Film festivals, foodie events and feminist happenings

Suffrage parade in Portland, circa 1914. Suffrage activist Florence Brooks Whitehouse of Portland is seated in the middle row, dressed in white and holding an umbrella and Votes for Women banner. Photo from personal collection on loan to the Maine State Museum

‘Women’s Long Road—100 Years to the Vote’
Maine State Museum, 83 State House Station, Augusta
As Maine gears up to celebrate its bicentennial in 2020, it’s worth noting that, for 100 years, voting rights held only by male citizens 21 and older, excluding paupers and “Indians not taxed.” The struggle for women’s suffrage in Maine began as early as the mid-1850s and had picked up steam by 1900 with suffrage clubs meeting across the state. When World War I ended in November 1918, Maine and national suffrage groups increased pressure on Congress. In June 1919, Congress passed the 19th Amendment to give women the right to vote. Maine legislators ratified the Amendment in 1919. But it wasn’t until Sept. 13, 1920—the same year as Maine’s centennial—that Maine women cast ballots for the first time. Discover more about Women’s Long Road at this exhibit opening March 23 and running through Jan. 25, 2020. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 per adult, $2 for seniors and kids. (

Maine Restaurant Week includes two decadent pairings events: CRAVE for coffee and desserts, and Spirit Quest for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Photo courtesy of Maine Restaurant Week

Maine Restaurant Week
March 1–12
Celebrate Maine’s booming restaurant community with nearly two weeks of special menu prices ($25–$55, with some restaurants offering prix fixe lunches starting at $15), from Kennebunkport to Camden. Ticketed tasting competitions include craft foods paired with coffee (March 3, noon to 2 p.m. at Coffee by Design, 1 Diamond St., Portland) and Spirit Quest, an adult scavenger hunt of cocktails and small bites throughout downtown Portland (March 10, 2–5 p.m.). (

No Man’s Land Film Festival
Thursday, March 7, 7–10 p.m. (Doors open at 6 p.m.)
Oxbow Blending & Bottling, 49 Washington Ave., Portland
This all-woman power adventure film festival is based in the Rocky Mountains, but you don’t have to go to Colorado for it. Oxbow and Pacha Adventure Co. are bringing some of these badass films to Portland. With subjects as varied as backcountry skiers, mountain guides, BMXers and the mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs, these 12 short films “un-define feminine” in adventure and sport. Suggested donation $5–$10.

Maine Jewish Film Festival
March 9–17
A curated collection of documentaries and feature films with Jewish themes will screen March 9–17 in Portland, Brunswick, Lewiston, Rockland, Waterville and Bangor. The festival includes a program of short films focusing on women, Public and Private Conversations, at 2 p.m. March 17 at the Portland Museum of Art. For a complete festival schedule, including featured guest speakers, panelists and forums, visit:

Cheryl Rust of Mid Coast-Parkview Health, Dr. Dora Anne Mills of University of New England and 2019 Crystal Heart Honoree Lois Skillings, president and CEO of Mid Coast-Parkview Health, at last year’s Go Red for Women Luncheon. Photo courtesy of Amy Paradysz

Go Red for Women Luncheon
Thursday, March 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland
This American Heart Association of Maine luncheon manages to tug at the heartstrings every year. The fundraiser (which seats 600, but usually sells out in advance) starts with a silent auction, followed by a heart-healthy lunch, storytelling and awards. Wear red! Tickets are $125 per person, with registration closing March 10:

Girls Rock! Awards
Friday, March 22, 5:30 p.m.
Franklin Theater, Waynflete, 360 Spring St., Portland
Hardy Girls Healthy Women celebrates six Maine girls who are leaders in community organizing, entrepreneurship, health advocacy, academics, athletics and more. Hear their stories as well that of keynote speaker Hebh Jamal, a Palestinian-American student who, at 17, established herself as a leader in the fight against bigotry by organizing a New York City high school walkout. The Girls Rock! Awards raise money for empowering year-round programs for Maine girls. Tickets are $40; register at

Mexican human rights advocate Aguilar Rodriguez is the 2019 Justice for Women lecturer. Photo courtesy of Karla Hernández Mares

‘The Human Rights Crisis in Mexico’
March 27, 5:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. lecture
Abromson Community Education Center, 88 Bedford St., Portland
Maine’s annual Justice for Women Lecture series continues with Mexican human rights advocate Aguilar Rodriguez, speaking on “The Human Rights Crisis in Mexico: Origins, Impacts, Opportunities.” Rodriguez works on cases related to women’s and indigenous rights, torture (especially sexual torture against women) and forced disappearances. The lecture is free and open to the public with advance registration:

March 29–31 and April 3
Portland Museum of Art
For some lighthearted, playful entertainment, enjoy a 75-minute cat video compilation reel with other cat lovers, with proceeds going to the Animal Rescue League of Greater Portland. Showtimes are 2 and 6 p.m. March 29, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. March 30–31, and 2 p.m. April 3. Tickets are $9 general admission, $7 for PMA members and students with valid ID. (

Show & Tell: A Literary Cabaret
Tuesday, April 2, 7:30–9 p.m.
The State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland
Back for a second year with all new guests, this 90-minute homage to storytelling features writer Heidi Julavits (The Folded Clock), novelist Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Wench), activist-writer Alexandra Styron (Steal This Country), poet Kevah Akbar and student author Gracia Bareti. Show & Tell is the biggest fundraiser for The Telling Room’s free writing programs for Maine youth. Tickets are $25, $45 and $65 through Ticketmaster.

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