Thursday, March 10, 6pm
PRESENTATION: The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound
For the exhibition At Home in the World and in celebration of Women & Creativity month, 516 ARTS presented filmmaker Katrina Parks, creator of The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound, and writer Carolyn Meyer, author of Diary of a Waitress: The Not-So-Glamorous Life of a Harvey Girl, who shared stories and history about one of the first all female American workforces which started in the 1880s and ended in the 1960s.
The presentation included segments from Parks’ new interviews with a diverse group of Harvey Girls whose experiences emphasize how their lives were transformed by arriving in a new place, how they created community and the importance of the Harvey Girls to New Mexico’s development and the multiculturalism of the region. Park’s project documents how over 100,000 railroad station waitresses opened up the American West and the workplace to women. This event delves into a historic migration of women workers and examines a history that is still relevant to today's issues of revitalization, migration and place making.
The Harvey Girls Project was made possible with support from The New Mexico Humanities Council, The McCune Charitable Foundation, The National Park Service’s Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and the Historic District Improvement Committee.
Katrina Parks' documentary film The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound received a nomination from the James Beard Society and has been broadcast on over a dozen PBS stations across the country. She has produced and written documentary and reality programs for networks including A&E, Discovery, Food Network, Fox, History, PBS, Planet Green, The Learning Channel and Travel Channel. She has received grants from state humanities councils, museums and foundations for her documentary projects. She received a BFA from the University of New Mexico in painting and drawing, and an MFA from San Francisco State University in Film Production. She is a board member of the non-profit Cinefemme and a member of WIF, the PGA and the IDA.
In addition to Diary of a Waitress: The Not-So-Glamorous Life of a Harvey Girl, Carolyn Meyer is an author of novels for children and young adults in the genre of historical fiction, including the Young Royals series, each novel of which tells the story of a different female royal person. She holds a BA degree in English from Bucknell University. She is known for her journalistic books for children that shed light on lesser-known ways of life, such as Amish People: Plain Living in a Complex World, and Eskimos: Growing Up in a Changing Culture. She visited South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Japan to write about children's lives in those countries. Meyer lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
This was event is made possible in part by the Historic District Improvement Company. The Harvey Girls Project was made possible with support from The New Mexico Humanities Council, The McCune Charitable Foundation, The National Park Service's Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and the Historic District Improvement Committee.
As part of Women & Creativity month, The Harvey Girls event at 516 ARTS was the first of a two-part series titled Fierce Females: Women at Work, focused on the ingenious ways women in New Mexico stake their claim and help shape the local workforce.
The day after the event at 516 ARTS, Central Features Contemporary Art, next door to 516 ARTS, presented part two of the series with Talk Back, an extended working lunch packed full of intentional networking and focused conversation for women in various stages of creative entrepreneurial endeavors -- from idea phase to implementing growth strategies to achieving business sustainability. Presented in partnership with createABQ, a new initiative of Creative Startups, Talk Back took place on Friday, March 11, 11:30am-1:30pm at Central Features Contemporary Art, 514 Central Ave. SW, second floor.
Image: Harvey Girls in a Row, courtesy of Northern Arizona University