To Keep the Light is written and directed by Erica Fae, who also stars as Abbie -- the wife of a lighthouse keeper in Northern Maine in the late 1800s. Inspired by true stories of women lighthouse keepers, working in isolation and under extreme conditions, women who inherited their jobs from infirm or deceased husbands or fathers and were trailblazers, embodying feminism long before the word existed.

The film will screen twice at the Woodstock Film Festival - today at 1:30 at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY and Sunday at 2:15 at Upstate Films in Woodstock.

Caroline Shaw wrote the score for To Keep The Light. Shaw is a Grammy-winning singer in Roomful of Teeth and a violinist in ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble). In 2013 she became the youngest ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, for her composition Partita for 8 Voices. Recent and current projects include commissions for the the Cincinnati Symphony, the Guggenheim Museum Works & Process Series, and the Folger Library, as well as collaborations with Kanye West.   

Amber Tamblyn’s directorial debut, Paint it Black, will screen twice at the Woodstock Film Festival - tonight at 6:30 at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock and Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre in Saugerties at 5:30 p.m. She will also participate in the festival’s "Women in Film and Media" panel on Saturday October 15 at the Kleinert James Art Center in Woodstock. Other participants in the panel are Bette Gordon, Catherine Hardwicke, and Mary Stewart Masterson. The panel is moderated by Thelma Adams.

Based on the novel of the same name by Janet Fitch, Paint it Black explores and explodes the confusion of grief when Josie’s boyfriend, Michael, commits suicide and his death brings her into the orbit of his powerful and powerfully cold and heartbroken mother, Meredith. Their strained relationship circling around who knew Michael better, who loved him more, and what can they get from - and do to - each other now that he is gone.

Tamblyn co-wrote the adaptation with Ed Dougherty. It stars Alia Shawkat as Josie and Janet McTeer as Meredith.

The 2nd Annual Brava, a fundraiser that will provide new bras to women at the YWCA and those in need in the community, will be held on Friday, November 4, 2016 at The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy from 5:00-7:30 p.m.

The Arts Center is a partner in the event which will feature 8 to 10 talented writers from around the region who will read jury-selected poems and essays or perform songs and monologues on the subject of brassieres in their lives. The pieces will touch on the subject of bras from many viewpoints and range from the poignant to the hilarious. (Submission information here. Must be received by 10/14/16.)

Last year’s sold-out event aimed to collect at least 200 new bras to be distributed to women at the YWCA and others who need them, but more than doubled their goal by collecting over 500 bras. Artist Sharon Bates will be on hand at the event to create a unique installation of the contributed bras. To tell us more we welcome Malissa Pilette-McClenon from the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region and Marion Roach Smith.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

This morning we focus on the Capital District Women’s Employment & Resource Center (WERC.)   Our guests are: Elizabeth Miller, Executive Director of WERC; Tracy L. Bullett, Esq., who is on the WERC Board of Directors; and Melissa Lape Intake Specialist for WERC and WERC Graduate.

  Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Grant and Madame JuleMrs. Lincoln's DressmakerThe SpymistressMrs. Lincoln's Rival, and the Elm Creek Quilts series.

Her new novel, Fates and Traitors, is about John Wilkes Booth, the mercurial son of an acclaimed British stage actor and Covent Garden flower girl, committed one of the most notorious acts in American history—the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yeuda Hanani continue their conversation about female composers, discussing Marianna Martines hearing the first and third movements from her Sonata per Cembalo in G Major performed by Nicoleta Paraschivescu.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani begins a series of conversations about female composers.

(Left to right) Stacey Yen, Nance Williamson and Maria-Christina Oliveras in Macbeth
T. Charles Erickson

  Fair is foul, and foul is fair -- more fair than usual in the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s production of Macbeth - now running in repertory at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY.  The fairer for having a cast of only three actors, and all three -women.

Lee Sunday Evans directs Maria-Christina Oliveras, Nance Williamson, and Stacey Yen in the production and we are joined by two-thirds of the trio, Maria-Christina and Stacey, to talk about the production.

  In The Highest Glass Ceiling, best-selling historian Ellen Fitzpatrick tells the story of three remarkable women who set their sights on the American presidency. Victoria Woodhull (1872), Margaret Chase Smith (1964), and Shirley Chisholm (1972) each challenged persistent barriers confronted by women presidential candidates.

Their quest illuminates today’s political landscape, showing that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign belongs to a much longer, arduous, and dramatic journey.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're checking in with the New York Council about the topic of one of their Democracy in Dialogue Town Halls. This event will be held this Tuesday at The Linda, WAMC's Performing Arts Studio, and will address issues related to gender-based workplace discrimination - including questions of unconscious bias, the history of workplace inequality, and how the skills of the humanities can address these issues.

