Welcome to the conversation!


Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

For updates on Stowe Center programs and events, sign up for our enews at http://harrietbeecherstowe.org/email.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Affordable housing in Chicago

Last week, we hosted “Thinking Regionally: Shared Challenges, Shared Prosperity,” a Salon predicated on discussions of issues facing the Greater Hartford region and ways both urban and suburban areas can collaborate to enact change.  Of the many topics discussed, particular interest was paid to issues of affordable housing as well as the notion that other American cities face similar challenges as the Greater Hartford region.  One such city, Chicago, has proposed a creative solution to address both the lack of affordable rental -units and numerous vacancies.     

In “Loan fund targets small rental buildings,” Mary Ellen Podmolik of the Chicago Tribune describes the proposed project.  The Community Investment Corp. and numerous lenders in the Chicago area have funded a $26 million loan pool designed to entice local investors to buy rental buildings to be used as affordable housing units.   The $26 million is expected to fund 200 buildings in the Chicago area.     


Do you think a solution like this could work in the Greater Hartford area?  What are the potential positive and negative consequences of the bill?  Do you have any similar ideas regarding housing, urban and suburban relationships, or regionalism?  Share below!

Duane Ehresman stands by two buildings in Chicago's Austin neighborhood 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Women of Spirit: Susan Campbell & Isabella Beecher Hooker - TONIGHT with NEW LOCATION

April 16, 2014    7 PM
Tempest-Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker
Author Talk, Q & A, Book Signing and Party
Susan Campbell
Note NEW LOCATION for this event: Carriage House Theater (home of HartBeat Ensemble), 360 Farmington Avenue -- just across the street from the Stowe Center.  We'll enjoy the book talk and Q & A at the Carriage House, then move to the Stowe Center's Katharine Seymour Day House for the book signing and party.
Parking is available:
On-street on Forest or Woodland Streets
Stowe Center parking lot at 77 Forest Street
Mark Twain House upper lot (adjacent to 77 Forest Street)
Lot at 66 Forest Street 

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center presents Women of Spirit: Susan Campbell & Isabella Beecher Hooker, to celebrate the release of Campbell’s biography: Tempest-Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker (Wesleyan University Press, 2014).

The free event includes remarks by Campbell, Q&A with Stowe Center Executive Director Katherine Kane, book signing, refreshments, live music and a display of rarely seen items from the Stowe Center collections including Hooker’s suffragist cap, clothing and letters. 

Tempest-Tossed is the first full biography of the passionate, fascinating youngest daughter of the “Fabulous Beecher” family – one of the most high-powered American families of the nineteenth century.  Older sister Harriet was the celebrated author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, brother Henry Ward Beecher was one of America’s most influential ministers, and sister Catharine Beecher wrote pivotal works on women’s rights and educational reform.

Isabella Beecher Hooker, a curiously modern 19th-century figure, was a leader in the suffrage movement and a mover and shaker in Hartford’s storied Nook Farm neighborhood.  An ardent Spiritualist, Hooker could be off-putting, perplexing, tenacious and charming.  In the eyes of Hartford society, which valued restraint and duty, her “wild streak” was especially unfavorable.

“Susan Campbell has brought Isabella’s fascinating forgotten story back to life with the deep research of a born historian and the vibrant readable prose style of a veteran journalist.”  -- Debby Applegate, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher.

Join us as Campbell brings to life Hooker’s evolution from orthodox Calvinist daughter, wife and mother to one of the most influential players in the movement for women’s suffrage. Enjoy refreshments and live music as we toast Campbell and Beecher Hooker, women of spirit.

Campbell conducted much of her research on Isabella Beecher Hooker at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford, which houses the largest collection of material related to the Beecher and Stowe extended families.  “I first met Isabella Beecher Hooker while researching an article about her at the Stowe Center, and once I met her, I couldn't let her go,” says Campbell. “She was impassioned and dedicated and she has a lot to teach us.”

Campbell’s new book is available for sale in the Stowe Center Museum Store.  Copies will also be available for purchase at the event.

Campbell is the award-winning author of "Dating Jesus." For more than a quarter-century, she was a columnist at the Hartford Courant, where her work was recognized by the National Women's Political Caucus, New England Associated Press News Executives, the Society for Professional Journalists, the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and the Sunday Magazine Editors Association. Her column about the shootings at lottery headquarters in March 1998 was part of The Courant's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage. She has appeared on CBS' "Sunday Morning," the BBC's "World Have Your Say," and various radio shows including WNPR. She also co-writes a religion blog, "Hot Dogma!"
Reservations: Info@StoweCenter.org or 860-522-9258, ext. 317 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Stop Telling Women To Smile" workshop on street harassment TOMORROW at Charter Oak Cultural Center

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: Stop Telling Women To Smile
Gallery Talk/Workshop: Wednesday, April 16, noon, Free

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh explains her show Stop Telling Women to Smile and helps workshop attendees to make their own posters.

She started the project in Brooklyn in the fall of 2012. It is an on-going, traveling series that the artist is taking to cities throughout the country and engaging the participation of women from each community. The show runs through April 18.

Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women world-wide. This project takes women’s voices, and faces, and put them in the street creating a presence for women in an environment where women are often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

The show is part of the month-long celebration of Girlcott, an effort we began last year to raise awareness of body image and the relationship between women and the cosmetics they wear.

Runs through April 18.

Visit www.charteroakcenter.org for more information and click HERE to register for tomorrow's gallery talk/workshop. To learn more about Tatyana Fazlalizadeh and her project, check out WNYC's "Not Taking it Anymore: One Woman Talks Back to Street Harassers."