Maryland Humanities Kicks Off Maryland Tour of Smithsonian Voting Exhibition in Allegany County
Voices and Votes travels the state through Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street Program
(Baltimore) – Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition, is opening at Allegany Museum in Cumberland on April 17: the exhibition will open to the public at noon. The museum serves as the first venue of a five-stop tour of the state, presented through Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program. Each Voices and Votes site creates its own exhibit to complement the Smithsonian’s exhibition; Allegany Museum will display multiple exhibits.
The Museum’s companion exhibit will showcase the various protests and demonstrations held in Allegany County since the early 1970s. Subject matter includes Juneteenth, protests against the Ku Klux Klan, consolidation of local high schools, animal rights protests, climate change advocacy, and fracking protests.
Allegany Museum will also host a companion exhibit created by Allegany College of Maryland, one of their partners. The college created an exhibit dedicated to the women’s suffrage, which consists of artifacts such as diaries, images, meeting minutes, letters recounting local activities, information about women’s marches, and more.
“Hosting the Voices and Votes exhibit provides the Allegany Museum a timely opportunity to showcase the active role our community has played in raising their voices in protests and demonstrations over the past several decades,” says Christopher Logsdon, President of the Board of Directors at Allegany Museum. “It affirms how these events have raised the consciousness of the community and often lead to positive change.”
Frostburg State University, another of Allegany Museum’s partners, will also host a companion exhibit. On view in the school’s Lewis J. Ort Library, the exhibit will feature Western Maryland people in public service, and include memorabilia such as campaign buttons, bumper stickers, plaques, and photographs. People highlighted include Senator J. Glenn Beall, Sr. and Senator J. Glenn Beall, Jr.—two of three United States Senators to serve from Western Maryland. The exhibit also features Lucile Roeder, the first woman to serve on the Cumberland City Council and later become Allegany County Commissioner, as well as former Maryland House Speaker Cas Taylor and State Senator John Bambacus.
Voices and Votes is the seventh Museum on Main Street project brought to small communities throughout the state by Maryland Humanities. Each site 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. Allegany Museum’s partners are Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg University.
Voices and Votes runs at Allegany Museum April 17–May 29, 2021. Allegany Museum is located at 3 Pershing Street in Cumberland. The exhibition will be on view Wednesdays through Sundays, 1:00–4:00 p.m. The Allegany Museum and Frostburg University will follow specific COVID safety protocols. Learn more at alleganymuseum.org or call (301) 777-7200 and https://www.frostburg.edu/library/ or call (301) 687-4395.
|April 17, 2021 – May 29, 2021||Allegany Museum, Cumberland, Allegany County|
|June 12, 2021 – July 24, 2021||Queen Anne’s County Historical Society at Kennard African American Cultural Heritage Center, Centreville, Queen Anne’s County|
|August 14, 2021 – September 25, 2021||Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture, Salisbury, Wicomico County|
|October 10, 2021 – November 21, 2021||Sandy Spring Museum, Sandy Spring, Montgomery County|
|December 4, 2021 – January 22, 2022||Baltimore County Historical Society at the Community College of Baltimore County Dundalk, Baltimore County|
About Voices and Votes
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 has 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.
About Museum on Main Street
Museum on Main Street is a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service program that teams up with state humanities councils to bring high-quality Smithsonian traveling exhibitions to museums, historical societies, and other small-town cultural venues across the country. These exhibits boost civic pride, as residents young and old, from diverse backgrounds come together to share and celebrate their heritage. Learn more about the program here.