Savannah Museum, Thomson Library to host civic action, civil rights exhibitions | Local News


SAVANNA, Illinois – Two new traveling exhibits will bring world-class exhibits to Carroll County starting October 9.

The exhibits will highlight the opportunities for civic action and the results of that action, as well as the pursuit of civil rights by and for African Americans in Illinois.

The Savanna Museum and Cultural Center will host Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, the Smithsonian Institution and Illinois Humanities’ most recent Museum on Main Street exhibit, at the museum, 406 Main St., in Savanna, starting Saturday 9 October. to Saturday 13 November.

Voices and Votes explores questions arising from the leap of faith taken by American revolutionaries who established a government that handed over the power of the nation not to a monarchy, but to its citizens. The exhibition explores the questions: who has the right to vote, what are the freedoms and responsibilities of citizens, and what voices will be heard?

Using historical and contemporary photographs, videos, interactive multimedia components and artefacts, the exhibition examines the following themes:

– “The Great Leap” – the origins of the American democratic system.

– “A Vote, A Voice” – the extension of the right to vote and the related challenges, past and present.

– “The machinery of democracy” – the institutions and systems that facilitate participation in the electoral process.

– “Beyond the poll” – civic participation, advocacy and activism beyond the electoral process.

– “Creating Citizens” – perspectives on the rights and responsibilities of citizens and their influence on our complex national identity.

The Savanna Museum and Cultural Center is one of six organizations selected by Illinois Humanities to host Voices and Votes on its statewide tour, along with the Madison County Historical Society in Edwardsville, the Bryan-Bennett Library in Salem, the Jacksonville Area Museum, Vespasian Warner Public Library in Clinton, and the General John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro. Preference was given to communities of 25,000 inhabitants or less.

The Savanna Museum and Cultural Center will be the third location on the tour, which will run until March 16, 2022, after leaving Savanna in November.

“It is always a privilege to work with the Savanna Museum and Cultural Center. We admire the museum’s engagement with the community, ”said Gabrielle Lyon, Executive Director of Illinois Humanities.

Voices and Votes: Democracy in America will tour Illinois under the auspices of Museum on Main Street, a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and state humanities councils, including Illinois Humanities. It allows Illinois residents to experience Smithsonian-produced exhibits on important themes of American culture in their own communities.

It also gives local cultural organizations that host these exhibitions the opportunity to build their capacity in various ways. Each host organization produces an accompanying region-focused exhibit connecting the subject of the Smithsonian-produced exhibit to the history and culture of its own community or region. It also presents public programs that engage the public and participants with the subjects and themes of the exhibition.

“The Savannah Museum and Cultural Center has exciting plans to involve students in the democratic process, highlighting the important work of local officials and election judges, and demonstrating how issues related to democracy manifested themselves at the start. in the history of Carroll County. We look forward to seeing how these plans come to fruition, ”said Lyon.

While the Savanna Museum and Cultural Center hosts Voices and Votes, the York Township Public Library in Thomson, Illinois will host a related exhibit, the Illinois Freedom Project.

Illinois Freedom Project examines the pursuit of civil rights by and for African Americans in Illinois. It will be available for consultation at the library, 1005 W. Main St. in Thomson, from Saturday October 9 to Saturday November 13.

Stemming from an educational program that engages youth with African American history in Illinois, the Illinois Freedom Project exhibit traces the struggles of black Illinois for freedom from the French colonial era to early 20th century Chicago. . He travels around Illinois in collaboration with Voices and Votes, visiting communities close to where Voices and Votes is exhibited.


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