Garden party Aug. 16

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As a follow-up to their evening Awards Ceremony in Portland on August 15, the Frances Perkins Center plans to hold a second event, their Annual Garden Party, at the Brick House Historic District in Newcastle. This historic property was the life-long haven of Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, and the celebration is designed to both honor her, and the accomplishments of those now championing her causes.

This year’s Garden Party will feature opening remarks by the event’s Honorary Chair Professor William Leuchtenburg of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Professor Leuchtenburg, winner of the 2007 North Carolina Award for Literature, is recognized as an expert on the life and career of FDR and is the author of several notable books, including the Bancroft Prize-winning “Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1940.”

There will also be a keynote address given by the winner of the Frances Perkins Center’s Open Door Award. This award is named after the advice given to Frances Perkins by her grandmother, that when a door opens to you, you must walk through it.  Kathryn Edwards, this year’s recipient, is a former Research Assistant at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and co-authored “A Young Person’s Guide to Social Security”, a comprehensive curriculum to teach young people about the social insurance program. The Guide recently been re-released by NASI and EPI. Edwards is also pursuing her Ph.D. in economics at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Chautauqua performer and playwright Caroline McIntyre will also present her one-woman show on Frances Perkins. McIntyre has performed as an historical interpreter since 2006, and for the past 13 years she has been the Administrator for the production of the Greenville Chautauqua Festival, one of largest Chautauqua events in the world. A former history teacher, theater manager and corporate presenter, she graduated Bucknell University, and holds a MA from New York University, both degrees in American Studies. She recreates the roles of three of her personal heroes – Mary Draper Ingles, Rachel Carson, and Frances Perkins. McIntyre weaves the stories of these heroic women into the fabric of their historical times and inspires the audience to ask questions and thirst for more.

Preliminary sponsors include AARP, Southern Maine Labor Council, EqualityMaine, and Anonymous Donor. Wine, refreshments, and hors d’oeuvres will be provided, and transportation to The Brick House from downtown Damariscotta will be provided by Country Coach.

Tickets to this event are $40, and may be purchased at The Frances Perkins Center, 170A Main St. Damariscotta, or online. Visit