Peoria Symphony’s world premiere of “Everywoman: A Friedan Centennial Memoire,” honoring Betty Friedan

Posted on: November 16, 2021

On November 20, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra will present the world premiere of Stephanie Ann Boyd’s Everywoman: A Friedan Centennial Memoire at the Peoria Civic Center Theater, led by Music Director George Stelluto. The work was written in honor of Betty Friedan, born in 1921 in Peoria, Illinois and author of The Feminine Mystique and co-founder of the National Organization for Women. Everywoman: A Friedan Centennial Memoire is described as tracking “personal triumphs and tribulations as it traces moments of gravity [in] Betty Friedan’s life from her college-age musings to the world-changing victories in her call for equality.” The program will be narrated by Deborah F. Rutter, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The program will also include two other works by Boyd, the Peoria Symphony’s composer in residence: Sybil violin concerto with soloist Sirena Huang; and Sheltering Voices, a cantata for voice and orchestra, with mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung. Related events include a November 16 screening of 28 Minutes with Betty Friedan, which features a 1999 interview in which Friedan discussed her upbringing in Peoria, and a November 17 “Lunch and Learn” conversation with Boyd, Stelluto, and Huang.