ITHACA — Stories and pictures of influential women throughout history filled the Greater Ithaca Activities Center gym on Thursday for the annual Women’s History Month Mini Museum.

GIAC has been hosting the mini museum for more than 10 years, with tables, posters and live presentations by students and staff. Women who have made significant contributions to enhance the lives and rights of women were highlighted.

Women this year included Diana Ross; reporter and TV anchor Robin Roberts; the founder of the Girl Scouts; Rachel Ray; NASA trailblazers featured in “Hidden Figures” Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson; Emma Watson; and local seniors sharing their memories of life during World War II.

This year was particularly special since women won the right to vote 100 years ago in New York. 2017 is also the Year of the Woman in Tompkins County, designated by Legislature earlier this year. The proclamation was posted on the wall of GIAC.

During the mini museum, a few girls marched as suffragettes with signs declaring “Give Moms the Vote!” In one corner near the “Hidden Figures” table, children sat in a creative rocket ship simulator. Across the way, kids imitated Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. Mini museum-goers could also try pasta inspired by Rachel Ray. One table featured work by GIAC’s senior program with interviews with local seniors in the community answering questions about the importance of voting, and a video of two women talking about life during World War II. One woman shared her history of growing up in Budapest, and the other shared her experience from Ithaca.

Leslyn McBean Clairborne, director of GIAC, said students learn about history so much better when immersed in it like during the mini museum, “rather than just reading it in a book. And this is why we do it.”

Here’s a few moments from the mini museum Thursday. Photos by Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice

Maddie Lent, 7, marches as a suffragette Thursday at GIAC’s mini museum. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice
Sala Way-Vines, 7, dressed as a suffragette. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice
Tamanii Littles, 10, emulates Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice
Kids gather around a “fire” at the Girls Scouts table. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice
From left, Courtney McGuire, youth program assistant at GIAC, talks to Maddie Lent, 7, and Alice Gobein, 7, about women’s suffrage. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.