CENTREVILLE — Maryland Humanities has chosen five sites to host “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America,” a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition, which will tour throughout Maryland from April 2021 to January 2022.
American revolutionaries embraced a radical idea of establishing a government that entrusted the power of the nation not in a monarchy, but in its citizens. That great leap sparked questions that continue to impact Americans: who has the right to vote, what are the freedoms and responsibilities of citizens, and whose voices will be heard?
“Voices and Votes: Democracy in America” will be a springboard for discussions about those very questions and how they are reflected in local stories.
The venues selected to host the tour of “Voices and Votes” are Queen Anne’s County Historical Society in Centreville, Allegany Museum in Cumberland, The Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture in Salisbury, Sandy Spring Museum, and Baltimore County Historical Society (with Community College of Baltimore County).
“Voices and Votes” is the seventh Museum on Main Street (MoMS) project brought to small communities throughout the state by Maryland Humanities. Each site will host the exhibition for six weeks and develop a complementary exhibit highlighting their community’s heritage and histories.
“In addition to learning more about our country’s voting history, we’re looking forward to exploring the voting rights history of five diverse Maryland regions where our host sites are located,” said Lindsey Baker, executive director of Maryland Humanities. “We see the impact the lack of voting access has on many Americans today and can better understand current civil rights movements by looking at our history.”
The Queen Anne’s County Historical Society is the second stop on the tour. It begins April 17 at the Allegany Museum, where it runs through May 29. The exhibit opens in Centreville on June 12 and remains on display through July 24. Then it moves on, reopening Aug. 14 at the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture in Salisbury.
“The Queen Anne’s County Historical Society is honored to be selected to be a host site for Museum on Main Street. This will be the first time that the county will host a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition,” said Jennifer Moore, President of Queen Anne’s County Historical Society. “It is an opportunity to share the Smithsonian with the local community, inspire conversation, share history about our democratic process, and celebrate the opportunities that the voting experience has to offer our town, our county, our state, and our country.”
“Voices and Votes” is based on a major exhibition currently on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. This Museum on Main Street adaptation will have many of the same dynamic features: historical and contemporary photos; educational and archival video; engaging multimedia interactives with short games and additional footage, photos, and information; and historical objects like campaign souvenirs, voter memorabilia, and protest material. Our democracy demands action, reaction, vision, and revision as we continue to question how to form “a more perfect union.” How do you participate as a citizen? From the revolution and suffrage, to civil rights and casting ballots, everyone in every community is part of this ever-evolving story — the story of democracy in America.