“We look forward to a future large with promise and hope.” — Mary Church Terrell
Chautauqua 2020: Raising Their Voices
This summer, the Chautauqua stage goes virtual as Maryland Humanities raises the voices of four notable women who took action to secure their right to vote. We highlight the unique story of each of these historic figures as they fought for their rights. This year’s series starts in the 1600s and continues through the modern era.
A video of each performance will be posted for one week each Monday in July. Join us each Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. as we stream the performance and host a live Q&A with the performers starting at 2:00 p.m.. Sign up to participate in the Q&A and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win fun prizes. Capacity for each Q&A is 500.
Margaret Brent performed by Mary Ann Jung
July 6–12, 2020
Alice Paul performed by Joanna Guy & Elizabeth Cannon
July 13–19, 2020
Mary Church Terrell performed by Sherrie Tolliver
July 20–26, 2020
Fannie Lou Hamer performed by Arthuretta Holmes Martin
July 27–August 1, 2020
Learn About This Year’s Figures and Performers
- Margaret Brent (July 6-12)
Margaret Brent (1601–1671) was a British noblewoman who became a resident of St. Mary’s County in Colonial Maryland. In 1648, she became the first woman in Colonial America to request to vote and the first woman in Maryland to receive a land grant. She asked the all-male Maryland Assembly for two votes, one for herself as a landowner and one as Lord Baltimore’s attorney, however, the Assembly turned down her request. She used her authority as Lord Baltimore’s attorney to sell parts of his estate and settled the debts to soldiers hired to protect the colony, thereby staving off mutiny in Maryland. This angered Lord Baltimore and though the Assembly supported Brent’s actions, she eventually moved to Virginia, where she once again owned a large tract of land.
Mary Ann Jung is an award-winning actress who has appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, and the Today Show and has performed for the Smithsonian as well as the National Theatre, the Kennedy Space Center, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. She has been a lead actress and Director of Renaissance History and Shakespearean Language at the Maryland Renaissance Festival for more than forty years. Jung portrayed Clara Barton, Rosalie of Riversdale, Amelia Earhart, and Julia Child at past Maryland Humanities Chautauquas, and also performs as Sally Ride, Rosie the Riveter, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Virginia Hall, Juliette Gordon Low, and Good Queen Bess. She has a B.A. in British History from the University of Maryland.
- Alice Paul (July 13-19)Alice Paul (1885-1977), lived through the twentieth century women’s suffrage movement and wrote the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). As a child, her mother brought her to suffrage meetings, and her father, a wealthy Quaker businessman, was in favor of education for women and gender equality. Paul received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Upon returning to the United States, Paul lobbied Congress for a constitutional amendment and formed the National Women’s Party. She organized parades and pickets in Washington, D.C. in support of suffrage, endured verbal and physical attacks, often from the police—was arrested in 1917. After the passage of the nineteenth amendment, she and the National Women’s Party worked for the passage of the ERA.
Elizabeth (Liz) Cannon served on the Board of Directors of Maryland Humanities from 2010-2019 and has been an avid Chautauqua supporter for more than 20 years. Retired from a long career at Hewlett-Packard Co., she resides in Frederick, Maryland. Liz has performed in community theater and has conducted extensive research on Alice Paul. She holds a BA from Santa Clara University and an MA from Stanford University.
Joanna Guy won the Maryland State History Day individual performance contest in 2009 with her portrayal of Alice Paul. She has a broad range of experience in vocal performance and theater, and as a teen held the title of National Youth Storytelling Grand Torchbearer. Joanna is currently employed as a Senior Manager at Marriott International, Inc. in Bethesda and resides in Washington, DC. She holds a BA in Government and Music from Cornell University and an MBA from Duke University.
The video of their performance will be accessible on this page for the week of July 13th. A livestream of the performance, followed by a live Q&A session with the performers, will be held on July 15th; please register in advance.
- Mary Church Terrell (July 20-26)Mary Church Terrell (1863–1954) was born in Tennessee to two formerly enslaved business owners. Her parents’ affluence enabled her to attend Oberlin College. In 1892, the lynching of a friend sparked her activism. Terrell helped to found the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Association for Colored Women’s Clubs (NACWC): she became the first president of the latter. She also worked with the National Women’s Party in picketing at the White House in support of women’s suffrage. At the age of 86, she participated in actions in Washington D.C. to challenge discrimination in public places: her work contributed to the 1953 Supreme Court ruling deeming segregated eating facilities was unconstitutional. Terrell died four years later in Anne Arundel County.
Sherrie Tolliver is a native Clevelander whose 40 – year career as an actor, writer, director, stand – up comic and history interpreter has taken her across the country and around the world. She has performed in major productions at The Cleveland Play House, Karamu Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, Ensemble Theatre and the JCC Halle Theatre. As a member of the Group Women In History she has brought the stories of great American Women such as Rosa Parks, Madam C. J. Walker and Harriet Tubman to life for audiences of all ages. As a stand – up comic, she has been the opening act for such luminaries as Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Kool & the Gang, and Will Downing. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
The video of the performance will be accessible on this page for the week of July 20th. A livestream of the performance, followed by a live Q&A session with the performers, will be held on July 22nd; please register in advance.
- Fannie Lou Hamer (July 27-August 1)Fannie Lou Hamer (1917–1977) is considered one of the most powerful voices of the civil and voting rights movement in the South. In 1961, she attended a meeting led by members of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Outraged by efforts to deny Black votes, she became a SNCC organizer and in 1962, and led a group to register to vote in Mississippi, which they were denied. She was later arrested for sitting in a segregated bus station restaurant and was then beaten at the jailhouse. In 1964, she co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Party to increase Black participation in the Democratic Party. She later became part of Mississippi’s first integrated delegation. Hamer attempted to run for the Mississippi House of Representatives but was barred from the ballot. After becoming frustrated with the political system, Hamer shifted her focus to create economic opportunities for black farmers in Mississippi.
Arthuretta Martin is a lifelong storyteller, accomplished speaker, civil rights advocate Distinguished Toastmaster and teaching artist. Her repertoire includes Aesop’s Fables, Anansi, and Brier Rabbit Tales, as well as historical narratives of women in history including Fannie Lou Hamer, Odetta Holmes, Frances Walker Harper, Marian Anderson, and Siseretta Jones. She has performed in diverse venues from the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts to Johannesburg, South Africa, Cape Coast Ghana and Dakar, Senegal. She is a vocalist in the Howard University Rankin Chapel Choir, the Washington Revel’s Jubilee Voices based in Washington, DC, Voices from the Earth Inc.., National Association of Black Storytellers, National Storytelling Alliance, and the National Speakers Association. She holds a BA from James Madison University, an MA from Florida Institute of Technology and continued post-graduate work in public policy, history, and communication at George Mason University. Her theatrical and music training were at George Mason University, Voices from the Earth, Inc., Woolly Mamouth Theater, and the Edward Jackson of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Anne Hurley Studios, Fairfax, Virginia.
The video of her performance will be accessible on this page for the week of July 27th. A livestream of the performance, followed by a live Q&A session with the performers, will be held on July 29th; please register in advance.
Watch past Chautauqua performances
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in Chautauqua are the performers’ interpretations of the historical figures and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of Maryland Humanities, Chautauqua host sites, or our funders.