March is Women's History Month, and a variety of events and activities are planned to celebrate it.

Pieces by female artists are on display at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice St., between Harrison and Jackson streets. The exhibit runs through March 28, with a reception on March 21.

The invitational exhibit has been pulled together by Tomye Neal-Madison, the visual arts program coordinator at the Malonga. Neal-Madison sponsors a variety of arts classes throughout the year at the facility, which was formerly known as the Alice Arts Center.

A decade ago, the Alice was rededicated to the memory of Malonga Casquelourd (1947-2003), a master drummer, dancer and teacher who dedicated his life to promoting African culture in the East Bay. The restored arts center features spaces available for rent, including a 400-seat theater, five dance studios, meeting rooms and rehearsal spaces.

The landmark structure originally served as the Women's City Club building, which was built in 1928. It is significant as one of Oakland's most important centers of women's social, political, educational and business activities during the 1920s and 1930s. For more on the Women's Art Exhibit, leave a message with Neal-Madison at 510-238-2786.


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Here's a bit of women's history trivia: Alice Street is named after town founder Horace Carpentier's sister. Most of the other downtown area streets, such as Harrison, Webster, Franklin and Washington, are named after United States statesmen. These street names were assigned back in the 1850s, when Oakland was first being established.

Speaking of trivia, there will be a Women's History Month Trivia Night on March 23 at the Oakland Peace Center. The event, hosted by the Bay Area Women Against Rape, is billed as a fun way to learn about women's contributions to art, science, medicine, politics and other areas. For details, go to http://womenstrivianight.tumblr.com. The Oakland Peace Center is located in the historic First Christian Church, 111 Fairmount Ave., near the Oakland Auto Row district.

The Mountain View Cemetery Women's Walking Tour is scheduled for March 23. The free docent-led tour begins at 10 a.m. Among the famous female residents to learn about on the tour are architect Julia Morgan, African-American journalist Delilah Beasley, California's first poet laureate and Oakland librarian Ina Coolbrith, and Ida Louise Jackson, Oakland schools' first African-American teacher. For details, go to www.mountainviewcemetery.org.

On March 14, Betty Marvin, planner with the Oakland's Cultural Heritage Survey project, portrays Morgan, recounting her struggle to become an architect and telling about her famous clients and friends, including William Randolph Hearst and Bernard Maybeck. The program, sponsored by the Oakland Museum of California's History Guild, will be from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the Lecture Hall. For details, go to www.museumca.org/events.

Contact Annalee Allen at ldmksldy@aol.com.