We are joined by Sara Ogger, executive director of the New York Council for the Humanities, Barbara Smith, one of our frequent guests and a panelist at the event.

  It’s a Saturday in winter, somewhere in the suburbs, and a high school girls’ soccer team warms up for its indoor game. They stretch in sync – right quad, left quad, lunge – and their conversations spin around and off their turf, far outside the air dome bubble, and back again.


The Wolves, by Sarah DeLappe, is the second mainstage production this season presented by Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theatre. The production, directed by Lila Neugebauer, runs July 21st through July 31st.


The play was a recipient of the American Playwriting Foundation’s inaugural Relentless Award and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Sarah DeLappe joins us to tell us more.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

On Wednesday, June 1st, 2016, the International Center of the Capital Region, in conjunction with Global Ties U.S. and the U.S. Department of State, will be hosting a Women’s Empowerment Diplomacy summit in Albany.

  The second annual SUNY Ulster OWN IT! Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference will be held on Thursday, June 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the College Lounge of Vanderlyn Hall on the Stone Ridge, New York SUNY Ulster campus.

This conference for women entrepreneurs and ‘dream-to-be entrepreneurs’ features nationally recognized speakers and hands-on workshops presented by regional experts.

The keynote speaker is Silda Wall Spitzer, Founder and CEO of woman-owned New York States of Mind, a digital magazine and marketplace that creates a new intellectual and economic platform for people, places, products and ideas in New York State; Principal at NewWorld Capital Group, a private equity firm investing in environmental opportunities, including energy efficiency, clean energy, water, waste-to-value and environmental services; and former first lady of New York State.

We are joined by Silda Wall Spitzer and Mindy Kole, Assistant Professor of Business and Director of The Darlene L. Pfeiffer Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at SUNY Ulster. 

  Women are making inroads in business, but still have a long way to go.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about her latest work on this issue. 

  The Musicians of Ma'alwyck will be presenting a special collaborative concert this Sunday with the Siena College Chorus and Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Timothy Reno celebrating the Suffragettes and the bicentennial of the birth of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Titled a "Declaration of Sentiments," the concert will feature works of American female composers Marion Bauer, Amy Beach, and Daybreak of English composer, Rebecca Clarke. They will also present the world premiere of a work based on Suffragette texts by Kathleen Ballantyne.

The event will be held at Druthers Brewery on Broadway in Albany. We welcome: Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz, Director of Musicians of Ma'alwyck and Jennifer Dorsey who heads the McCormick Center at Siena College.

  Debbie Macomber has been dubbed "the reigning queen of women's fiction."

She has 200 million books in print; the newest, A Girl’s Guide to Moving On, is about a mother and her daughter-in-law who both leave their respective troubled marriages and lean on each other while starting over.

  Upstate New York Women In Film & Television (UPWIFT) and The Linda WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio, will present a screening of the film, Racing Daylight on Friday, March 18th, at 8:00 p.m. The event will feature a conversation with director Nicole Quinn afterward. The movie is part of the Reel Women in Film series sponsored by UPWIFT and The Linda.

Racing Daylight was filmed in the Hudson Valley and features Oscar award-winning Ulster County resident Melissa Leo as well as Oscar nominated actor David Straithairn. It is a ghost story, a murder mystery and a love story which crosses time.

Nicole Quinn joins us.

Photo of Piper Kerman
Brian Bowen Smith

  Piper Kerman was a 24 year old Smith College graduate in 1993 when she flew to Belgium with a suitcase of money intended for a West African drug lord. This misguided adventure started when she began a romantic relationship with the woman involved in a drug smuggling ring and got Kerman got involved too, though Kerman left that life after several months.

Five years later she was named as part of the drug ring and in February 2008 she reported to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut. Kerman’s memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in Women’s Prison inspired the award winning Netflix television series of the same name. She will deliver the Alex Krieger Memorial Lecture at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie on Tuesday February 9th.

  For more than a decade, Katherine Zoepf has lived in or traveled throughout the Arab world, reporting on the lives of women, whose role in the region has never been more in flux. Only a generation ago, female adolescence as we know it in the West did not exist in the Middle East. There were only children and married women.

  In eighteenth-century America, information about a woman’s life and accomplishments was very difficult to discover, but some woman were avid letter writers or devoted journal keepers, and thankfully some of those letters and journals were saved.

In her new book, Remarkable Women of New England: Daughters, Wives, Sisters, and Mothers: The War Years 1754 to 1787, Carole Owens tells the story of Mary Gray Bidwell, Elizabeth Edwards Burr; Lavinia Deane Fisk, Abigail Williams Sergeant Dwight and others.

