History Museum’s Democracy Initiative Launches with Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition
The Greensboro History Museum is launching Project Democracy 20/20, a major initiative exploring the history of American democracy and its best tool, the vote. The initiative’s centerpiece, the Smithsonian traveling exhibition American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith, will be on view at the museum December 7 through March 29, 2020.
“Using our vote, we tinker, invent, mend and adjust, attempting to build a nation that supports the ideals of democracy,” says Museum Director Carol Ghiorsi Hart. “With so many important events and anniversaries in 2020, from the Census and presidential election to the 150th anniversary of the Fifteenth Amendment, the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and the 60th anniversary of the Greensboro Sit-ins, it is a critical time to examine questions all generations of Americans have faced: Who are ‘We the People’? How do we participate? What keeps democracy’s promise alive for us?”
Project Democracy 20/20 will transform much of the museum’s exhibit space. The permanent galleries will highlight Voices & Visions of Democracy, and The Gerrymandering VR Game, an interactive virtual realtiy experience developed for the project, will help visitors learn about connections between technology and electoral districts. Project Democracy 20/20 also includes free public programs, educational activities and innovative community connections. But the star of the initiative through March is the Smithsonian traveling exhibition. The Greensboro History Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is its only stop in the Southeast.
The exhibition explores the challenges and triumphs that generations of Americans encountered as they sought to create a government based on the sovereignty of the people. It explores the history of citizen participation, debate and compromise from the nation’s formation to today. Featuring artifacts from the Smithsonian and many other organizations, American Democracy demonstrates that self-government relies on every citizen’s active participation in the quest to form a “more perfect union.” Exhibition sections explore the origins of American democracy, the changing identity of eligible voters, the machinery of democracy, the right to petition and protest beyond the ballot and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
The Greensboro History Museum – an AAM-accredited Smithsonian Affiliate – shares the city’s compelling history through diverse collections, engaging exhibits, educational programs and community dialogue. Located in Downtown Greensboro's Cultural District, the museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm and Sundays 2-5 pm. Admission is free. Learn more at the Greensboro History Museum's website.