Celebrating Women’s History in The Blocks
Utah is lucky to have a rich history of strong, inspirational women. Here are some ways that you can celebrate that history
right here in THE BLOCKS!
Take the self-guided Women’s Suffrage Walking Tour
Did you know that Salt Lake City has more standing women’s suffrage sites than Seneca Falls, New York, the site of the first women’s rights convention in the United States? Or that women in Utah were the first women to vote in an election after the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, 50 years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment that extended voting rights to women?
Learn about the downtown Salt Lake City sites involved in the Utah suffrage movement on a walking tour brought to you by Better Days 2020. This 3-mile loop begins at Council Hall and ends at the Utah State Capitol. We recommend allocating 2-3 hours. Please note that this walking tour involves elevation. Get a map and information here.
See Maud Babcock’s bloomer uniform in Social Hall
Known as the “First Lady of Utah’s Theater,” Maud May Babcock was a beloved teacher, physical fitness enthusiast, actress, author, mentor, leader, and world traveler. She was also a proponent of women’s rights, insisting that “our women must and are freeing themselves from the false ideals of our grandmothers that little girls should ‘sit still,’ ‘be quiet,’ ‘fold their hands,’ and grow up ‘little ladies.’” Maud introduced the “bloomer suit” to her female students to wear while playing basketball, a sport she brought to Utah. The controversial attire prompted protests from some students’ mothers since it revealed knees and ankles. Despite the protests, Maud’s more practical uniform choice prevailed. She continued coaching women’s basketball until 1900, a full decade before men’s first basketball games at the University of Utah. She and her brother, Dr. William Babcock, also donated money to set up the first women’s gymnasium in Utah in Social Hall. Maud’s bloomer uniform is now on display in the basement of this building.
Stroll Regent Street
Talk a walk down this beautiful street in the heart of Salt Lake City and read quotes inlaid in the sidewalks by women who developed this area of the city, and learn about the Madams of Salt Lake City’s Red Light District.
See work by female artists in THE BLOCKS
The kiosks along Main Street have recently undergone a revival and now feature posters for arts and cultural events happening downtown and artwork by local Utah artists. The current round of artwork includes a young female artist, Beatrice Teigen. Her work, inspired by the great women of the world and in her own life, has been shown in galleries and festivals across the city including Art Access, various libraries, Craft Lake City’s DIY Festival and other places. You can see her work in the kiosks for another couple of months! Beatrice is one female artist among many in the Salt Lake area. Visit local galleries and studios to see work by other female artists.
A little about Beatrice:
“I have been painting and making art for as long as I can remember. I am interested in art in all of its forms and hope to become an art teacher one day (in addition to pursuing a career in politics). I love attending programming at the Main Library and other branches. This summer I particularly enjoyed the Creative Lab at the Main Library, where Alan taught me how to use Photoshop to color my Great Girls of the World Portraits. I enjoy the Farmers Market and the galleries and programming at Art Access. My work has been on display in several Art Access exhibits, at Alchemy, and as part of Kid Row at Craft Lake City 2017 and 2018. When I’m not painting, I love to read, swim, and ride my bike. I am a student at Salt Lake Center for Science Education.”
Frequent women-owned businesses
Check out these local, female-owned businesses located right here in THE BLOCKS!
Salt + Honey Market – 111 S Rio Grande St
Salt & Honey is a makers market offering a unique space for designers, artists, crafters, food experts, and vintage collectors to sell their independently produced all year! Their shop features local, small creative businesses and their products. They also strive to support local creative professionals and small businesses throughout the year by encouraging and assisting them to increase sales with a physical location as well as offer them essential tools and skills to gain a larger audience and stronger brand recognition.
Craft Lake City
Craft Lake City is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a mission to educate, promote and inspire local artisans while elevating the creative culture of the Utah arts community through science, technology and art. They hold workshops year-long taught by some of Utah’s most skilled artisans. Workshop topics run the gamut from gourmet food to floral arranging to fiber arts. Craft Lake City also hosts their own festival each summer! The Festival encompasses do-it-yourself culture as a whole, and all Utah-based artisans, DIY engineers, foodies, and performers are invited to apply.
City of Industry – 209 E Broadway
City of Industry was founded by Sarah Anderson on July 30, 2013. Her dad was her first customer. She named the shop after Utah state’s motto, Industry, as a nod to her home. It’s also a tribute to the community of busy and creative folks who wear her hobby-inspired pins and patches as badges of honor. See the City of Industry line, as well as a collection of hand-picked products at the brick-and-mortar shop in Salt Lake City.
Fellow Shop – 217 Broadway
Fellow Shop is the physical manifestation of a long-steeped dream. A place for people who pay attention to the way fabric feels against their skin, or the weight of a hand-thrown mug in the palm; who want to learn the life story of an object, to create a relationship – and fall in love with – something tangible.
Take a tour of the Relief Society Building on Temple Square
Take a tour and view gifts donated by women across the world. Built in 1954-56, the Relief Society building was financed entirely by women. The building now houses the world headquarters of the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary (children’s) organizations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Located at 76 North Main St.
Pick up a book about Utah women’s history
Visit one of these amazing local bookstores or libraries and pick up a book written by, about, or celebrating women!
Ken Sanders Rare Books – 268 S 200 E
Family-owned antiquarian shop since 1997 with rare & collectible titles, plus art & literary events.
Salt Lake City Public Library – 210 E 400 S
The Salt Lake City Public Library system’s main branch.
Utah Book and Magazine – 327 Main St
Utah Book and Magazine specializes in rare and used books. We also sell some antiques and collectibles!
Eborn Books – 254 Main St
Utah’s largest retailer of new, used, rare, and out-of-print books for sale.
For educators – check out these book suggestions!
Donate to a local non-profit that supports women and girls
Become a member, volunteer or donate to one of these incredible organizations that support women of all ages and situations. There are many other organizations like these doing important work, start here and find the one with a mission you’re passionate about!
Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.
Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls
Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls, Salt Lake City is a summer day camp for girls, transgender, and gender non-conforming youth from all backgrounds ages 8-17. During the week-long day camp, youth of all skill levels will learn to play an instrument, form a band, write a song, and perform their original composition for family, friends, and hundreds of screaming fans!
Junior League of SLC
The Junior League of Salt Lake City, Inc. is a charitable organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action, education and leadership of trained volunteers.
YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. They are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.
Restoring Ancestral Winds
Restoring Ancestral Winds’ mission is to support healing in our indigenous communities. They will: advocate for healthy relationships; educate our communities on issues surrounding stalking, domestic, sexual, dating and family violence; collaborate with Great Basin community members and stakeholders; honor and strengthen traditional values of all our relations.
Girls Develop It
Girl Develop It is a nonprofit organization that exists to provide affordable and judgment-free opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development. Through in-person classes and community support, Girl Develop It helps women of diverse backgrounds achieve their technology goals and build confidence in their careers and their everyday lives.
Learn about women entrepreneurs and business leaders
Check out these resources that help women build their own businesses and become stronger business leaders!
The Women’s Leadership Institute’s mission is to elevate the stature and talents of women.
The Women’s Business Center of Utah helps women start and grow their own businesses.
Learn about the only two women to serve as the Salt Lake City mayor
This post is brought to you by a collaboration with THE BLOCKS and Better Days 2020, a non-profit dedicated to popularizing Utah women’s history through art, education, and legislation, particularly focused on women’s suffrage anniversaries nationally and in Utah in the year 2020.