Press Release

Dynamics of Democracy: Gale Norton Explores Government from the Inside Out | #HistoryColorado

Denver, Colo. (February 1, 2021) — As a new government gets to work in Washington, History Colorado offers a behind-the-scenes opportunity to explore how it all comes together.

John Eding, Communications & PR Manager
303-866-3670 |

Gale Norton presents “Federalism and Democracy” on Thursday, February 10, at 7 p.m. MST. This live, virtual event is proudly presented by History Colorado’s acclaimed election-year speaker series, This Is What Democracy Looks Like. More information and tickets ($5–15) are available via and the event page at

How is the balance between local, state, and federal powers maintained in the 21st century? What about in national emergencies, like a war, or an economic crisis—or a pandemic? And when are populist demands a strain on the separation of powers? Participants will finish this event with answers and energy for renewed engagement in our nation’s civic discourse.

The first woman to serve as Colorado’s Attorney General, Gale Norton also served our country as the first woman to be appointed as Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Norton spent a combined thirteen years in these positions, holding pivotal roles in historic moments such as the U.S. Supreme Court case surrounding Colorado’s Amendment 2, which was ruled unconstitutional in 1996; the $206 billion Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement of 1998, the most extensive legal settlement in U.S. history; resolving a 70-year-old interstate dispute about the Colorado River; and reshaping domestic energy policies in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks.  A lifelong conservationist, public servant, and advocate for common-sense approaches to environmental policy, she is an alumna of the University of Denver and a 2020 inductee into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame.

To make the discussion even more informative, former Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman will serve as host and interviewer.  Both women have been on the cutting edge of conflicts and conundrums in federal/state relations.

About the Speaker Series
Part of an ambitious election-year initiative, History Colorado’s 2020–2021 speaker series aims to be as multi-dimensional, provocative, and participatory as democracy itself. It leads a host of programs at History Colorado, such as the Borderlands Speaker Series, that have drawn an enthusiastic, increased following during the Covid-19 pandemic. Garrett Reppenhaggen—a third-generation American veteran, and the executive director of Veterans For Peace—and Indigenous artist Gregg Deal join Norton among upcoming presenters through June of 2021. All events take place online in a live, interactive format. A discounted full-series ticket ($40–140), single-event tickets ($5–15), and complete details are available at      

The This Is What Democracy Looks Like Speaker Series is supported by:
Walter S. Rosenberry III Charitable Trust  | Abarca Family Foundation | Richard and Mary Lyn Ballantine | Peter and Rhondda Grant | George and Mary Sissel | Donors to the Executive Director's Innovation Fund | Donors to the Women’s Vote Centennial

About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 141-year-old institution that operates Colorado’s oldest museum, nine additional museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is the nation’s largest preservation program of its kind. The SHF currently administers more than 280 grants across Colorado, of which more that 70% are allocated in rural areas.

History Colorado’s outlets are publishing Black voices and confronting entrenched racism in historic preservation. Beginning in 2019 History Colorado has added curators of Latino Heritage and LGBTQ+ History to its staff, and added a full-time position to its Museum of Memory team, which works proactively to incorporate underserved communities and voices into its contemporary collecting initiative and other efforts. The History Colorado Center is the nation’s first state history museum to display a monument toppled last summer with new, inclusive interpretation. History Colorado now shares anti-racist grounding virtues in all of its job postings, and asks all applicants to describe how these principles show up in their work.

History Colorado’s eight museums around the state were among the first cultural institutions in Colorado to reopen to visitors under new safety protocols. The swift return to in-person service in June and December followed an agile reorganization in response to Covid-19 that catalyzed new avenues for youth education, full-length episodes of its podcasts, and a weekly email digest with over 25,000 subscribers.

History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and nine other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.