Ridgefield Womens’ Suffrage Centennial: A Portrait of Progress From the Voting Booth to Town Hall



In honor of the 2020 Women’s Suffrage Centennial, twenty-two artists from Fairfield County and beyond joined together and completed a yearlong Portrait Project. The portraits feature twenty-two working women in Ridgefield’s Town Hall who often work behind the scenes. The now completed artwork honors their efforts in keeping our town humming along.

Included among those portraits is one of the pioneer suffragist and co-author of the Equal Rights Amendment, Alice Paul, a former Ridgefield resident who represents the many Ridgefield feminist activists, past and present continuing to spark change. The 24th panel includes the Alice Paul quote, “I always feel the movement is a great mosaic.”The women’s movement in America has evolved from its early days of the suffrage movement, and now includes a body of women’s causes.

The Portrait Project celebrates women’s progress from the voting booth to Town Hall as women have grown to play important roles in government on all levels. Ridgefield’s Portrait of Progress recognizes and celebrates the vital and equal roles women now play in creating a vibrant Ridgefield community.

Each participating artist produced an individual portrait in her/his own unique style and medium to capture the soul and energy of each woman. The portraits have been joined to become a single artwork and will be presented to Town Hall as a permanent gift at 11 AM on October 20th. The completed work had been on view at the Carriage Barn of the Keeler Tavern Museum during August and has since been installed in Town Hall. It is available for viewing with masked social distancing.

Weston artist Cindy Wagner created the portrait of Stephanie Neves. Stephanie has been in the tax collector’s department at the Ridgefield Town Hall for four years. She comes from a banking background at Union Saving’s Bank and also Bob’s Clothing Store. Stephanie really enjoys serving her customers and even likes the challenge of helping a customer who at first is very upset over a particular situation. She loves working in a community that seems to thrive on respect and helping one another.

A graduate of Brookfield High School, Stephanie attended Naugatuck Community College. Her husband is a plumber and she has a three year old daughter, Olivia that she talks about with great pride. Stephanie loves to go for walks with her daughter and read with her.

Stephanie has traveled to Portugal and would now like to see more of Europe. She credits her single mother with keeping her early family together and will instill her mother’s values in her own family. One of her mother’s values was helping others and Stephanie is always looking for ways to perform services for people around her.“* 

For more information about this unique project please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ridgefieldsuffrage

For further information: Alice Hayes at alicehayes.43@gmail.com

*Quote from interviews taken and written by Dr. Darla Shaw, Professor of Women's Studies, WCSU.


Rudy Marconi inspecting the newly installed Ridgefield Centennial Portrait Project Photo credit portraits by ShawnaLee

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