NAU’s Martin-Springer Institute part of creation team for exhibition that highlights resilient Flagstaff women

flier for Resilience exhibit

Aug. 14, 2019

A major new exhibition, ​Resilience: Women in Flagstaff’s Past and Present​, opens at Flagstaff City Hall on Aug. 23. ​Resilience ​is a collaborative project by the Arizona Historical Society (AHS) and the Martin-Springer Institute at Northern Arizona University. The exhibit​ ​shares the powerful stories of 20 local women who faced extraordinary challenges and overcame hardships, painful legacies and adverse environments.

The opening reception is 4-6 p.m. Aug. 23 at Flagstaff City Hall, 211 W. Aspen Ave. The exhibition will be on view in various locations throughout Flagstaff, including the Arizona Historical Society’s Pioneer Museum, the Martin-Springer Institute, Flagstaff City Hall and the Murdoch Community Center. The exhibit opening coincides with National Women’s Equality Day on Aug. 26.

Women have shaped Flagstaff’s development as public figures, activists, business leaders, educators, and caretakers. The exhibition features Rhoda Abeshaus, Jessie Jimenez Alonzo, Bonn Baudelaire, Mary Costigan, Rachel Tso Cox, Joan Dorsey, Coral Evans, Mary C. Hart, Marianna Herman, Kat Jim, Doris Martin, Procora Vergara Martinez, Meagan and Natalie Metz, Delia Ceballos Muñoz, Eunice Nicks, Shirley Sims, Annie Watkins, Emma Jane Wilson, Dew Yu Wong and Noemi A.

Women also have played a pivotal role in the development of modern Flagstaff. They employed entrepreneurial skills when Flagstaff was still a railroad and lumber town, made it their home after arriving from as far away as China, navigated the economic crisis of the 1930s, helped to integrate the town in the 1960s, embraced diversity and created opportunities for the less fortunate. Visitors can trace changes in American society through the experiences of people in a small town of America’s Southwest.

“Students from NAU worked with us for a full year on this exhibit, doing primary research, assisting in documentation and participating in oral interviews,” said Björn Krondorfer, director of the Martin-Springer Institute at NAU. “Together, we discovered richly textured lives of women in Flagstaff’s past and present. It is time for the community to take note of them.” 

“The women in this exhibit all have something to teach us about overcoming challenges, standing up for ourselves and our communities,” said Bill Peterson, vice president of collections and education at the Arizona Historical Society. “Their experiences, their resilience, their stories are the focus of this exhibit. We believe their powerful stories will have incredible meaning for people today.” 

The ​Resilience ​research team consisted of NAU students and faculty and staff from the Martin-Springer Institute and the Arizona Historical Society. 

For more information, please visit ​the Pioneer Museum’s website or call (928) 774-6272.