Women’s history focus of annual brunch

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

New Mexico women’s history will take center stage at the Portales Public Library Friday.

Chautauqua performer Van Ann Moore will portray Katherine Kennedy O’Conner and Carrie Wooster Tingley during the annual Women’s History Month Brunch and Exhibit.

Decorated to reflect the era, the meeting room of the Portales Public Library is the site for the free brunch, which begins at 11 a.m. The performance will follow at noon, said Danielle Swopes, assistant librarian.

“People seem to enjoy it and get a lot out of it,” Swopes said of the programs.

Influential figures in Albuquerque during the 1920’s and 1930’s, Tingley helped to establish programs that helped children, while O’Conner used her talents to found the Albuquerque Little Theater, said Moore.

“They both gave their stamp to the community,” Moore said.

Combining the women’s life stories, Moore will blend their accomplishments with their contributions, thus bringing the characters to life. During her performance,
she will draw the audience in, adding more to the performance, she said.

“When I get into character for each one, I am that person,” Moore said.

Victims of tuberculosis, both women traveled to Albuquerque on the advice of their doctors. The women met and became friends. Neither of the women had children and were able to contribute to the community in their own ways, Moore said.

“Each was able to give their time and talent to their projects,” Moore said.

Interested in women’s history, Swopes helped to develop the annual program as a way to present women’s history to others and provide an adult type program through the library, she said.

“It seemed to be a success immediately and we’ve continued to do it every year,” Swopes said.

Currently the library has several quilts on display as part of their celebration for women’s history month. The display will continue through Saturday, Swopes said.

At a glance

What: Annual Women’s History Brunch and Exhibit

When: 11 a.m. Friday

Where: Portales Public Library Meeting Room, 218 S. Ave. B

Information: 356-3940