Mother’s Day and Womens’ Talks and Events Coming Up in NYC

By Alison Durkee

Mother’s Day is coming up, and whether you’re looking to celebrate with Mom or just take some time to appreciate motherhood overall, New York City has you covered. Make plans for your Mother’s Day weekend—or just appreciate some impressive ladies in general—with these upcoming Mothers Day and female-centric talks and events.

To give your Mother’s Day celebration a literary bent, head to McNally Jackson on May 11, where parent-poets will be taking back the holiday by reading poems that “turn the notion of ‘mommy dearest’ on its pretty little apron-wearing head” and raising money for Safe Horizon. A few days before, on May 8, Symphony Space’s Selected Shorts series will put the spotlight on motherhood with a series of short fiction readings that celebrate and explore the mother-child relationship. Those wanting a more artistic spin on the holiday, meanwhile, can head uptown to Harlem, where Mother’s Day-Harlem Style will celebrate the holiday with a slate of local artisans showcasing their work May 11-12.

Of course, Mother’s Day falls during one of New York City’s most pleasant weather months, so there are also activities suiting those who want to spend their holiday outdoors—and with some food. On Mother’s Day itself, May 12, head over to the Lower East Side for the Museum at Eldridge Street’s Yiddishe Mamas walking tour and brunch, which celebrates the women who called the neighborhood home. Big Onion Tours will offer a Mother’s Day multi-ethnic eating tour of the neighborhood May 12 as well. Up in the Bronx, the New York Botanical Garden will mark the occasion with a weekend garden party on May 11-12, which includes food, games, and live entertainment.

Beyond the Mother’s Day celebrations, there are also plenty of ways to honor women this spring—regardless of whether or not they have children. Celebrate women in the arts with Barnard College’s Make Some Noise concert highlighting women and music (May 18), or learn more about the fashion world through a conversation with supermodel and designer Liya Kebede, whose fashion line Kebede is created by and benefits women artisans in Ethiopia. For a spotlight on women in film, head to a Q&A with director Joanna Hogg and mother-daughter stars Honor Swinton Byre and Tilda Swinton on new film The Souvenir (May 7), or spend a morning with actress Isabella Rossalini May 3, as she takes part in a science-themed event with Columbia’s Psychology Department.

Bookworms can get a new perspective on fictional female representation on May 11, as three international authors hold a panel discussion on creating their female characters and bringing them into society. Another May 11 event will span the worlds of literature and music, as National Book Award finalist Rachel Kushner appears in conversation with Sonic Youth co-founder Kim Gordon.

Other events will look back at women of the past. Author Andrea Barnet will host a talk May 14 on her book Visionary Women, which will spotlight two of the book’s subjects, urban activist Jane Jacobs and Silent Spring author Rachel Carson. A May 13 event will put the focus on the unlikely subject of millinery to discuss the suffrage movement, as the talk delves into the turn-of-the-century debate over wearing feathers in hats—which resulted in wild bird species being killed off—and two women who came down on either side of both the hat and women’s suffrage debates.

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