Women’s History Month

Women Outward Bound
Tuesday, March 20 at 8 p.m. on WCNY

Women Outward Bound profiles the first group of young women to participate in an Outward Bound survival school course in 1965, and chronicles their experiences in the wild. It also captures how one month in the woods taught them they could do more than they ever thought possible. During their experience, the young women forged a special bond, and at a reunion 47 years later, the group reminisces about the lessons they learned and the memories they made, with some surprising revelations. They didn’t realize it at the time, but they were a part of changing the course of history. The documentary takes the viewer on a journey over many decades with rare archival footage, family home videos, photos and stunning aerial footage of the lush yet challenging Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In the end, this film proves that girls could always handle the difficult challenges given by nature-they just needed to be given the chance.

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Women’s List: American Masters

WHM Womens list

Tuesday, March 20 at 9 p.m. and Wednesday, March 21 at 1 p.m. on WCNY

Meet 15 women who have created and defined contemporary American culture in American Masters: The Women’s List. The newest chapter of filmmaker/photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ List documentary series (American Masters: The Boomer List, The Black List, The Latino List, The Out List) features intimate interviews with:

  1. Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1997-2001
  2. Gloria Allred, lawyer
  3. Laurie Anderson, artist
  4. Sara Blakely, entrepreneur
  5. Margaret Cho, comedian
  6. Edie Falco, actor
  7. Elizabeth Holmes, scientist and entrepreneur
  8. Betsey Johnson, fashion designer
  9. Alicia Keys, singer-songwriter
  10. Aimee Mullins, athlete and fashion model
  11. Nancy Pelosi, politician
  12. Rosie Perez, actor
  13. Shonda Rhimes, writer-producer
  14. Wendy Williams, talk show host
  15. Nia Wordlaw, pilot

This documentary focuses on these individuals’ exceptional achievements, struggles, and identities. All trailblazers in their respective fields, these women share their experiences struggling against discrimination and overcoming challenges to make their voices heard and their influence felt. Toni Morrison opens the film with a reading of an introduction she wrote specifically for The Women’s List.

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Beyond the Powder: The Legacy of the First Women’s Cross Country Air RaceWHM Beyond the powder

Tuesday, March 20 at 10 p.m. on WCNY

Beyond the Powder: The Legacy of the First Women’s Cross Country Air Race is a documentary film that follows the female pilots of the 2014 Air Race Classic racers as they make their way across the country, while telling the story of the first women’s cross-country air race of 1929, also known as the Powder Puff Derby. The first Women’s Air Derby in 1929—which was comprised of 20 women, including Amelia Earhart—was flown from Santa Monica to the finish line in Cleveland, kicking off the National Air Races. The country watched as these brave women made history flying cross-country, breaking into a competition that was thought to be for men only. They encountered sabotage, death, and all the difficulties of flying at the dawn of aviation. Today the Powder Puff Derby continues as the Air Race Classic, with modern day racers carrying out the legacy and the adventurous spirit of the original racers. Showing that they were more than just their make-up, the original Derby contestants have inspired those flying today to truly push beyond the powder.

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Breaking Through the Clouds: The First Women’s National Air DerbyWHM Breaking the Clouds

Wednesday, March 21 at 2 p.m. on WCNY

The inspiring true story of 20 women who raced across America in the summer of 1929.

Amelia Earhart and 19 of her colleagues defied convention by taking to the skies and racing across the country in the First Women’s National Air Derby. With just a compass and a road map to guide them, they navigated through cultural stereotypes, mechanical failures, threats of sabotage, emergency landings, and endless chicken dinners. Their story is inspiring for anyone seeking the courage to follow their own dreams.

Humorist Will Rogers gave a good luck speech at the starting line in California. The next nine days were filled with trials and tribulations as the women flew over mountains and desert on their way to the finish line in Cleveland, Ohio. Along the way there was a fire in the cockpit, a case of typhoid fever, and a car accident.. in an air race.

