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National Women's History Museum honors trailblazing women in public service, arts and music

Mar 18, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC - The National Women's History Museum (NWHM) recognized three trailblazing women, whose accomplishments helped to pioneer pathways for other women at its 2016 Women Making History Awards held at the Mayflower Hotel. This year's honorees included Ann Veneman, the first female secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Christine Walevska, the only living female master musician and Aesha Ash, one of the first black ballerinas for the New York City Ballet and founder of The Swan Dreams Project.

Secretary Veneman, who was the first woman to serve in six of her leadership posts before being named Secretary of Agriculture, accepted an award for her contributions to public service here in the United States and on the international scene as executive director of UNICEF.

Christine Walevska, an internally acclaimed cellist, was honored for her 30-year plus career in classical music, a field still primarily dominated by men. Walevska gave a mini-concert playing Bach and Ennio Bolognini, a composer who asked that only Walevska perform his music.
Aesha Ash, one of the first black ballerinas to join the New York City Ballet and the only one during her seven-and a half year career with the corps, had an outstanding career here in the United States and internationally before turning her attention to inspiring the next generation of dancers, in particular those of color. So was born The Swan Dreams Project, an effort by Ash to promote positive and alternative images of black women.

"This event is a true tribute to many unsung heroes in our midst," said Wages, NWHM President and CEO. "The countless achievements and contributions women have made in shaping this nation have been left out of the historical narrative. We are committed to integrating women's history into the American mainstream; and ensure that future generations will recognize the tremendous value women bring to society."

NWHM's mission is to educate, inspire, empower, and shape the future by integrating women's distinctive history into the culture and history of the United States. A key element of advancing that mission is building a world-class museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

National Women's History Museum honors trailblazing women in public service, arts and music



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