South Carolina Humanities has been awarded a $25,000 social justice grant from Dominion Energy to support travel and programming for the Smithsonian traveling exhibition “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America.” As a statewide sponsor of the exhibit, Dominion Energy is voicing its support of the importance of democracy in American life in the past, present, and future. The exhibition is on display through July 16 in Laurens at the Laurens County Museum. The remaining stops on the “Voices and Votes” tour include Aiken, Allendale, Orangeburg, and Cowpens.
Through a selection of photographs, objects, film, audio and interactives, “Voices and Votes” takes a broad look at the nearly 250-year-old American experiment of a government “of, by and for the people.” 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. Exhibition sections 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.
The content of the exhibition and special programming fit Dominion Energy’s social justice initiative. SC Humanities will support the travel costs of and special programming for the exhibit through this $25,000 grant. Local host communities will engage in reflection and discussion about our democracy, but will also be challenged by speakers to engage in active participation in democratic processes, including voting.
Said Dr. Randy Akers, Executive Director of SC Humanities: ““Voices and Votes” has been a great success in its first two South Carolina host communities. South Carolina Humanities is excited to invite scholars from around the state to lead programs in our host communities that support this social justice initiative, with the hope of reaching broader audiences, fostering new perspectives, and cultivating richer civic engagement.”
SC Humanities would like to extend additional thanks to our institutional partners who helped make this statewide tour possible: Edwards College at Coastal Carolina University, Francis Marion University, and the University of South Carolina.
An itinerary of all six stops on the tour and more program details can be found at https://schumanities.org/voices-and-votes/.
The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c)3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.
The exhibition is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. Support for MoMS has been provided by the U.S. Congress.
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play.