National Women’s History Museum Launches New Virtual Exhibit, “Maria Tallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina”

For Immediate Release
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Alexandria, VA – Today, the National Women’s History Museum launched a new virtual exhibit as part of their Native American Heritage Month programming, Maria Tallchief: America's Prima Ballerina. The exhibit explores the life and career of Tallchief, the first prima ballerina in the United States and the first in the nation to perform beloved roles such as The Nutcracker's Sugar Plum Fairy and the title role of Firebird.

From dancing in her father’s movie theater with her sister in Fairfax, Oklahoma to headlining one of the world's premier ballet companies in New York City, Tallchief elevated American ballet on the international stage and helped popularize the art form in the United States. A proud Osage woman, Tallchief broke boundaries as she navigated the rigid expectations of the ballet world and cultural stereotypes of Native Americans. As a performer, teacher, and role model, Tallchief inspired women from all backgrounds to become performers and ballet enthusiasts.

In addition to this virtual exhibit, the Museum will host author Jennifer Marino Walters on November 18 for a special virtual reading of her children’s book, Maria Tallchief: Native America's Prima Ballerina. Part of the Museum’s Brave Girls Virtual Storytime series for at-home learners, this free virtual program is designed for school-age children in Kindergarten through second grade. The author will answer young audience members' questions following the reading.

The Maria Tallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina exhibit is available on the Museum’s website, and a biography of Tallchief is featured here

About the National Women's History Museum
Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) is an innovative online museum dedicated to uncovering, interpreting, and celebrating women’s diverse contributions to society. A renowned leader in women’s history education, the Museum brings to life the countless untold stories of women throughout history, and serves as a space for all to inspire, experience, collaborate, and amplify women’s impact—past, present, and future. We strive to fundamentally change the way women and girls see their potential and power.

The NWHM fills in major omissions of women in history books and K-12 education, providing scholarly content and educational programming for teachers, students, and parents. We reach more than four million visitors each year through our online content and education programming and, in March 2023, mounted our first physical exhibit at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in downtown Washington, DC, We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist DC. The Museum is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and visit us at