14 Sep

The Smithsonian comes to Madisonville

The Glema Mahr Center for the Arts and Kentucky Humanities will examine the nearly 250-year-old American experiment of a government “of, by, and for the people,” and how each generation since continues to question how to form “a more perfect union.” The Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, which opens SaturdaySeptember 18, focuses on the action, reaction, vision, and revision that democracy demands as Americans continue to question how to shape the country. 


Voices and Votes will be on display at the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts at Madisonville Community College, 2000 College Drive in Madisonville, until October 23. The exhibit may be viewed Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Special programs related to the exhibit include:

• Opening event featuring “James Madison speaking on the Constitution” as interpreted by Dr. Jonathan Vile, Dean of the Honors College at Middle Tennessee State University. Saturday, September 18, 2021 – Performance at 2 p.m. Exhibit open 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


• A companion exhibitionYour Voice, featuring artwork by elementary students from Hopkins County Schools, will run concurrently with Voices and Votes.


Updates and additional information on Voices and Votes can be found at or on Facebook by following Glema Mahr Center for the Arts. 


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. Sections of the Voices and Votes exhibit explore the origins of American democracy, the struggles to obtain and keep the vote, the machinery of democracy, the right to petition and protest beyond the ballot and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Voices and Votes features historical and contemporary photos; educational and archival video; engaging multimedia interactives with short games; and historical objects like campaign souvenirs, voter memorabilia, and protest material.


Voices and Votes is a timely and important exhibit that we are excited to bring to Kentucky,” said Bill Goodman, Executive Director of Kentucky Humanities. “We hope this exhibit will bring communities together to have important conversations about what it means to be an active participant in the governance of their community, their state, and their nation.”


Kentucky Humanities chose the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts to host Voices and Votes as part of the Museum on Main Street project — a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. Museum on Main Street is a partnership of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Federation of State Humanities Councils and state humanities councils nationwide. The United States Congress and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet provide support to the Museum on Main Street project. The exhibition is touring six communities in Kentucky from March 27, 2021,through December 11, 2021. You can find the exhibit’s tour schedule at