoy and participate in the events for 2021 with physical distancing and covid-19 guidelines established, the majority of events will take place online, via Zoom, in store windows, displays and installations. Detailed descriptions, updates and links can be found at Weekly township email and social media campaigns will detail upcoming events.  #SOMACelebratesWomen

Women have played a critical role in leading, shaping, and enhancing our community, our country and humankind. Please join us as we celebrate Women’s History in March and always!


Visit for updates, details and links.
All events are free unless otherwise noted. The preliminary lineup of events is as follows:

  • WINDOWS-for-WOMEN: 30 SOMA Women-Owned Brick and Mortar Businesses Showcase the Visual Artwork of 30 Local Women Artists
    March 1 – March 31, SOMA Storefront Windows, Map Available
    SOMA celebrates women, Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture, Maplewood Department of Community Services, Maplewood Village Alliance, Springfield Avenue Partnership and South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA)
  • SHEROES – Celebrating Female Essential Workers Exhibit
    A Tribute to SOMA Female Frontline Workers
    March 1 – March 31, Windows at 1978 Springfield Avenue
    Maplewood: Health Department, Division of Arts & Culture, Department of Community Services, 1978 Maplewood Arts Center, and South Orange Village
  • The SHEROES of the Maplewood Police Force
    Month of March, Online and Social Media
    Maplewood Police Department, Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture
  • Artist Spotlight News Series Celebrating Female Local Artists
    Month of March, Weekly, Online + Social Media
    Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture
  • SOMA ‘Wear White for Women’ Photos
    All Welcome, Wear White, Snap a Selfie, Hashtag #SOMAWearsWhite & Post
    March 1 – March 31, Social Media/Instagram
    SOMA celebrates women
  • The Fight for Women’s Suffrage Online Exhibit
    March 1 – March 31 and Beyond, Permanent Online Link
    Durand-Hedden House
    March 1 – March 31, Drop off Monday – Saturday, 8am – 3pm
    OLS Food Pantry, MEND and FeedSOMany 
  • Women’s History Month Book Display Collection
    with Online Selection for Ordering
    Month of March, 179 Maplewood Ave. Window Display & Website
    [words] Bookstore
  • ‘BILLIE’ – Documentary about Billie Holiday, the Master Jazz Singer
    March 1 – April 1, Film On Demand, $12 Rental
    South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
  • ‘Linda Ronstadt – The Sound of My Voice’
    March 1 – April 1, Film On Demand, $8 Rental
    South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
  • ‘Ella Fitzgerald – Just One Of Those Things’
    March, 1 – April 30, Film On Demand, $12 Rental
    South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
  • Women’s History Month Book List Inspiration for Our Young Ones, Our Youth & Ourselves Month of March and Beyond, List: Books: Library and [words] Bookstore Maplewood & South Orange Librarians, and Resident and Editorial Director of Oprah’s Book Club Leigh Haber
  • Female-Owned Brick and Mortar Businesses List
    Month of March and Ongoing,
    Springfield Avenue Partnership, Maplewood Village Alliance, Maplewood Chamber of Commerce, and South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA)
  • Women’s History Month Proclamation
    Tuesday, March 2, 7:30pm, Zoom
    Maplewood Township Committee
  • Female Artist Rachel Arturi Pruzan Showcase at ReMerch
    March 2 – March 31, Tuesdays – Sundays, In-Person 10am -7pm, or Virtual
    ReMerch, 1843 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood
  • New Moms Virtual Coffee with SOMA Families Meetup
    Virtually Chat with Other “New” Moms – 1st Time Mom, Mom with New Baby or Expecting, or a Mom Who Needs Solidarity Navigating Motherhood
    Friday, March 5, 10am, Zoom, For SOMA Families Meetup Members Only
    SOMA Families Meetup and Molli Jackson Ehlert
  • ‘Musetta’s Stories and Melodies from Around the World’
    with Dr. Lori Brown Mirabal
    March 5 – March 31, Film On Demand, $10 Rental
    Progressive Theater
  • International Women Rising Series: Claudia Acuña, Virtual Concert
    Musical Celebration with Pablo Vergara (Piano), Carlos Henderson (Bass), Juancho Herrera (Guitar), Rodrigo Recabarren (Drums)
    Saturday, March 6, 3pm & 8pm, Online, Tickets $15 – $20
    South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) 
  • International Women Rising Series: Grand Opera Divas of Spain, Virtual Concert
    Montserrat Martí Caballé & Cecilia Lavilla Berganza
    Sunday, March 7, 3pm & 6pm, Online, Tickets $15 – $20
    South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
  • Wage Gap 62¢* On-The-Dollar Cup of Joe Fundraiser at Able Baker
    [*62¢ Is What a Black Woman Earns for Every White Man’s $1]
    Monday, March 8, Int’l Women’s Day, 8am – 4pm, Coupon Code: wagegap
    Able Baker and National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • We All Could Use a Laugh – Iconic Women of Comedy
    with Annabelle Gurwitch, Author of ‘You’re Leaving When?’ An Adventure in Downward Mobility, in Conversation with SNL Cast Member, Laraine Newman
    Tuesday, March 9, 7:30pm, Zoom Virtual Book Talk
    [words] Bookstore and JCC MetroWest
  • The Car Mom: Kelly Suntrup, Mom of Two Under Two, Who Grew Up in the Car Business, Brings Her Perspective to the Car Buying Experience — Narrowing Your List, Top Picks, Negotiating and More
    Tuesday, March 9, 8pm – 9:30pm, Online, $10 with Membership
    For SOMA Families Meetup Members Only
    SOMA Families Meetup and Carol Mahida 
  • Release, Breathe, Love: Creating More Love for You and the World
    Wednesday, March 10, 12pm, Free Zoom Workshop
    Rita Desnoyers-Garcia, Spiritual Teacher, Coach, and Author 
  • Women’s Self-Care. Dismantling the Myths. Speakers & Maplewood Residents: Former Miss America, Kim Cockerham; Former VP Global Communications, The Estée Lauder Companies, Trenesa Danuser; Global Communications Executive & Maplewood First Lady Marie McGehee; and Co-Founder BRWL Boxing + Yoga Studio, Michelle Swittenberg. Moderated by Mayor Frank McGehee  