Each woman had a strong, unique personality. There was the wealthy, foul-mouthed stunt pilot (and wife of a preacher) Pancho Barnes, whose personality was bigger than life. In contrast was one of her best friends, Louise Thaden, the calm, steadfast, modest, young woman many considered to be one of the best pilots of all time. The glamorous Ruth Elder broke hearts with her beautiful and infectious smile, charming everyone she met while Bobbi Trout, the mechanically inclined pilot with the Pollyanna can-do attitude was equally at home surrounded by friends or fixing the engine of her plane.

Actual footage from the race, and of the women, were restored for this film. Expert interviews and family members of the pilots are mixed in with aerial recreations in vibrantly colored planes just like the ones the women flew in the derby.

Breaking Through The Clouds has won several film festivals and awards including the Combs Gates Award from the National Aviation Hall of Fame. It has aired nationally on PBS stations across the United States.

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Anne Murrow Lindbergh: You’ll Have the Sky

WHM Show Circles Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Wednesday, March 21 at 3:30 p.m. on WCNY

“You’ll Have the Sky: The Life and Work of Anne Morrow Lindbergh” brings one of the 20th century’s best-loved writers out from the shadow of her often controversial husband, the pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh. The film uses Anne’s own words to help convey her inner life, which was deeply affected by the challenges of being part of America’s most famous couple.

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MankillerWHM Mankiller

Monday, March 26 at 1 p.m. on WCNY

Learn about the legacy of Wilma Mankiller, who overcame sexism to emerge as the Cherokee Nation’s first woman Principal Chief. Through archival footage and interviews, Mankiller examines the life of one of the country’s most important woman leaders.

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Independent Lens – DoloresWHM Doloras

Tuesday, March 27 at 9 p.m. on WCNY

One of the most important, yet least known activists of our time, Dolores Huerta was an equal partner in founding the first farm workers union with César Chávez. Tirelessly leading the fight for racial and labor justice, Huerta evolved into one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th century — and she continues the fight to this day, in her late 80s. With unprecedented access to this intensely private mother of 11, Peter Bratt’s film Dolores chronicles Huerta’s life from her childhood in Stockton, California to her early years with the United Farm Workers, from her work with the headline-making grape boycott launched in 1965 to her role in the feminist movement of the ’70s, to her continued work as a fearless activist.

Featuring interviews with Gloria Steinem, Luis Valdez, Angela Davis, her children and more, Dolores is an intimate and inspiring portrait of a passionate champion of the oppressed and an indomitable woman willing to accept the personal sacrifices involved in committing one’s life to social change.

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Makers: Women Who Change Central New YorkWHM makers

Friday, March 30 at 9 p.m. on WCNY

In this one-hour WCNY special, explore the life and work of the groundbreaking women making an impact across the region. The dedication, creativity, and perseverance these women embody, in pursuit of a better Central New York, is sure to inspire and spark the next generation of change makers.

Meet the Makers



Make a Request

Have a favorite woman composer or performer you’d like to hear?
Let us know for the All-Request Hour every Monday at 6 p.m.

Make your request here wcny.org/fmrequests or e-mail ClassicFM@wcny.org.




Showcasing Women ComposersWHM radio Requests

All month long, your Classic FM Live hosts will bring you women composers and performers.

Bruce Paulsen 6 – 10 a.m.  |  Diane Jones 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Marie Lamb  Tuesdays through Fridays from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Adam Fine Weekends from 7 – 11 a.m. and Mondays 2 – 7 p.m.


Francesca Caccini & Madame de Villeblanche
Saturday, March 24


Louise Farrenc
Sunday, March 25


Rebecca Clarke
Monday, March 26


Francesca Lebrun
Saturday, March 31



Diane Jones’ mid-day program to highlight women exclusively WHM radio Diane

Thursday, March 29 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.




Feminine Fusion

The weekly radio program devoted to the contributions of women in classical music starts the month with a program showcasing soloists, duos, trio, and quartets!
Hear music performed by pianist Martha Argerich, The Claremont Trio, and more.

Listen every Sunday afternoon on Classic FM.


Music on the Wind – Featuring woodwind players
Sunday, March 25




Classic FM


WCNY Oldies




WCNY's The Capitol Pressroom