Leveling the Playing Field
December 17 through August 12, 2012
Downstairs Changing Gallery
June 23, 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX legislation, which ensures equal access to both men and women in federally-funded educational programs and activities, including sports. Leveling the Playing Field, a current exhibition at the Charles M. Schulz Museum & Research Center, commemorates this milestone in sports history while adding the hilarity of Peanuts to the tribute.
Leveling the Playing Field features Charles Schulz’s even-handed depiction of girls in sports with 86 original Peanuts comic strips, an overview of women’s sports history, and examples of women’s sports attire from the 1880s to the present. The exhibition will also detail Schulz’s connections in the world of women’s sports, his friendship with legendary sports icon Billie Jean King, and his early years coaching a local women’s softball team.
After Schulz met Billie Jean King, he highlighted the issue of females in sports with a multi-day storyline in 1979 about Title IX in his comic strip. Schulz brought attention to women athletes by mentioning contemporary female sports stars and having his girl characters participate in a wide variety of sports, from football to figure skating. From Peppermint Patty’s athletic dominance to Lucy’s ineptitude in the right field to Marcie’s total bewilderment with sports of all kinds, the girls in Peanuts were always equal participants.