GREENSBORO, NC (April 20, 2022) – A brand new exhibition, NC Democracy: Eleven Elections, opens at the Greensboro History Museum on Saturday, April 23. The exhibition explores choices and change over 11 elections between 1776 and 2010. It illustrates the twists and turns of who could participate, how voters cast their ballots in 1868 or 1990, and what influenced decisions that are still shaping democracy today.
The museum has created NC Democracy: Eleven Elections to examine what democracy has meant to different people at key moments in the state’s history. The first state constitution declared that “all political power is vested in and derived from the people only.” But what that meant in reality – who could vote, who was represented and who held that political power – has been contested throughout the state’s history, as those without property, people of color, women, NC Native Americans and others have lost and gained opportunities to participate.
“While walking through the three large galleries of this exhibit I am overwhelmed by how hard the people of NC have worked to create democracy for all its people. And how many of the debates of today were also present at the beginning,” says Museum Director Carol Ghiorsi Hart.
Panels, reproductions and original objects tell the stories of each election and its historic context. Short videos share scholars’ Expert Takes on these elections and their historical moments. Visitors can sit down for a selfie with women suffragists or cast their own ballot about the state of democracy today. Upcoming programs, special events and webinars will explore this history of North Carolina democracy in even more depth.
NC Democracy: Eleven Elections is the culmination of the Greensboro History Museum’s Project Democracy 20/20, supported in part by North Carolina Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support for the exhibition comes from the Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation. Learn more at this website.
The Greensboro History Museum – an AAM-accredited Smithsonian Affiliate – is a division of the City of Greensboro Library Department and operates as a public-private partnership with the nonprofit GHM Inc. In partnership with the community, the Greensboro History Museum collects the city’s diverse history and connects people to that history and one another through engaging exhibits, educational programs and community dialogue. Located in Downtown Greensboro’s Cultural District, the museum is open Tuesday–Saturday 10 am–5 pm and Sunday 2–5 pm. Admission is free.