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Colorado Women's Hall of Famer Hattie McDaniel. Photo courtesy of Rossano / Flickr via Creative Commons

Best Bet: Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame “STEAM” Portrait Exhibit

Commemorate the Centennial State's female leaders and nominate an outstanding woman for the Class of 2018.

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Celebrate women making an impact on the Centennial State, both past and present, with a new exhibit opening Thursday.

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame will display a series of portraits of women leaders in the “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) fields at the Collective Community Arts Center in Lafayette.

The portraits honor women who have made “significant and enduring contributions” to their field and who have a connection to the state of Colorado. Included in the exhibit are accomplished women such as renowned animal scientist and CSU professor Temple Grandin, and Justina L. Ford, Denver’s first black female physician. “We believe it’s really important to recognize and honor the women for their achievements, but that’s only part of our mission,” says Betty Heid, chair of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. “The other part is to inspire young women and girls to follow their dreams and achieve their goals.”

In addition to the “STEAM” portraits, an exhibition of portraits of all 152 Hall of Fame inductees is currently on display until June 20 on the University of Denver campus in the Chambers Center, Anderson Commons, and the Newman Center. “We recognize women who have been outstanding in their career, from arts and sciences to education, philanthropy, or sports,” says Heid. “We are celebrating women who have helped open new frontiers in society.”

Founded in 1985, the Hall inducts 10 women every two years—six contemporary leaders and four historical women. Past inductees include Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who spent her teen years in Denver and attended Kent Denver School in Cherry Hills Village, and Denver native and Gone With the Wind actress Hattie McDaniel, who was the first African American entertainer to win an Academy Award.

Nominations are now open for the Class of 2018 inductees. Anyone can nominate an accomplished Colorado woman by telling her story on the Hall of Fame’s website until August 1. A diverse, independent committee will announce the inductees in October and the induction ceremony will take place March 2018 in Denver.

If you go: The “STEAM” exhibit’s opening reception will take place Thursday, April 13 from 6:30–8:30 p.m. The exhibit is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. through May 30 at the Collective Community Arts Center, 201 N. Public Road, Lafayette. For more information about the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, along with photos and information about past inductees, visit cogreatwomen.org.

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