Bryan-Bennett Library

Voices and Votes: Aug. 28-Oct.2

Coming This August...

Voices and Votes: Democracy in America

Bryan-Bennett Library is one of six sites in Illinois chosen to host a traveling exhibit entitled "Voices and Votes: Democracy in America." The exhibit will be on display in the newly redecorated Large Meeting Room at Bryan-Bennett Library for five weeks beginning on August 28, 2021 and concluding on October, 2, 2021. 

This Museum on Main Street exhibition will enable visitors to have a Smithsonian quality experience without traveling to Washington, D. C. as this exhibit is based on a current display at the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of American History entitled: "American Democracy: a Great Leap of Faith."

A brief outline of the five sections of the Exhibit:

The Great Leap

A Vote, a Voice

The Machinery of Democracy

  • Date TBA for a presentation by Steve Fox about "Voting - How It Works"

Beyond the Ballot

Creating Citizens

There will also be an Interactive Story Kiosk and an American Experiments Traveling Trunk for educators.

Two Storywalks will run concurrent with the exhibit:

  • Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles will be the featured book at the Bryan-Bennett Library
  • The Voice That Won the Vote will be the featured book on the walking path in Bryan Park.

Opening ceremony will be on Saturday August 28 at 10 a.m.

The exhibit will be open to the public during these hours:

  • Monday through Thursday, from noon to 3 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Special tours will be available during other hours by appointment. To schedule a tour, call 548-3006 ext. 2.

Companion exhibits and activities will focus on:

  • The 19th Amendment
    • Concert by Phil Passen: "March of the Women: Music for the 100th Anniversary of Suffrage" on September 16th at 6 p.m.
    • Dress display featuring local women
  • William Jennings Bryan
    • Exhibit produced by the City of Salem Historical Commission. Displays will provide insight in to the Salem native who rose to national leadership as Secretary of State for President Woodrow Wilson. This exhibit is an extension of the newly opened Salem Area Historical Museum.
  • Local history, with an emphasis on several state and national leaders who have Marion County roots.

The Illinois Freedom Project

There will also be an exhibit coordinated through Illinois Humanities and hosted by the Marion County Genealogical and Historical Society. The Illinois Freedom Project looks at the people, places, and events of Illinois from the 18th through early 20th centuries that wrote the history of slavery, in justice, adversity, and ultimately freedom.