Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Examining Democracy in America Coming to Okeechobee

Posted 4/17/24

The Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street, in cooperation with Florida Humanities Council, presents “Voices and Votes:

You must be a member to read this story.

Join our family of readers for as little as $5 per month and support local, unbiased journalism.

Already have an account? Log in to continue. Otherwise, follow the link below to join.

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Examining Democracy in America Coming to Okeechobee


OKEECHOBEE — The Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street, in cooperation with Florida Humanities Council, presents “Voices and Votes: Democracy in American.” The exhibition examines the nearly 250-year-old American experiment of a government “of, by and for the people,” and how each generation since continues to question how to form “a more perfect union.” Opening at the Okeechobee County Historic Courthouse May 28, 2024, “Voices and Votes” will be on view through July 12, 2024.

Okeechobee Main Street and the surrounding community has been chosen by the Florida Humanities Council to host “Voices and Votes” as part of the Museum on Main Street program—a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour five communities in Florida from Sulphur Springs Museum & Hertiage Center through Leesburg Public Library; an itinerary is attached.

“Voices and Votes” explores the action, reaction, vision, and revision that democracy demands as Americans continue to question how to shape the country. 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. “Voices and Votes” features historical and contemporary photos; educational and archival video; engaging multimedia interactives with short games; and historical objects like campaign souvenirs, voter memorabilia, and protest material.

 “Voices and Votes” allows us to reflect on Okeechobee County’s history and explore what it means to be an active participant in the governance of not only the country but also this community.

Designed for small-town museums, libraries, and cultural organizations, “Voices and Votes” will serve as a community meeting place for conversations about democracy, the freedoms, and responsibilities of citizens, participating in government, and more. With the support and guidance of state humanities councils, these towns will develop complementary exhibits, host public programs, and facilitate educational initiatives to raise people’s understanding about their own history, the joys, and challenges of living rural, how change has impacted their community, and prompt discussion of goals for the future.

“Voices and Votes” is based on an exhibition currently on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History called American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith.

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. To learn more about “Voices” and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit

 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. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit

Okeechobee County Historic Courthouse 304 NW 2nd Street Okeechobee FL 34972.
Hours of operation Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

For more information, please contact Okeechobee’s Main Street Executive Director Jenna Stephens at (863) 357-6246.

 The complete tour schedule is as follows:




Tour begin and end dates

Sulphur Springs Museum & Heritage Center



March 23 – May 18, 2024

Okeechobee Main Street/ Okeechobee County Historical Courthouse



May 28- July 12, 2024

Matheson History Museum



July 20 – September 7, 2024

Lee County Public Library

Cape Coral


September 14 – November 9, 2024

Leesburg Public Library



November 16, 2024 – January 11, 2025

Smithsonian, Okeechobee Main Street, Voices and Votes