At the Grand Rapids Art Museum, 2016 is the Year of the Innovative Woman. All year long, the museum will be filled with a diverse lineup of exhibitions and programming celebrating innovative women artists and entrepreneurs. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow came to the GRAM to jumpstart this exciting and important yearlong event.
When speaking at the GRAM, Stabenow articulated the challenges and accomplishments of the women who came before us and discussed how these efforts affect our experiences in contemporary society.
Just like Stabenow, the GRAM leadership team realizes the importance of innovative women. While women may be the future of the arts, mathematics, natural sciences and emerging technologies, we are currently underrepresented in these fields. Through its 2016 exhibit lineup, the GRAM seeks to honor and increase the visibility of women in these areas. Exhibits such as the current Women, Art and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise and the upcoming Iris VanHerpen: Transforming Fashion celebrate the exciting achievements of women who use art to tell their stories.
While in Grand Rapids, Stabenow shared great information and inspirational words. She talked about the importance of art and innovation. She believes that woman artists, business executives and political leaders significantly contribute to scientific and technological innovation. While women lead some of our nation's most innovative companies, only 11.5 percent of the individuals who sit on corporate boards are women; among the highest-paid workers in American companies, only eight percent are women.
Despite these frustrating statistics, the senator is hopeful. She noted that a door closed to one generation of women can be open to the next. "If one generation puts a crack in the glass ceiling, then the next can shatter it."
Celebrate past, present and future innovative women by visiting the GRAM today!
Click here to see a complete list of the GRAM's current and upcoming exhibitions.
Written by Lisa Stickler, staff writer for West Michigan Woman magazine.