The History Colorado Center has opened its doors to its latest exhibit “American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith.” Long before this year’s political and social unrest, the museum teamed up with the Smithsonian’s traveling show to create a safe space for an important conversation Coloradans should be a part of.
‘American Democracy’ starts a constructive dialogue about what democracy in the United States looks like and how it has evolved. The exhibit traveled from Greensboro to Seattle in the first half of 2020. However, Coloradans get a unique opportunity to review the country’s democracy just a few weeks before the presidential election.
For the American Democracy exhibit, History Colorado features more than 4,000 square feet of artifacts, art shows and interactive exhibits dedicated to the history of democracy.
One of its most attractive and interactive installments is a large scale sculpture of the words ‘We The People.’ For this installment, people can cast their hands in plaster. Whether it’s pointing a finger or holding hands, the casts will be added to the sculpture until it is filled out.
Additionally, the exhibit includes interactive touch-screens like ‘Who Should Vote?’ The game allows visitors to test their assumptions on who can vote and compare them to national polling data. Each of the interactive programs challenges the visitor’s knowledge of voting and democracy.
There are also several audio and visual installments. For example, ‘The Machinery of Democracy” displays over 50 years of Presidential campaign ads. The collection allows visitors to see how the ads change overtime and the message they carried.
The exhibit immerses its visitors in the political history of the United States in the hopes that they see its evolution. However, the core of the exhibition is to show people that democracy is a verb. Its design means to inspire public participation in the actions, big or small, that make our democracy.