Screening at Meredith College on March 25, 2014

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“Show Up, Speak Out:  The Public Life of Betty Ann Knudsen” will be shown at Meredith College on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in conjunction with the college’s observance of Women’s History Month.    The film will be shown at 7:00 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium on the college’s campus at 3800 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Directions and parking information HERE.  Free and open to the public.  For more information, please send an email to:  bettyanndocfilm @

A panel discussion moderated by Dr. Jeff Martinson, a professor in the Department of History and Political Science at Meredith, will follow the film.  Vivian Bowman-Edwards, the director of the film; Anne Mackie, an activist and organizer of women’s coalitions in NC; and Tara Romano, current president of NC Women United, will be on the panel.

“Show Up, Speak Out: The Public Life of Betty Ann Knudsen” is a documentary film that highlights the life of political activist, feminist, and former elected official Betty Ann Knudsen (1926 – 2012) who lived  in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Knudsen was the first woman to chair the Wake County Board of Commissioners and in 1984 she ran for NC Secretary of State, the first woman to run for a Council of State Office.  Although her campaign was unsuccessful, her courage and initiative paved the way for future women candidates.

Knudsen also traveled all over North Carolina training and mentoring hundreds of women who later ran and won public office or political appointments.  She was inducted to the Raleigh Hall of Fame in 2005 and in 2008 she earned the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor in North Carolina, recognizing a lifetime of extraordinary service to the state.  This film is included in the North Carolina State Archives.

This event is co-sponsored by the Meredith Department of English and the Meredith Department of History and Political Science.  Dr. Alisa Johnson, associate professor in the Department of English is the coordinator of the event.

Betty Ann Knudsen (1926 – 2012)

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Betty Ann Knudsen passed away on July 27, 2012 in Raleigh, NC.   She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

A memorial service for Betty Ann Knudsen was held on Aug. 4, 2012, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on New Hope Road in Raleigh. Contributions in memory of Betty Ann Knudsen may be made to the League of Women Voters of Wake County, Lillian’s List of NC or St. Marks’ Episcopal Church Memorial Fund.

ChathamArts Sustainable Cinema Series to feature SHOW UP, SPEAK OUT: THE PUBLIC LIFE OF BETTY ANN KNUDSEN

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Show Up, Speak Out:  The Public Life of Betty Ann Knudsen will be screened on Tuesday, March 29, 7:00 p.m. –  9:00 p.m. in Pittsboro at the Fearrington Village Barn.  This event is part of the ChathamArts  Sustainable Cinema Series.   A Q & A with the filmmaker and other special guests will follow the screening.  For more information about tickets & directions, go to:  or send an email to:

Here’s a clip from the film:

May 2010: DWWC announce Betty Ann Knudsen Scholarship Award

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May, 2010:

Violet Rhinehart, candidate for NC House District 40, is the first recipient of the Betty Ann Knudsen scholarship to the NC Center for Women in Public Service.

Violet Rhinehart
Violet Rhinehart

The Democratic Women of Wake County raised money to fund the scholarship at the viewing of the documentary  Show Up Speak Out:  The Public Life of Betty Ann Knudsen. The NCCWPS scholarship funds a workshop that helps participants broaden public speaking, fundraising, and other skills necessary to become a successful political candidate. The center’s web site is:
An eastern North Carolina native, Violet Rhinehart was born in Kinston and reared on a family farm in Deep Run. She graduated from South Lenoir High School, Mount Olive Junior College and Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) in Wilson.  She received a BA in social studies and immediately began teaching.  Violet is married to Jesse Dayton Rhinehart ,whom she met at college. His career with the US Treasury Department took them to Fayetteville, where they lived for thirteen years before moving to Raleigh. They have one son, Matthew, a graduate of Southeast Raleigh High School, North Carolina State and the University of Minnesota.

Through community involvement Violet has made a place as a leader in education and civic service.

“Show Up, Speak Out” now on DVD

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Show Up, Speak Out:  The Public Life of Betty Ann Knudsen will be available on DVD on November 16th at a screening of the film as part of a tribute to Betty Ann at the Galaxy Theater in Cary,  North Carolina.   The event is free and open to the public and starts at 7:00 p.m.   This DVD features the updated documentary with additional footage not seen at the film’s premiere in March, 2009.   There is also an additional 23 minutes of footage in the DVD Extras.  This footage of Betty Ann’s 80th birthday party at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Raleigh in October 2006 has not been seen before.   If you cannot come to the tribute, you can get information about ordering a DVD by clicking on “Order a DVD” on the right side of this page.


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GCimagesn155406140941_2818RALEIGH – The Democratic Party of Wake County announces “A Tribute to Betty Ann Knudsen”. The tribute will take place at The Galaxy Cinema in Cary, NC on November 16, 2009 at 7:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public. General seating only.

The program will include a screening of “Show Up, Speak Out: The Public Life of Betty Ann Knudsen” a documentary by local filmmaker Vivian Bowman- Edwards. As the first woman to serve as chair the Wake County Commission and a dedicated volunteer, Betty Ann Knudsen led vital efforts to improve the quality of life for all who call Raleigh and Wake County their home.

Knudsen was instrumental in the merger of the Raleigh City and Wake County School Systems, the implementation of the Capital Area Transit (CAT) system of public transportation, the establishment of a greenway system, the regional library system, the community use of schools, and scattered site strategy for public housing. In 1975 she wrote the successful application for Raleigh’s “All American City Award” and in 1976 was chosen Raleigh’s “Volunteer of the Year”. Her most recent honor was being inducted into the 2005 Inaugural Raleigh Hall of Fame.

Perhaps Knudsen’s greatest contribution has been that of role model and mentor for women in public service. A lifelong Democrat, Knudsen ran several campaigns, including that of Isabella Canon, Raleigh’s first woman Mayor of Raleigh.

“Show Up, Speak Out” will inspire anyone interested in grassroots politics, North Carolina history, or the ongoing struggle for the equality of women.

Copies of the DVD will be available at this event for a donation to the film:

$15 for individuals and $50 for groups/organizations

Premiere Screening at the Galaxy Theater on March 16, 2009

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“Show Up, Speak Out:  The Public Life of Betty Ann Knudsen” was screened at the Galaxy Cinema on March 16, 2009, at the Galaxy Theater in Cary, North Carolina to a capacity crowd.

Submitted by Doris Weaver on Tue, 03/17/2009 – 3:31pm.

Betty Ann Knudsen

Betty Ann Knudsen shows her ticket at the premiere screening of Show Up, Speak Out: The Public Life of Betty Ann Knudsen at the Galaxy Theater in Cary on March 16th.

Producer/director Vivian Bowman-Edwards welcomed Betty Ann’s admirers, who filled nearly every seat. Show Up, Speak Out should inspire anyone interested in grassroots politics, North Carolina history, or women’s issues. It will fascinate anyone lucky enough to know Betty Ann Knudsen.