Quinnipiac celebrates women’s creativity

Holly Pullano

A tribute to the creative achievements of women was the theme of last weekends 9th annual Celebrating Women’s Creativity conference. The conference showcased the art, film, music, business and professional contributions that women have made to the community.

Ellen Goodman, a well known syndicated newspaper columnist and associate editor of the Boston Globe, kicked off the event with a lecture entitled “Women and Social Change: A Progress Report.” The Law School’s Grand Courtroom was standing room only as a bustling crowd anticipated Goodman’s lecture. The audience was mostly an older following of Goodman, with actual Quinnipiac students few and far between.

“Ellen Goodman has inspired and comforted so many of us over the years, and given a voice to women in a more eloquent way than I could ever say it,” said Kathleen McCourt, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, who introduced Goodman to the audience.

Goodman also spoke with a select group of students prior to her lecture in the School of Communications News Technology Room. This session offered students an intimate question and answer session with Goodman, as well as several professors in the communications and liberal arts schools.

The second day of the conference offered a vast array of workshops for attendees. Two sets of concurrent workshops were held. The first set included a time management workshop, a film screening, and a writing workshop. The second set included a songwriting workshop, fabric workshop, and a presentation of how to launch a retail business on the Internet.

Lisa Lewenz, the director of the film entitled, “A Letter Without Words,” screened and discussed her film with the audience.

Lewenz’s grandmother, Ella Arnhold Lewenz, had documented life in the 1920s and 30s in Nazi Germany, providing a view of life during that time period through her films and diaries. The films were taken at a time when people weren’t allowed to purchase film, take photographs, wear fur, or read newspapers in public, all of which Lewenz’s grandmother are shown doing in her films. Lewenz expertly wove the films together with the present to provide an intergenerational account of both her family and German history.

“Thank you for the applause, but we largely need to applaud Ella for providing us with these films at a time when women didn’t do these things,” said Lewenz.

Highlights of the day were performances by folksinger Colleen Sexton and the Quinnipiac University Dance Company. A luncheon was also served in Alumni Hall.

The conference was largely put together by Michele Hoffnung, chair of the conference planning committee. Hoffnung is also a psychology professor and the director of Women’s Studies at Quinnipiac. A panel of Quinnipiac professors and staff served as the committee for organizing the conference.

Attendees were encouraged to fill out audience survey forms in order for the planning committee to prepare for next year’s 10th annual conference.