Smithsonian “Voices and Votes” Exhibition Opens in Wahoo August 29 for Next Phase of Nebraska Tour


Humanities Nebraska (HN) has announced that “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America” from the Smithsonian will open at Saunders County Historical Museum in Wahoo on August 29 and will run through October 7. Located at 240 N Walnut Street, the museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Previously on display in Howells, Kearney and Belvidere, “Voices and Votes” is based on a major exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History called “American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith.” It has many dynamic features: historical and contemporary photos; educational and archival video; engaging multimedia interactives with short games and additional footage, photos, and information; and historical objects like campaign souvenirs, voter memorabilia, and protest material.

“The Smithsonian exhibit was very informative and the displays were excellent,” said one visitor to the Thayer County Museum in Belvidere. Reports from Kearney and Howells were also positive.

“We’re very happy that people are exploring the exhibit and having meaningful discussions about democracy and voting rights in the U.S.,” said Mary Yager, HN Associate Director. “People of all ages are reflecting on the privilege and responsibility of voting, and what it means to have a voice in our local, state, and national governments.”

Humanities Nebraska is collaborating with Civic Nebraska to offer special resources to “Voices and Votes” communities. With its mission to build a more modern and robust democracy for all Nebraskans, Civic Nebraska is a natural partner as “Voices and Votes” tours the state. Civic Nebraska will encourage school field trips to see the exhibition and provide a variety of interactive activities and workshops at various exhibit locations including a voting simulation, Civic Sidewalk Series to educate community members about voting and provide upcoming election information, and civic health presentations on topics such as election integrity and confidence in elections. Sites hosting the exhibition can choose from a menu of offerings.

After its six weeks in Wahoo, “Voices and Votes” will be on display in Gering October 16—November 20 at Legacy of the Plains Museum and in Omaha December 1—January 27, 2024 at the Great Plains Black History Museum.

“Voices and Votes” is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration of the Smithsonian Institution and Humanities Nebraska. This exhibition is brought to Nebraska with funding support from Nebraska Cultural Endowment, the Nebraska Trucking Association, and other generous donors. More information is available at

Museum on Main Street is a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and state humanities councils nationwide that serves the small-town museums and citizens of rural America. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

Humanities Nebraska is celebrating 50 years of what connects us and makes us human. Let your curiosity get the best of you and discover events throughout 2023 and during Humanities Week October 7-15. HN is a private nonprofit with a mission to help people explore what connects us and makes us human. HN is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, an appropriation from the Nebraska Legislature, private donations, and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, a public-private partnership with state dollars matching private dollars to benefit the arts and humanities in Nebraska.