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October 30th, 2020

kansas women votingCourtesy photoSpecial to the Leader & Times


A traveling exhibit that brings to life the history of the women’s suffrage movement in Kansas is featured at the Baker Art Center from Oct. 19-25. The exhibit has visited dozens of towns across the state over the last year in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Brought to you by the League of Women Voters of Kansas and its Centennial Celebration Committee, “Learning from the Past, Imagining the Future,” is the theme of the seven-paneled “mobile museum.” 

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 also traces the 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. For operating hours, contact the Baker Art Center 

baker arts dots article

Founded as a direct result of the women’s suffrage movement, the League of Women Voters also celebrates a birthday in 2020.

“More than 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 added. “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, a cutting-edge election information website utilized by millions of voters each election cycle.” 

Funded in part by grants from the Mariah Foundation, the Kansas Health Foundation, the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, and Humanities Kansas, Kansas-owned businesses, universities, and individuals across the state also helped make this exhibit possible.

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