Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Kentucky Commission on Women to Premiere Documentary on History of Kentucky Women

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, March 04, 2015  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Terry Sebastian

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky provided major funding for project

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear are joining with the Kentucky Commission on Women to host four premiere showings across the Commonwealth of the documentary “Dreamers & Doers: VOICES of Kentucky Women.”

The hourlong documentary, with premieres in Frankfort, Louisville, Springfield and Lexington, profiles more than 40 Kentucky women and their achievements, and is based on the Kentucky Women Remembered (KWR) exhibit displayed in the state Capitol.

The documentary, produced by Michael Breeding Media Inc., provides insight into the role women have played and their valuable contributions to the history, growth and development of the Commonwealth. It shows the impact women have had in science, literature, politics, arts, education, business, religion, athletics, entertainment and the military in Kentucky.

“I’m thrilled this documentary will show every Kentuckian the significant accomplishments of Kentucky women now and throughout our history.” Gov. Beshear said. “My administration has worked hard to advance and support women, because women offer vital voices, leadership and insight. As the husband of an outstanding advocate for Kentucky and as the Governor whose lieutenant governor is an accomplished public servant, I will continue to advocate and partner with women at every level.”

The documentary is a starting point for continuing research on the contributions of women, said Eleanor Jordan, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Women and executive producer of the documentary.

“It will be a catalyst to urge historians, educators, students and others to fill in more of the gaps while demonstrating how damaging the injustice of gender inequity in Kentucky history has been,” she said.

Toyota, The Gheens Foundation, Frontier Nursing University and the Kentucky Arts Council provided major funding for the documentary.

Shortly after the premiere events, preparations will be made to distribute the documentary to every middle and high school in the Commonwealth, as well as all public libraries in time for the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.

As a former schoolteacher, Mrs. Beshear said she’s excited the documentary will be shown in schools across Kentucky.

“This documentary will enlighten our young people by presenting well-known women, past and present, and introducing them to many women who have essentially been written out of Kentucky history,” Mrs. Beshear said. “It will also reinforce to our youth the true accomplishments of women throughout our history and hopefully inspire young women to achieve positions of leadership.”

Featured as a KWR honoree giving commentary throughout the documentary, Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen said Kentucky women of every race, class and ethnic background have made contributions and strengthened the Commonwealth in countless recorded and unrecorded ways.

“The Beshears and I are proud the Commission on Women has taken on the responsibility of providing this educational tool for Kentuckians of all ages, and we are deeply appreciative Toyota jumpstarted the overall project,” Lt. Gov. Luallen said.

Kentucky Commission Women Chair Madeline Abramson approached Toyota executives two years ago about funding the production of the documentary. Abramson also serves as an ex-officio member of the Commission on Women Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization that raises funds for select Commission projects.

Toyota signed on as the major funder for the project, providing the momentum needed to energize the effort and make the documentary reality.

“The Commission and its many partners have worked hard to complete this very important project in the history of women in Kentucky,” Abramson said. “I want to especially thank the Beshears, Toyota, the Commission and all its members, producer Michael Breeding and countless others for making this documentary a priority.”

Wil James, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc, said the film speaks to one of Toyota’s main tenets – respect for people.

“We are honored to be part of this project as it recognizes the untold contributions of so many Kentucky women,” James said. “These stories will inspire and empower our future leaders and innovators, helping them grow dynamically as they begin to shape our future.”

Highlighted in the documentary are such personalities as suffragette Josephine Henry; first and only woman governor, Martha Layne Collins; African-American news reporter Alice Dunnigan; Appalachian author Verna Mae Slone; educator and reformist Nettie Depp; politician and businesswoman Mae Street Kidd; singer Loretta Lynn; pediatrician Dr. Grace James; U.S. Congresswoman Katherine Gudger Langley; and civil rights icon state Sen. Georgia Davis Powers.

Gov. Beshear, Lt. Gov. Luallen and James will co-host the premiere and VIP reception at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort March 10, 2015. First Lady Beshear, an ex officio member of the Commission, will co-host the Lexington premiere.

The premieres are free of charge, but a ticket is required to enter the theater. Call 502-564-2611 and ask for Donna, or visit to reserve tickets for one or more premiere showings. A preview of the documentary is available online.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History
100 West Broadway
Frankfort, Kentucky
6 p.m.

Monday, March 16, 2015
Clifton Center
2117 Payne St.
Louisville, Kentucky
6 p.m.

Thursday, March 26, 2015
Pettus Auditorium
St. Catharine College
2735 Bardstown Road
St. Catharine, Kentucky
6 p.m.

Thursday, April 9, 2015
Kentucky Theatre
214 E. Main St.
Lexington, Kentucky
7 p.m.