Whaling Museum to unveil public art honoring local historic women

Lighting the Way for All virtual event: August 13 

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — The New Bedford Whaling Museum will officially unveil a work of public art honoring two historic SouthCoast women who were chosen by the community, during a virtual event on Thursday, August 13 from 5:30-6:00 p.m. Local artist Alyn Carlson created the artwork featuring educator Marial Harper (1934-2016) and community leader Jennie Horne (1920-1998). The artwork will appear on the side of the Whaling Museum’s Sundial Building at the corner of Johnny Cake Hill and Union Street in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The Lighting the Way for All online unveiling event is free and takes place during AHA! New Bedford. The event live stream link will be posted on www.LightingTheWayforAll.com.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution recognizing some women’s right to vote. The public art project Lighting the Way for All commemorates the centennial, honors the unfinished legacy of the women’s suffrage movement, and celebrates historic women who forged the path and lit the way for us all. Thousands of people participated in a selection process online by watching videos narrated by local students about 10 civically engaged women from the Whaling Museum’s project Lighting the Way: Historic Women of the SouthCoast. Online voting winnowed that list down to Marial Harper and Jennie Horne. All 10 videos can be viewed at www.historicwomensouthcoast.org.

During the August 13 unveiling, Whaling Museum President and CEO Amanda McMullen and Director of Education Christina Turner will be joined online by Lee Blake, President of New Bedford Historical Society; Lighting the Way for All artist Alyn Carlson; and Aurienne Dembitzki and Carol Heath, descendants of the women being honored.

Launched in 2018, Lighting the Way: Historic Women of SouthCoast unearths hidden histories of remarkable women from the Southcoast of Massachusetts who have made an extraordinary impact on their community and beyond. Visit www.historicwomensouthcoast.org to learn more.

About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum ignites learning through explorations of art, history, science and culture rooted in the stories of people, the region and an international seaport. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. The Museum is operating on reduced hours due to the corona virus pandemic. Hours are Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Admission is temporarily on a pay-what-you-can basis. Regular admission is free for Museum members and children ages three and under; adults $19, seniors (65+) $17, students (19+) $12, child and youth $9. For more information visit www.whalingmuseum.org.

Tina Malott
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
New Bedford Whaling Museum
508-997-0046 Ext. 140


Downloadable Large High Resolution Images at https://photos.app.goo.gl/JCvNjWPAzrziwbkU9

Lighting the Way for All art Project

CAPTION BELOW: New Bedford educator Marial Harper (1934-2016) positively impacted many lives at New Bedford High School, and was the first woman and minority to be appointed a Housemaster there. Of Mashpee Wampanoag and Cape Verdean descent, she became active with the Mashpee Wampanoag as a member of its Council of Elders in her retirement. Photo courtesy Dembitzki Family. Sydni Coulson narrated Marial Harper’s video.

Marial Harper


CAPTION BELOW: The War on Poverty initiatives of the 1960s had a dedicated New Bedford foot soldier in Jennie Horne (1920-1998). Within ONBOARD (Organized New Bedford Opportunity And Resource Development), Jennie rose to become contact worker and then director of the West Central Community Center, where she initiated several programs to aid the disadvantaged. While at Model Cities, Jennie was involved in public school reorganization, public housing development, and improvements in relations between police and the community. Photo courtesy Robert Horne. Natalie Teixeira narrated Jennie Horne’s video.

Jennie Horne