FCHS to host “Voices and Votes,” traveling Smithsonian exhibit, in 2023!

Text reads Voices and Votes Democracy in America

The Smithsonian is coming to Ottawa!
Franklin County Historical Society to host “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America”


School children hold signs that say "Voices and Votes" is coming to Ottawa in 2023
The students of Mrs. Kathie Wingert’s fifth-grade class at Sunflower Elementary (USD 290) in Ottawa, Kansas, helped Franklin County Historical Society announce their selection for “Voices and Votes” during a One-Room School field trip.

Ottawa, Kansas – The Franklin County Historical Society in Ottawa is hosting “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America,” a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition. “Voices and Votes” will be in Ottawa from August 19, 2023 to October 1, 2023 at the Old Depot Museum, 135 West Tecumseh Street. The “Voices and Votes” Kansas tour is sponsored by Humanities Kansas in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program.

“Voices and Votes” explores the history of American democracy through photographs, hands-on multimedia interactives, and historical objects from the Smithsonian’s collection. The Franklin County Historical Society will explore the “Voices and Votes” theme from the local perspective with a companion exhibition and public programs that complement the Smithsonian exhibition.

“Voices and Votes” tours six Kansas communities in 2023-2024. Other Smithsonian hosts include Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City; Mid-America All-Indian Museum, Wichita; Nicodemus National Historic Site; Winfield Public Library; and Republic County Historical Society, Belleville.

“Through a unique collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, Humanities Kansas is able to bring the resources of the nation’s premier cultural institution to museums, historical societies, cultural venues, and public libraries in Kansas,” said Julie Mulvihill, executive director of Humanities Kansas. “Humanities Kansas is excited to work with six strong Kansas organizations and work together to explore what it means to have an active citizenry.”

“Voices and Votes” is based on an exhibition currently on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History called “American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith.” Humanities Kansas sponsors the Kansas tour of “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America” in partnership with Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street, a one-of-a-kind cultural outreach program that serves communities across America. To learn more about the “Voices and Votes” statewide tour visit humanitieskansas.org.

Founded in 1937, the Franklin County Historical Society strives to preserve, present, and promote the history of Franklin County, Kansas.

About Humanities Kansas

Humanities Kansas logoHumanities Kansas is an independent nonprofit leading a movement of ideas to empower the people of Kansas to strengthen their communities and our democracy. Since 1972, HK’s pioneering programming, grants, and partnerships have documented and shared stories to spark conversations and generate insights. Together with statewide partners and supporters, HK inspires all Kansans to draw on history, literature, ethics, and culture to enrich their lives and serve the communities and state we all proudly call home. humanitieskansas.org

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