Join the Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council, the City of Grand Rapids, Lions & Rabbits and numerous community partners in a celebration of the Women’s Way Murals. Every Wednesday in September we will be holding a ribbon cutting to feature each completed Women’s Way Mural in downtown Grand Rapids. Along with the ribbon cutting these events will also include local artist performances, a video on the background of the women of the murals, and time to mingle with food and drinks!
On Wednesday, September 22nd from 7pm to 8pm we will be celebrating the Ethel B. Coe in the 20 Monroe Live alley.
Ethel B. Coe (1899-1988)
Ethel B. Coe was born in Virginia in 1899 – 30 years after the Civil War – and moved to Grand Rapids at age eight. Coe won a civil rights case while attending South High School after she was refused service at a local ice cream parlor. Throughout her life, Coe was active in the NAACP, Urban League, Family Life Council and many other clubs. At the age of 68, Coe traveled the U.S. and abroad as a volunteer teaching English to Latino and Vietnamese children. She was also a singer and actress who performed for more than 40 years in venues like Civic Theatre and St. Cecilia Music Society.
“This portrait, titled ‘The Amazing Coe,’ represents the balance of society and creativity. As a sign of hope for all creators, the portrait serves as a beacon in the present and future times. This comic book technique shows Coe as the hero she is, and the descriptive words provide action, fitting her activist lifestyle.” – Statement by Artist Esan Sommersell.
The Women’s Way Initiative aspires to elevate the historical narratives of exceptional local leaders while adding new energy and creative interest to often-overlooked public places. The initiative also boldly endeavors to acknowledge the complicated history of women in alleyways and help claim positive ownership of these spaces. Organized by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council, the City of Grand Rapids, Lions & Rabbits and numerous community partners.