    Wednesday, March 10, 7:00pm, Zoom
    Township of Maplewood 
  • ‘Swing Time’ by Zadie Smith, Classic & Contemporary Book Discussion Group,
    A Novel Following Two Brown Girls Who Dream of Being Dancers
    Wednesday, March 11, 7pm, Zoom
    Maplewood Library
  • MAPSO Pop Up Headshot Studio for All Women Including Those Who Identify within the LGBTQ+ Community Re-Entering the Work Force
    1st 30 Free for Maplewood and South Orange Residents/Registrants Based on Need. Once Full, a Number of Discounted Sessions will be Available for $50ea
    March 11 – March 22, by Appointment, in Person, at The Woodland
    Multiple Dates/Limited Time Slots – Register Online, First Come
    Maplewood Department of Community Services, South Orange Village, and
    Joy Yagid Photography LLC 
  • Virtual Book Talk: ‘In Case You Get Hit by a Bus: How to Organize Your Life Now for When You’re Not Around Later’
    with authors Abby Schneiderman and Adam Seifer 
    Thursday, March 11, 7:30pm, Zoom
    [words] Bookstore
  • A Variety of HER – A Celebration of Brave Girls in History & Culture with Stories and Acoustic Songs, For Ages 5 – 10 and Everyone
    Saturday, March 13, 4pm – 5pm, Online
    Kat De Bari, Musician and Teacher
  • The Writers Challenge: Juggling Humor, Permission, and The Voices Inside Our Heads, A special Women’s History Month Program with Writers VC (Tori) Chickering, Doreen Oliver and Rebecca Hardiman
    Monday, March 15, 7pm, Zoom
    Maplewood Library
  • Read Around the World: Senegal, ‘The Strong Women’ by Marie NDiaye,
    An Astonishing Feat of Self-Preservation, Stunning Narration of the Progress by which Three Ordinary Women Discover Unimagined Reserves of Strength
    Wednesday, March 17, 7pm, Zoom
    Maplewood Library
  • Three Visionary Women: Three Great Art Museums 
    Thursday, March 18, 7pm, Online, $20
    The South Orange-Maplewood Adult School
  • A Free Mother/Daughter Contemporary Ballet Zoom Class For All Levels
    Taught by Katie Lohiya, LJD Principal Dancer 
    Saturday March 20, 10am – 11am, Zoom
    Lydia Johnson Dance, and Lydia Johnson Dance School
  • The Women Who Built the Maplewood Library
    Thursday, March 18, 7:30pm, Zoom
    Hilton Neighborhood Association
  • Women’s History Month Virtual Cabaret
    Friday, March 19 – Sunday, March 21, Online, Tickets $10
    interACT Productions
  • Women’s History Month Day of Service: Food, Feminine Hygiene Products, and Women’s Clothing Drive
    Saturday, March 20, 12:30pm – 4:30pm, OLS Pantry Lot, 217 Prospect Street, SO
    South Orange & Maplewood Girl Scouts, OLS Food Pantry, South Orange Village, and Maplewood Township 
  • ‘She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry’ Documentary Watch Party & Discussion
    Saturday, March 20, 7pm, Free with Pre-registration. Vimeo + Zoom Discussion
    CHS Current Events Club, POWER, SOMA Film Fest, Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture, and Maplewood Department of Community Services
  • Virtual Book Talk: ‘In My Mosque’
    with Author Mindy Yuksel and Illustrator Hatem Aly
    Monday, March 22, 7pm, Zoom
    [words] Bookstore
  • Virtual Book Talk: ‘The Ten Year War’ by Jonathan Cohn and ‘The Trillion Dollar Revolution’ by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. Both Authors Discuss The Affordable Care Act in its 11th Year Anniversary
    Essential Consequence to Women, Women’s Health and Family
    Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm, Online
    [words] Bookstore
  • A Fireside Chat with Alexandra Carter, Moderated by Maplewood First Lady Marie McGehee. Alex Carter is a Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the Mediation Clinic at Columbia Law School, and author of “Ask for More,” a Wall Street Journal Bestseller. Marie McGehee is Global Communications Executive at Fortune 20 Company Wednesday, March 24, 7:00pm, Zoom Township of Maplewood
  • MOVE with FREEDOM – A Somatic Movement Workshop with Gena Rho, Clinical Somatic Educator Thursday, March 25, 12pm – 1:15pm, Free on Zoom Shakti Yoga and Living Arts, and Emerge Somatics
  • Women’s Work: A Tasting Celebrating Women in the Chocolate Industry
    Thursday, March 25, 7:30pm, Zoom, Single Tasting $36, 2-Person Tasting $60
    Nadine Kerstan Certified Chocolate Sommelier, Barometer Chocolate
  • SOPAC Sessions Concert: Roberta Gambarini with Cyrus Chestnut, John Lee and Tommy Campbell (Live Stream Series)
    Thursday, March 25, 7:30pm, Online, Tickets $10
    South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
  • ‘SUPERHEROES Are Everywhere’ by Kamala Harris
    A Reading of Vice President Kamala Harris’ Children’s Book
    Friday, March 26, Zoom
    Maplewood Department of Community Services
  • WOMEN IN MUSIC: Virtual Concert with Members from Garden State Philharmonic & South Orange Symphony
    Recorded from The Woodland & South Orange Performing Arts Center
    Friday, March 26, Online at
    Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture, Maplewood Department of Community Services, South Orange Village, and South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC). Generous support/sponsorship from Pollock Properties Group, Keller Williams Premier Properties, and Matt Kean Guaranteed Rate
  • ‘Lady Parts!’ Fun, Fabulous Scenes/Monologues Performed By & About Women
    March 27 & 28, Times To Be Announced, Free Zoom
    The Strollers
  • The Curios Beginner: Self-Discovery Through Playful Creation of Art Workshops for Women, Inspired by Tom Vanderbilt’s Critically Acclaimed Book, ‘Beginners’
    March 29, 7pm, Online Workshop, Fees Cover Supplies — Pickup at ReMerch
    Rachel Arturi Pruzan and ReMerch
  • International Women Rising Series: Magos Herrera Virtual Concert
    Friday, April 2, 3pm & 9pm Online, Tickets $15 – $20
    South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)

