A life-size casting model of the older Anthony created by Brian Hanlon.
ADAMS, Mass. — A Victorian tea party fundraiser to benefit the Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee drew more than 60 people to support efforts to celebrate voting rights activist and native daughter Susan B. Anthony.
The event at the Red Carpet raised funds for the months-long celebration that starts next February and ends in August 2020 honoring the 200th birthday of Susan B. Anthony and the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote
The observances of this two historic dates will include the erection of statues of Anthony at age 6, when she resided in Adams, and at age 56, when she presented the Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States in Philadelphia on July 4, 1876. The combined sculpture will be unveiled on the Adams Town Common in August 2020.
The unveiling ceremony will include a hometown parade and festival, and a series of other events to celebrate the enormous strides that American women have made over the past two centuries.
The celebration committee's goal is to raise $300,000 for the entire event — $130,000 of this will go toward the bronze statue of Anthony. It's close to its initial $100,000 benchmark that will trigger Adams Community Bank's pledge of a $25,000 match.
Also in attendance at the tea were sculptor Brian Hanlon, who has been commissioned to design, cast and erect the statues of Anthony, and state Rep. John Barrett III.
The keynote speaker was Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum President Carol Crossed, who gave a wide-ranging talk about the history of the birthplace on East Road, Anthony's career as a social reformer, and the museum itself. One of the lesser-known facts revealed during her talk was that, when she first purchased the house in 2006, there was considerable interest in some circles in moving it to Rochester, N.Y., where Anthony spent most of her adult life and her home there has become a national museum.
Fortunately, however, the Anthony homestead remained where it is on East Road. The museum opened there in 2010 after extensive renovations.
Following the tea party, an after-party cake cutting ceremony and meet and greet were held at the Firehouse Café on Park Street.
At the after-party, Hanlon elaborated on his vision for the statues and the broader setting in which they will appear. He stressed the need to obtain the services of a landscape architect to properly present them. He also discussed related design concepts such as pillars surrounding the statues with plaques setting forth significant quotes from Anthony's speeches and writings, as well as appropriate information about other individuals such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass with whom she collaborated.
He closed by expressing his gratitude for having been chosen to create such a monument to one of the most dynamic women in American history.
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Pending its blessings, the articles will then move to annual town meeting for final approval. The board passed on all 28 articles unamended but some came under brief scrutiny, mostly for clarification purposes.
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