Arts and Culture

Eileen Yanoviak is the membership director at the Speed Art Museum. She’s also a mother.

And when her 13-year-old daughter approached her with some questions on the topics of feminism and civil rights, Yanoviak realized she could bring these two worlds together — that’s when “Citizen Girls: A Social Justice Book Club” was born.

Courtesy Speed Art Museum

“The Lions of Little Rock” by Kristin Levine.

On one Sunday every month, Yanoviak invites girls and gender non-conforming kids ages 13 through 18 to discuss the book of the month. This Sunday it’s “The Lions of Little Rock” by Kristin Levine, which is a story of how two girls, separated by race, form an unbreakable bond during the integration of Little Rock schools in 1958.

This will be the third meeting of the group, which Yanoviak says is slowly growing.

These discussions are moderated by community leaders.

“This one is going to be Robin Burke, who worked with YouthBuild and has done other community, social justice services,” Yanoviak says. “The idea is to get girls who attend access to different civic leaders in the community, or specialists in the community.”

Yanoviak says they also focus on connecting the discussions to artwork on-view at the museum.

“There’s always artists and artwork that responds to social issues,” she says. “So we go into the galleries and connect what we’re reading with what we’re seeing and think of real people who experience those social issues.”

“Citizen Girls: A Social Justice Book Club” is free and open to the public (and most importantly, Yanoviak says, you’re invited even if you haven’t read the book). More information is available here.

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.