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Smithsonian Exhibit Examining Voting Rights Coming to Towns Across Louisiana

ABOVE: March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963. Courtesy of National Archives

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is proud to partner with the Smithsonian Institution to bring thought-provoking, high-quality traveling exhibitions to towns across Louisiana through the Museum on Main Street program.

The newest Museum on Main Street exhibition, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, begins with the American Revolution as a springboard for an exploration of voting history in the United States. That great leap—from monarchy rule to a government entrusting the power of the nation to its citizens—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 is based on a major exhibition currently on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The Museum on Main Street adaptation has many of the exhibition’s 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.

For its tour in Louisiana, LEH selected five host sites through a competitive application process. Each site will receive a grant to cover the “Voices and Votes” exhibition and related programming expenses. The tour is the centerpiece of “Who Gets to Vote?,” a statewide LEH initiative that focuses on civic engagement that asks Louisiana residents to think critically about questions such as:

  • Who has the right to vote?
  • What are the freedoms and responsibilities of citizens?
  • Whose voices will be heard?
  • How do you participate as a citizen?

Voices and Votes will arrive in Louisiana this month and is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities under the special initiative “A More Perfect Union,” which is designed to demonstrate and enhance the critical role the humanities play in our nation and support projects that help Americans commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026.

Tour Schedule

Lincoln Parish Library
April 18 – May 28, 2022

Zigler Art Museum
June 6 – August 7, 2022

Denham Springs Main Street, Old City Hall
Denham Springs
August 27 – October 22, 2022

Louisiana’s Old State Capitol
Baton Rouge
October 29 – December 10, 2022

Shreve Memorial Library
December 17, 2022 – January 28, 2023