The war years changed the lives of each of these women and their lives changed our new country.

  Tina Packer is one of the country’s foremost experts on Shakespeare and theatre arts and now the actor, director, and master teacher offers an exploration of the women of Shakespeare’s plays in her new book: Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare's Plays.

  Julius Caesar, a beautiful and popular girl from a wealthy family has been selected as the ‘face’ of Rome Preparatory Academy, an elite all girls boarding school. She will be the president of the student council and represent the school at both fund raising and social events, including Homecoming, over which she will preside as queen. Although well liked, Caesar's sense of entitlement and hubris are resented by other students. ---- If that sounds familiar but some the details seem new – you’re keeping up with us just fine.

The Theatre Department at SUNY New Paltz is staging a production of William Shakepeare’s Julius Caesar set in a girls’ boarding school.

This re-imagining of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar asks the audience to consider violence on a more personal level by eliminating the safe distance of history and putting the weapons in the hands of young people.

  In Getting Screwed: Sex Workers and the Law, Alison Bass weaves the true stories of sex workers with the latest research on prostitution into a gripping journalistic account of how women (and some men) navigate a culture that routinely accepts the implicit exchange of sex for money, status, or even a good meal, but imposes heavy penalties on those who make such bargains explicit.

Along the way, Bass examines why an increasing number of middle-class white women choose to become sex workers and explores how prostitution has become a thriving industry in the twenty-first-century global economy. Situating her book in American history more broadly, she also discusses the impact of the sexual revolution, the rise of the Nevada brothels, and the growing war on sex trafficking after 9/11.

In their number one New York Times best seller Half the Sky, husband-and-wife team Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn brought to light struggles faced by women and girls around the globe, and showcased individuals and institutions working to address oppression and expand opportunity.

  In their latest book, now in paperback, A Path Appears  is a sweeping tapestry of people who are making the world a better place. The book is also a guide to the ways that we can do the same—whether with a donation of $5 or $5 mil­lion, with our time, by capitalizing on our skills as individuals, or by using the resources of our businesses.

Kristof and WuDunn, husband and wife, have co-authored three previous books: Half the SkyThunder from the East, and China Wakes. They were awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for their coverage of China and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2009.

The Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy will host a breakfast with Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn on Thursday October 29, in Albany. 

  This morning we will learn about a first-of-its-kind event to benefit female residents of the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region, based in Troy. The Arts Center will be hosting “Brava!” a fundraiser seeking to provide new bras to women at the YWCA.

  In 2008, on her second night of college, Aspen Matis was raped by a fellow student. Shattered and alone, she fled to the Mexican border to begin the 2,650 mile walk along the Pacific Crest Trail, through the unforgiving desert and mountains to Canada.

Reminiscent of Alice Sebold’s - Lucky and Cheryl Strayed’s - Wild, Matis has written a searing, yet hopeful story of survival in the wake of a horrific trauma and finding acceptance, hope, and healing in nature.

Girl In The Woods is a memoir of how Aspen’s horror became her salvation…and, yes, she found her future husband by the 2,000 mile mark.

  In her new story collection, Almost Famous Women, writer Megan Mayhew Bergman takes us into the lives of independent, inventive women at the margins of history.

Bergman has written fictionalized accounts of real-life, risk-taking women who have largely been forgotten.

  Sara Paretsky revolutionized the mystery world in 1982 with the introduction of private eye V.I. Warshawski in Indemnity Only. V.I. – tough, credible, street-smart, and feminine – challenged the stereotypes of women in fiction as victims or vamps and Paretsky made it possible for a new generation of crime writers to thrive.

In her new novel, Brush Back, Paretsky continues to use real-world issues to fuel her prose, when V.I. Warshawski confronts crooked politicians and buried secrets from her own Chicago past.

Like her celebrated protagonist, Sara Paretsky is a crusader for social justice and an advocate for those on society’s margins. Paretsky is currently president of the Mystery Writers of America.

  Local professional women supporting each other – that’s the mission of Women@Work – a bimonthly magazine devoted to helping women managers and executives navigate the world of work.

The Times Union publication also presents networking events and their next “Connect Event” is this Sunday, July 26th.  “Conquering the Dream: Champion Polo Player Sunny Hale Shares Her Story” at Greenfield Center from 3 to 5pm.

We are joined now by Jennifer Gish, Senior Editor of Women@Work magazine and Tracy Ormsbee, Executive Editor of the Times Union magazines.

  We hear from some women on the Congressional Corner – but not many.

In today’s segment, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that Congress could use more.