Exhibit: Celebrating the Centennial of the 19th Amendment: Women Vote

Jan 26th through Feb 14th

Winfield Public Library is hosting the traveling exhibit Celebrating the Centennial of the 19th Amendment: Women Vote, curated by the League of Women Voters of Kansas.  This exhibit brings to life the history of the women’s suffrage movement in our state and is an important component to WPL’s ongoing programs throughout 2020 to honor and celebrate the passing of the 19th Amendment and the right to vote.

The exhibit is visiting towns across the state over the next 14 months in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Learning from the Past, Imagining the Future is the theme of the seven-paneled exhibit which is brought to you by the League of Women Voters of Kansas and its Centennial Celebration Committee.

Visitors will become acquainted with some of the historic women who led the women’s right to vote movement in the early 20th century. Beginning with Clarina Nichols in the late 1800s, women in Kansas fought for decades to ensure their inclusion in civic life. Kansas was on the leading edge as women could vote in all elections in Kansas in 1912, eight years before the 19th Amendment extended that right to the rest of the country.

The exhibit traces history following 1920, including the influence of African-American and Native American women, who had an integral part in the process even as the right to vote did not include them until much later. Illustrating the difference women’s involvement in the political process has made in the lives of all Kansans through the present day, the exhibit’s final panel issues a call to action to vote in every election.

This exhibit is an integral piece of WPL’s 2020 celebration of the 19th Amendment and the right to vote.  Other 2020 programs include The Long Road to Women’s Suffrage in Kansas, a talk by Diane Eickhoff on Saturday, February 8th at 2pm, brought to WPL through Humanities Kansas.   In addition, Kansas’ Her Flag contributor and artist Jenn Hudson will visit WPL on Tues, June 16th at 6:30pm to talk about her role in the Her Flag project – a travel and art project by Marilyn Artus celebrating the 36 original states that ratified the 19th Amendment through the creation of a huge 18 feet x 36 feet flag.  June 16th – the day of Jenn’s talk – is an important day in Kansas suffrage history as Kansas voted to ratify the 19th Amendment on June 16, 1919.

Founded as a direct result of the women’s suffrage movement, the League of Women Voters also celebrates a birthday in 2020.  “Almost 100 years after the League’s founding, members of our nine Kansas Leagues are proud of the great progress it has made empowering voters and defending our democracy,” said Cille King, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Kansas. “The Kansas League has involved thousands of voters in electing government decision makers for our state and local government and in holding them accountable for their actions.”

“As we look to a vibrant future, we’re excited by the fact that our dedicated members across Kansas are increasingly being joined by significant numbers of online activists across the community and country,” Co-President Teresa Briggs said. “Together, we will continue to fight voter discrimination and ensure that our elections are fair, free and accessible. The League’s historic commitment to register, educate and mobilize voters is not only stronger, but more effective than ever, utilizing such tools as VOTE411.org, a cutting-edge election information website utilized by millions of voters each election cycle.”

Funded in part by a grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, the Kansas Health Foundation and Humanities Kansas also provided generous donations to Learning from the Past, Imagining the Future.  Kansas-owned businesses, universities, and individuals across the state also helped make this exhibit possible.

The League of Women Voters of Kansas is a nonpartisan, grassroots, volunteer political organization with nine local Leagues across the state. LWVK encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League never endorses candidates or parties.  For more information about the League of Women Voters of Kansas, please visit lwvk.org.