CENTREVILLE — Maryland Humanities and Queen Anne’s County Historical Society present “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America,” a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition, at Kennard African American Cultural Heritage Center in Centreville beginning June 12. The Kennard Center serves as the second venue of a five-stop tour of the state, presented through Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program. The June 12 opening coincides with the Kennard Center’s Juneteenth Festival, 11 a.m.to 3 p.m., which will feature craft displays, Black artists, local speakers, and more.

Each “Voices and Votes” host creates a local exhibit to complement the Smithsonian Institution exhibition. Queen Anne’s County Historical Society presents “Action, Reaction, Vision,” which showcases 15 local advocacy organizations, each with a different set of causes and initiatives. The local exhibit — which includes displays from the League of Women Voters, Centreville Middle School and Kent Island Heritage Society — aims to demonstrate the impact of voices individually and collectively taking a position on critical issues.

“Our mission with the exhibit is to encourage residents to get involved with organizations that connect with their interests and discover what resources are here to meet their needs,” said Jennifer Moore, president of the Queen Anne’s County Historical Society. The exhibit highlights opportunities for civic action and results of that action.

“Through Museum on Main Street, Maryland Humanities and the Smithsonian Institution created learning experiences, increased our exposure, and fostered conversations that will forever change the way we interact with our community and deliver our mission,” Moore said. “I have learned over the years that coming out of a crisis creates opportunities for change in organizations and neighborhoods that may not have otherwise been possible. Hosting the ‘Voices and Votes’ Museum on Main Street exhibit in the year after 2020 has generated partnerships and collaborations that will be instrumental in the future of our organizations. We are grateful to have been a 2021 host and to have their staff and consulting experts in our corner.”

After “Voices and Votes” leaves Centreville, Queen Anne’s County Historical Society will reconfigure the companion exhibit for travel to schools, local community centers and public spaces. The organization will work with youth groups so the exhibit reflects the voices of their peers.

“Voices and Votes” is the seventh Museum on Main Street project brought to small communities throughout the state by Maryland Humanities. Each venue hosts the exhibition for six weeks and develops 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.”

Voices and Votes programming is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Maryland, and Maryland Public Television is the tour’s Media Sponsor.

Queen Anne’s County Historical Society’s partners include Centreville Middle School; Chesapeake Republican Women; Eastern Shore Land Conservancy; Historical Society of Kent County; Kent Island Heritage Society; Kennard African American Cultural Heritage Center; Minary’s Dream Alliance; New United Methodist Church/Alpha Phi Alpha Inc; Queen Anne’s County Board of Elections; Queen Anne’s County Democratic Club; Queen Anne’s County Centre for the Arts; Queen Anne’s County Chapter of NAACP; Queen Anne’s County Character Counts; Queen Anne’s County Drug Free Coalition; Queen Anne’s County Garden Club; Queen Anne’s County League of Women Voters; Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff; Queen Anne's Railroad Society; Sassafras, MD; Sumner Hall; and Worthmore Equestrian Center. Queen Anne County’s Historical Society business sponsors include Earle’s Cove Trading Company, Queenstown Bank, Shore United Bank, Queen Anne’s County League of Women Voters, Preservation Hall PRS, Purple Cat PR, and Shirley Middleton Tax Service.

Queen Anne’s County Historical Society hosts Voices and Votes at Kennard African American Cultural Heritage Center June 12–July 24. The center is located at 410 Little Kidwell Avenue in Centreville. The exhibition will be on view 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Special arrangements for other viewing opportunities can be requested by calling 410-708-0151. Queen Anne’s Historical Society and Kennard African American Cultural Heritage Center will follow specific COVID safety protocols. Learn more at www.QACHistoricalSociety.org or call 410-708-0151.

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