Meryl Streep, the Oscar-winning actress, has been advocating for a National Women’s History Museum for some years. Now she is getting some help from her entertainment colleagues.
The planning board for the museum, which would be located in Washington, has enlisted some red carpet names to get the word out about their plans. Joining Streep are Geena Davis, Amy Brenneman, Kate Walsh, Nora Ephron, Frances Fisher, as well as Catherine Hardwicke, the director of the first “Twilight.”
For her first project with the group Hardwicke has directed a public service announcement called “Don’t Tell Me I Can’t.” In the spots, young girls portray women from history and actress Alfre Woodard supplies the narration.
The new PSAs range from 15 seconds to 90 seconds.
The legislation to authorize a women’s history museum is taking a slow path through Congress. In the last session, the legislation passed the House. The founding board, working since 1996, is not asking Congress for any funds but is requesting a building from the federal inventory. To date, the supporters have raised $9 million.
While the planning process continues, the museum staff has organized 21 online exhibitions and public lectures. “Early Jewish American Women” goes online on the museum’s Web site this month. A lecture series at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars continues in September, with October 24 booked with historian Nancy F. Cott of Harvard.
Also involved with the project and the museum’s Los Angeles Regional Council are journalist Lisa Ling, screenwriter Robin Swicord, folk singer Janis Ian and director Kimberly Peirce.