American Democracy hero image 2

Events. Exploration. Experiences.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

America has a historic year ahead. The centennial of women's suffrage. 150 years since the 15th amendment. A presidential election. An uncertain future unfolding. 

History Colorado is ready to meet the moment with This Is What Democracy Looks Like: a year-long, multi-venue series of programs and exhibitions that are as provocative as Democracy itself. Join us for 35 incredible programs, dozens of inspiring works by local artists, five exhibitions, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to view world-changing artifacts. Don't miss out on the most comprehensive exploration of Democracy in the nation. 

History Colorado invites you to engage and get involved.  Exercise your right to participate fully.

Read the Westword feature about the launch of this initiative.

Below are just a few things we have planned for the coming year. Please sign up for our e-newsletter for information on how you can get involved!

Bold Women. Change History. The Exhibition
Mar 7, 2020 – Feb 28, 2021; Center for Colorado Women’s History
A memorable and telling story of how Colorado’s voters became America’s first to extend voting rights beyond men on November 7, 1893. The exhibit highlights topics that are especially resonant during this presidential election year, like grassroots organizing, the influence of news outlets, and racism in political advocacy. Visitors to this intimate display will gain a newly informed perspective on the significance and power of the right to vote.

Bold Women. Change History. Speaker Series
History Colorado Center
Tickets On Sale Now!
Part of the Women's Vote Centennial // Colorado 2020 commemoration. The series features scholars, authors, and history-makers who illuminate the rich history of voting rights, the inspirational contributions of women in Colorado and the nation, and the amazing innovations that happen when we knock down barriers and prohibit discrimination.

Women Behaving Badly
Opening Apr 29, 2020; History Colorado Center
In works combining watercolor with historical photography, news clippings, and text, Denver-based artist Adri Norris highlights women who’ve made history. She seeks to answer three questions about each woman she depicts: Who is she? What did she do? Why does she matter? “I started to tell the stories of women from all races, nationalities and walks of life," Norris says. “I want people to see themselves in those stories, to consider how they may be like those women and think differently about women in general.

Liberated: America Fights for Democracy in World War II
Opening May 6, 2020; History Colorado CenterRediscover one of America’s most courageous fights for democracy in a powerful exhibit featuring such treasures as Hiroshima atomic bombing survivor Michio Tanawaki’s journal, Helen Rowland Proctor’s toolbox from her time assembling bombers for Boeing, and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s fencing foil, captured by Colorado’s own 10th Mountain Division.

Photo of Kim Jordan, cofounder and CEO of New Belgium Brewing

Kim Jordan, cofounder and CEO of New Belgium Brewing

Bold Women. Change History. The Summit
May 27, 2020; History Colorado Center
Kim Jordan, cofounder and CEO of New Belgium Brewing will join as the keynote speaker for this one-day gathering that highlights the power of women to create our future, lead our present and shape our history. This interactive day features bold women who take risks and innovate in ways worth replicating and who demonstrate a powerful spectrum of leadership. In short and energizing talks, women leaders from many fields will share how they show up, create, disrupt and transform our communities.

The New Four Freedoms
Unveiling Aug 1, 2020; History Colorado Center
On the brink of war against tyranny, FDR issued his famous proclamation that all Americans had the right to Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. Almost eighty years later, History Colorado is asking four up-and-coming Denver artists to illustrate the condition of those freedoms in our modern moment.  

American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith
Sept 12, 2020 – Jan 3, 2021; History Colorado Center
America’s national treasures come to life in this engaging exhibition from the Smithsonian that asks visitors to consider what it means to have a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith explores the history of citizen participation, debate, and compromise from the nation’s formation to today. Through compelling artifacts and interactive activities, we invite conversation about the nation’s changing political ideals and principles, the definition of citizenship in a pluralistic society, and what participation and engagement looks like in a digital world.

Native Democracy
Opening Aug 2020; History Colorado Center
Curated by indigenous artist Gregg Deal (Pyramid Lake Paiute), Native Democracy will provide an artistic interpretation of the meaning of democracy from a Native perspective.

American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith was developed by the National Museum of American History and adapted for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. 

The Denver presentation of American Democracy is sponsored by Rhondda & Peter Grant, the Abarca Family Foundation, and Mary & George Sissel.

The Women's Vote Centennial // Colorado 2020 is sponsored by Cathey McClain Finlon & Richard Finlon, Former Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne, and The Honorable Wilma J. Webb & The Honorable Wellington Webb.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like is sponsored by donors to the Executive Director’s Innovation Fund.