Presentation by Marlene Rivero on Ann Bradford Stokes, an African American Civil War Nurse

Saturday, May 14, 2022 5:30 – 6:30 pm

1524 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60610

This May, the International Museum of Surgical Science will host a presentation by Marlene Rivero. In a fascinating reenactment, Marlene Rivero will breathe life back into Ann Stokes and her story, captivating audiences and informing new learners for approximately 45 minutes, with a 15 minute Q&A session afterwards. Marlene brings and shares a touchable display table that she periodically draws from throughout her performance in costume.

“We are excited to host this presentation in celebration of Nurse’s Appreciation Month in May. Marlene Rivero will give new meaning to the Chicago Nursing community”- Lindsey Herbert, Operations Manager

The presentation, “Ann Bradford Stokes” will take place on May 14th at the International Museum of Surgical Science, 5:30-6:30PM. 

Marlene will transform into Ann Stokes for the evening. Ann Bradford Strokes (1833-1903) worked aboard the Navy’s first Hospital Ship, Red Rover, of Mound City, Illinois. She worked with sick and wounded soldiers aboard the United States Naval Hospital Ship (U.S.N.) throughout the Western Theater of the Civil War on both the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and their tributaries. She was the first woman to earn a pension for her work with the U.S.N. Red Rover. After 18 months as an African American Civil War nurse, she left service in November 1864.

The event will be co-produced by the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, which invites Illinois authors, artists and educators to share their expertise and enthusiasm with people throughout the state, enabling local nonprofit organizations to present free-admission cultural programs to their communities. The current edition of the Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, presented in cooperation with the Illinois Bicentennial Commission and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, consists of presentations exploring Illinois history and culture in recognition of the state’s 200th anniversary.

Marlene Rivero is a storyteller and a retired Forest Service employee. Her programs have received many accolades of praise to the present. From 2003 to 2006, she was a national guest speaker for the Corps of Discovery Expedition that retraced the 1803 journey of Lewis and Clark Expedition; the name of the program was York's Mother. She started utilizing my storytelling talents in 1999 as a first-person heritage interpreter with the Forest Service. Later, she became lead heritage interpreter for the agency in African American interpretation and presentations and served in that role for eleven years.

“Ann Bradford Stokes” will take place Saturday, May 15th, 5:30PM, at the International Museum of Surgical Science, 1524 N. Lakeshore Drive. The event is free and open to all audiences. For more information, please visit contact Lindsey Herbert, or 312-642-6502 ext 3130..


About the International Museum of Surgical Science

The International Museum of Surgical Science, a division of the International College of Surgeons (ICS), maintains over 10,000 square feet of public galleries committed to the history of surgery, and an exquisite permanent collection of art and artifacts from the history of Medicine. The Museum supports its Mission through medically themed exhibitions and programs, in addition to a strong contemporary art exhibition program.


About Illinois Humanities

Illinois Humanities strengthens the social, political, and economic fabric of Illinois through constructive conversation and community engagement. Founded in 1974 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Illinois Humanities is the only statewide proponent of the public humanities in Illinois. Through public programs, education and training, and grantmaking, we connect Illinoisans who might not otherwise encounter one another.