Grand Rapidians can celebrate Women’s History Month with walking tours

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Caroline Cook, owner of Grand Rapids Running Tours, will lead several free art walking tours throughout Women's History Month. Courtesy DGRI

Downtown walking tours are available this month for those looking to mark Women’s History Month.

Caroline Cook, chief ambassador and owner/operator of Grand Rapids Running Tours, will lead several free art walking tours on behalf of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) throughout the month to celebrate local women’s achievements:

  • Women’s Way Murals — 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 27
  • Rad American Women A-Z — 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 23

The Women’s Way initiative, organized by DGRI, the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council, the city of Grand Rapids, Lions & Rabbits and numerous community partners, aspires to elevate the historical narratives of exceptional local leaders through murals created in alleyways throughout the city.

The murals created thus far honor Harriet Woods Hill, the Grand Rapids Chicks baseball team, Ethel Coe, Angeline Kelsey “Naw Kay o say” Yob and Maurilia Ortiz Blakely.

The Rad American Women A-Z project is a public arts initiative that DGRI and Lions & Rabbits launched in honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month in 2019. Twenty-seven female-identifying artists painted portraits of influential women on mechanical boxes throughout downtown Grand Rapids, inspired by “Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History… And Our Future,” a New York Times bestselling book written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl.

The Women’s Way and Rad American Women tours meet in front of the Grand Rapids Art Museum and last 90 minutes. Tours also are available by appointment. More information is available by contacting Cook at caroline@grandrapidsrunningtours.com.

Sculpture tour

A self-guided tour of six statues around downtown is available through the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council to celebrate women who have made a difference in Grand Rapids and around the country.

This tour features sculptures and sculpture groupings of Betty Ford; Pearl Kendrick, Grace Eldering and Loney Clinton Gordon; Helen Jackson Claytor; Rosa Parks; and Anna Sutherland Bissell.

A map is available here.

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