The story of Grand Rapids cannot be told without acknowledging the tremendous contributions of women from the area and beyond. We honor them every day but especially throughout Women’s History Month, the annual spring observance that highlights the role of women in events in history and contemporary society. Here are some great ways to celebrate female empowerment this March.

Take the self-guided Women Legends Walking Tour and Legacy Landmarks Walking Tour of downtown Grand Rapids. The former visits six bronze sculptures of prominent women and the latter guides you to 16 historical landmarks significant to women’s history.

See a world-premiere play by female playwright Kristin Andrea Hanratty – Petty Crimes at Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids wrestles with issues of justice and equity through the tale of a Hispanic teenager accused of minor misdeeds in northern Michigan. March 2-5 & 9-11.

Join the International Women’s Day Celebration at Rosa Parks Circle on March 8. It kicks off with a brief presentation from local women leaders, after which you are invited to follow a one-mile celebration march through downtown. Noon-1:30pm.

Attend a special screening of the 2019 film version of Little Women at Wealthy Theatre in honor of International Women’s Day. March 8. 

Sign up for the guided International Women’s Day Meetup - Lady Legends Running Tour of downtown GR, also on March 8. Caroline Cook, founder of Grand Rapids Running Tours, will lead you by and relate the history of noteworthy sites originated, inspired and/or created by women. This tour also serves as a training event for SHE RUNS GR, an annual event including a half marathon, 10K and 5K that will be held on April 30 this year. Another SHE RUNS GR event – a Social Teams Run and Trivia Meetup – takes place in Hudsonville on March 30.

Grand Rapids Running Tours is also leading three free walking tours around downtown GR: Lady Legends Part 1 (March 6), Lady Legends Part 2 (March 14) and Rad American Women A-Z (March 22). No registration is necessary, just meet in front of the Grand Rapids Art Museum at 6pm.

Laugh along with accomplished female comedians Tig Nitaro (March 10) and Daphnique Springs (March 10-11), who are coming to Grand Rapids for LaughFest, our annual community-wide festival of laughter.

LaughFest benefits Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, an emotional health support community for anyone dealing with cancer, which was founded by three local women. You can help further the organization’s mission by attending its Red Door Gala, featuring dinner and a show from Emmy-winning comedian Charlie Berens, at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park March 16.

Meet two female authors: Stephanie Landsem appears at Baker Book House with her new book, Code Name Edelweiss, on March 14, and local historian Delia Fernandez-Jones, author of Making the MexiRican City, is at We are LIT at the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives March 16.

Join the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council for The Second Surge: Women Running for Public Office in the 1970s, a reception and talk by local historian Jo Ellyn Clarey. At St. Cecilia Music Center March 15.

Hear songs popularized by Black women covered by some of West Michigan’s most influential musicians at Midtown’s The Music That Raised Us, March 15. Women artists The Rebel Eves (March 16) and Shayna Steele (March 21) are also appearing at Midtown this month.

Delve into the world of whiskey and complementary spirits at Women and Whiskey, a private mixology class at Margaux in the J.W. Marriott Hotel, March 16. You might also want to read our Women Crafting the Beverage Industry in GR article to learn about the industry’s influential female leaders.

Explore ideas and products for female health, home, style, shopping and fun at the West Michigan’s Women Expo, coming to DeVos Place March 17-19.

See the best-selling and most-awarded female gospel of artist of all time in concert, as CeCe Winans shakes the rafters at Fair Haven Church on March 22. Other female musicians in concert include:

Enjoy an evening of song and story on the theme of beloved English novelist Jane Austen at Opera is Lit, an Opera Grand Rapids event at CityFlatsHotel March 23.

See Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang in performance with the Grand Rapids Symphony for Mozart’s Requiem, plus pieces from Bach and Liszt, at DeVos Performance Hall March 24.

Attend Essence & Wellbeing of Women Over 50, a networking and educational event featuring panel discussions, breakout sessions, vendor booths and a keynote speaker. At GVSU’s L. William Seidman Center in downtown GR March 25.

Visit Fashion + Nature, the Grand Rapids Public Museum exhibit that includes pieces ranging from wedding dresses to fur coast to feathered hats – and a new creation from local youth artist Riley Diehlman, who creates wearable indigenous art and fashion using Anishinaabe practices.

Browse 145 historical photos by 70 artists at the Grand Rapids Art Museum – Presence: The Photography Collection of Judy Glickman Lauder captures the wide spectrum of the human experience, courtesy of the renowned photographer and humanitarian.

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