SOMA celebrates women honors the lives and achievements of women all throughout the year featuring a series of events geared towards education, empowerment, support and solidarity as we amplify women’s voices to honor the past, inform the present and inspire the future. #SomaCelebratesWomen

2021 SOMA Celebrates Women and Women’s History Month Team

Nancy Adams and Sheena Collum are joined on the SOMA Celebrates Women Steering Committee and Women’s History Month Team by Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee, South Orange Village Trustees Karen Hartshorn Hilton, Summer Jones and Donna Coallier, Maplewood Democratic Committee Co-Chair Garnet Hall, Former Maplewood Deputy Mayor Kathy Leventhal, Board of Education 1st Vice President Shannon Cuttle, South Orange Deputy Administrator Julie Doran, South Orange Village Center Director Melissa Hodge, Maplewood Village Alliance Director Deb Yohannan, Springfield Avenue Partnership Executive Director Nicole Wallace, Maplewood Department of Community Services Director Melissa Mancuso, Maplewood Director of Health Candice Davenport, Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture Director Ana De Archuleta, Maplewood Division of Arts &Culture Events Coordinator Lisa Mainardi, South Orange Recreation Director Peter Travers, and Maplewood First Lady Marie McGehee. IG: @SomaCelebratesWomen FB Groups: @somawomen 


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