"Voices and Votes: Democracy in America"

Illinois Humanities is excited to partner with the General John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro, the Madison County Historical Society in Edwardsville, the Savanna Museum and Cultural Center in Savanna, the Bryan-Bennett Library in Salem, the Jacksonville Area Museum in Jacksonville, and the Vespasian Warner Public Library District in Clinton to host Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, the newest Museum on Main Street exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

 Image of
Sign, “A Woman Living Here Has Registered to Vote,” ca 1920. 2011.0230.01. Courtesy of National Museum of American History

Voices and Votes: Democracy in America examines questions stemming from the leap of faith taken by the American revolutionaries who established a government that entrusted the power of the nation not in a monarchy but in its citizens. Who has the right to vote? What are the freedoms and responsibilities of citizens? Whose voices will be heard?

Voices and Votes will tour Illinois from July 19, 2021, to March 16, 2022*. Each of the partner organizations will produce a companion exhibition and public programs in conjunction with Voices and Votes and participate in several planning workshops and learning opportunities.

Tour Schedule:*

  • July 19-August 21, 2021: Madison County Historical Society, Edwardsville
  • August 28-October 2, 2021: Bryan-Bennett Library, Salem
  • October 9-November 13, 2021: Savanna Museum and Cultural Center, Savanna
  • November 20-December 23, 2021 Jacksonville Area Museum, Jacksonville
  • January 3-February 5, 2022: Vespasian Warner Public Library District, Clinton
  • February 12-March 16, 2022: General John A. Logan Museum, Murphysboro

*This tour schedule is tentative. It is subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have any questions, please contact Matt Meacham, program manager for statewide engagement with Illinois Humanities, at matt.meacham@ilhumanities.org or (618) 468-5580.

***Page Header Photograph by Fred Zwicky from “Election Day in Peoria,” a photo essay by Matt Dayhoff, The Eye, a Journal Star blog, November 7, 2012.

About Museum on Main Street

Museum on Main Street is a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and state humanities councils, including Illinois Humanities. It not only enables Illinoisans to experience Smithsonian-produced exhibitions in their own communities but also gives the local cultural organizations that host these exhibitions opportunities to enhance their roles within their communities and regions, attract new audiences and volunteers, expand their knowledge and resource bases, and develop skills that can be applied toward future exhibitions and programs.

Periodically, Illinois Humanities facilitates a statewide tour of a traveling exhibition on a significant theme in American culture produced by the Smithsonian Institution. Illinois Humanities invites cultural organizations in small communities and rural counties throughout the state to apply to host the exhibition. Six organizations are selected to do so.

Each host organization displays the Smithsonian-produced exhibition for six weeks. It also produces a locally focused companion exhibition linking the subject matter of the Smithsonian-produced exhibition to the history and culture of its own community or region. Additionally, it presents public programs that engage audiences and participants with the topics and themes of the exhibitions. Through individual consultation and group workshops, Illinois Humanities staff members and consultants work closely with each host organization for a year prior to opening as they plan and prepare.

A Museum on Main Street exhibition requires significant investments of time, energy, and creativity from the host organizations and their community partners. Host organizations and communities reap significant benefits from their efforts, however, and often continue to do so long after the exhibition has concluded.

For more information about the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, visit museumonmainstreet.org.

***Page Header Photograph by Fred Zwicky from “Election Day in Peoria,” a photo essay by Matt Dayhoff, The Eye, a Journal Star blog, November 7, 2012.

Overview & Frequently Asked Questions

***Page Header Photograph by Fred Zwicky from “Election Day in Peoria,” a photo essay by Matt Dayhoff, The Eye, a Journal Star blog, November 7, 2012.