Book Celebrates Notable Women of the Philadelphia Area

PS Books’ Extraordinary Gifts, whose honorees include Louisa May Alcott and Marian Anderson, to be released in honor of Women’s History Month

[img_assist|nid=11466|title=|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=140|height=189]PHILADELPHIA, February 4, 2014
—PS Books, a division of Philadelphia Stories, has announced the release of Extraordinary Gifts: Remarkable Women of the Delaware Valley, a unique collaboration of local artists and writers celebrating the ground-breaking accomplishments of Philadelphia-area women past and present. PS Books has partnered with the Philadelphia Girls Rowing Club for the book’s official launch, which coincides with Women’s History Month. The event is open to the public and begins at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at the Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club, whose late founder Ruth Robinhold is among those honored. [Ciick here to see photos from the event.]

Extraordinary Gifts: Remarkable Women of the Delaware Vall
ey combines original visual art with poems and short fiction inspired by 20 remarkable Delaware Valley women. Some of these women—Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Mead, and Marian Anderson among them—are well known. Others, such as Alice Steer Wilson, Dorothy P. Miller, and Helga Testorf, might be less familiar. But none of them allowed the limitations of society’s expectations for their gender to stop them from fulfilling their potential—and all of them paved the way for the dozens of contemporary female writers, poets, and artists who have contributed creatively to this book.

“Women today, especially artists and writers, are often forced to make a choice between leading an extraordinary life and following a more stable, lucrative, expected path. Projects like Extraordinary Gifts remind us who the women were who came before us, allow contemporary female writers and artists to share their extraordinary gifts with the world, and encourage women to think about how they want to make a difference in their world,” said Melissa Tevere, art editor for Philadelphia Stories and founder of MamaCITA.

Featured women include:

●    Ruth Robinhold, who started the Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club when none of the other clubs on Boat House Row allowed “members of the weaker sex” to row.
●    Suffragette and abolitionist Lucretia Mott, the first president of the American Equal Rights Association.
●    Sarah Josepha Hale, writer and the first “editress” of a national women’s magazine.
●    African-American opera singer and south Philadelphia native Marian Anderson. When she was not allowed to sing at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the DAR in protest.
●    Mary Cassatt, of whom Edgar Degas once said, “I am not willing to admit that a woman can draw that well.” After his death, Cassatt helped to organize an exhibition of Degas’ work and her own to benefit the cause of the women’s movement.

An accompanying art exhibit will be held on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts, 439 Ashbourne Road in Cheltenham. The launch and exhibit are part of a yearlong series of events that celebrate the tenth anniversary of Philadelphia Stories.

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