August 2022

Dear Friends,

This month the Women’s Foundation of Montana (WFM) says farewell to Kelly Curtis, who has been an incredible AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer for the past year. Kelly moved from Seattle to join our crew here at WFM amidst the pandemic. She quickly became a valuable community and team member, exemplifying flexibility, dedication, creative problem-solving, and patience in a time of uncertainty.

Here are just a few of the many thoughtful pieces Kelly wrote during her year of service at WFM:

We are so grateful to Kelly. She brought passion and commitment to her work and to our team. She strengthened our ability to advocate for change alongside our partners. We wish her the best of luck and success in her future.

Thank you, Kelly!

We also want to thank you, our supporters, for making our work possible. Kelly interviewed many of you over this past year. She talked with PowerHouse leaders and hosted virtual PowerHouse focus groups where you discussed the issues facing women in Montana and shared your ideas about how PowerHouse can support you. Your input is shaping the future of this program. We’ll have more news to come in the fall and are excited for what the future holds.


Updates from Our Grantees

Red Ants Pants Music Festival

Red Ants Pants and Thrive, both WFM grantees, teamed up during the Red Ants Pants Music Festival last month.

  • “Thrive had lots of fun at the Red Ants Pants music festival! Visitors to Thrive's booth in the kids' tent got creative with lots of crafts and activities. We loved meeting all the families who stopped by!” - Thrive Staff

Montana Pride

Hundreds show up to support Drag Story Hour in Helena”

After online threats, the Montana Pride event took place without disruption and with a show of support. Read more from the Montana Free Press here.

"Montana Pride featured a week’s worth of events that began July 17, including informational talks, happy hours, cabaret shows, and a Saturday morning march down Last Chance Gulch that culminated in a midday political rally at Anchor Park. The crowd heard from several local and statewide Democratic officeholders and candidates who promised to protect and bolster LGBTQ civil rights, as well as Democratic congressional hopeful Penny Ronning and her independent opponent Gary Buchanan, both of whom are running against Rosendale to represent Montana’s eastern congressional district."

Major Notes

Voter Information

Are you registered to vote? The 2022 election is a critical election for Montana women. It is important to be informed about your candidates, ballot initiatives, and the upcoming Legislative session. 

Here are a few voter resources to help get you started and keep you informed.  

Friday, August 26th, is Women's Equality DayThe 19th Amendment, ratified in 1920, ensures voting rights for everyone regardless of gender. Today, Women’s Equality Day celebrates the achievements of women’s rights activists and reminds us of the unique daily struggles that women face.

To remind us of the struggles of the past, present, and future, Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day in 1971.

Bozeman Professional Women’s Small Business & Educational Grants​ 

Bozeman Professional Women is pleased to award Small Business and Educational Grants to women for business or educational development in the state of Montana. The financial grants are intended to enable women in the development of their businesses or education as we continue to grow the number of women entrepreneurs in our state. The grants are available to Montana women who require support to purchase equipment or other materials for business start-ups, development, or further develop their education.

Awards historically range from $500 to $2,500. Grant applications for the 2022 grant season must be submitted by August 31, 2022. 

Learn more and apply here.  

Developing Leaders for Montana’s Future

WFM brought together leaders from around the state to discuss the state of women’s leadership development in Montana. Hear from experts about how they educate, empower, and encourage women to take on leadership roles in politics; what tools and support they provide to help women establish, grow, and sustain businesses; and how they build upon the strength of girls from rural Montana to create highly competent and confident leaders.


Article Highlight

Medical gaslighting:

What it is—and how to address it

As we watch trigger laws go into effect around the nation while other states are passing new legislation to restrict abortion access, we decided to dig a bit deeper into the topic of women’s experiences with the medical industry. What we learned is that there needs to be more research centered around women’s health conditions instead of often leading women into believing they do not know enough about their own bodies to make decisions about them, also known as gaslighting.

In this article, Medical gaslighting: What it is—and how to address it, “research suggests that diagnostic errors occur in up to one-in-seven interactions between doctors and patients—and female patients and people of color are even more likely to have their symptoms dismissed by medical providers, often resulting in a delayed or incorrect diagnosis.” 

Read more here

Recommended Reading:

While WFM has not read all the following books, here is some additional reading on women's experiences in the medical industry in America.

Have You Remembered To Update Your PowerHouse Profile?

Not sure when you last updated your PowerHouse profile or if you even have one set up? Click here to update or create a profile and start connecting with other women.

Together we can empower Montana women and girls to pursue their dreams.
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