Project Democracy 20/20

What is it?

Project Democracy 20/20 button

Project Democracy 20/20 is a major Greensboro History Museum initiative exploring American democracy through exhibitions, public programs and innovative community connections.


All political power is vested in and derived from the people only…

–North Carolina Declaration of Rights, 1776

What has democracy meant to different people at different moments in NC history? What was at stake in elections in 1835, 1898, 1920 or 1990? How do decisions then continue to matter now?

Explore choices and change across 11 elections between 1776 and 2010. NC Democracy: Eleven Elections illustrates the twists and turns of who could participate, how voters cast their ballots, and what influenced decisions that continue to shape what democracy means today.

You’ll discover the documents that transformed how our state’s democracy has worked. You’ll confront changing values about what or who was important. You’ll follow the actions that have opened up and shut down opportunities for equal participation.

Together let’s check our democracy settings and recognize the power of our vote.


Take a deeper look inside the Project Democracy 20/20 exhibitions at Greensboro History Museum, including the Smithsonian traveling exhibition American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith.

Into 2021, Voices & Visions of Democracy will be highlighted in the permanent exhibition Voices of a City. Visitors can learn about the 1908 election in Welcome to the Gate City. You can also share your own stories about democracy on our new Storykiosk video storytelling portal.


Engaging programs, education activities and innovative community connections are also part of Project Democracy 20/20. Find out what’s happening on our calendar or by following #ProjectDemocracy2020.

Upcoming Programs

  • A Conversation with Bakari Sellers, Afrique Kilimanjaro, and Siobhan Riley moderated by Carla Banks.   African Americans in the media Read more…
  • Costumed interpreters in the museum galleries share well-known and little-known stories from the exhibition NC Democracy: Eleven Elections. Lifted Voices Read more…




Reflections on American Democracy, a live webcast with Smithsonian Curator Barbara Clark Smith from June 10, 2020.

Deeper Inside Project Democracy conversation with musician Rhiannon Giddens from June 19, 2020. Part of Greensboro Juneteenth Online.

And many more. Click here for program archive…

Why Democracy?

Suffragists picketing the White House, Feb. 1917 Courtesy Library of Congress
Suffragists picketing the White House, Feb. 1917 Courtesy Library of Congress

This project will spark discussions relevant to the presidential election year, 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. We will explore the questions:

  • What is democracy?
  • Who votes and how?
  • Beyond the ballot, how have we used our right to petition and protest?
  • What are the rights and responsibilities of citizens?
  • How does engaging with history activate citizens’ participation in their government?

The Gerrymander Madness VR game lets players try to make their own political map.

Learn more in this segment from WUNC’s The State of Things

Have a VR of your own? Download Gerrymander Madness to play at home!



  • Voices and Votes by the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program pose compelling questions for discussions about the leap of faith represented by American democracy. How would you answer?
  • Faces of Change in American Democracy on the Smithsonian’s Learning Lab introduces students to individuals such as Thomas Jefferson, Molly Pitcher, Thomas Paine, Wong Chin Foo, Ella Baker, and Dolores Huerta who have shaped and participated in American democracy over time.
  • The American Experiments suite of educational resources explores “how to form a more perfect union” by challenging students to think about their roles and responsibilities within their democracy.

How can I get involved?

Support Project Democracy 20/20

Your financial support matters. Donate to Project Democracy 20/20 and you’re helping connect people to the history of democracy from the neighborhood to the nation through educational programming, innovative exhibitions, creative collaborations and more!

Or you can participate in Project Democracy 20/20 crowdfunding. Click here to learn about launching your own campaign…

Thanks to our sponsors

NC Humanities logo

Project Democracy 20/20 is supported in part by North Carolina Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation
Wells Fargo Logo


CrossComm Developers Logo
Fox Rothschild LLP


Gilliam Coble Logo

Triad Pan Asian American Network Giving Circle of CFGG

Miraje Reconstuction and Development

Keep up with the latest on Project Democracy 20/20 by staying tuned to Greensboro History Museum’s social media channels or signing up for our eNews.