An image from the  “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America"...

An image from the  “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America" exhibit showing the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, on Aug. 28, 1963. Credit: Courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration/Rowland Scherman

A traveling exhibition examining democracy in America and government “of, by and for the people,” will soon be on display at the Preservation Long Island Exhibition Gallery in Cold Spring Harbor.

The exhibition, titled “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America,” is presented by the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street in cooperation with the Museum Association of New York, and features an essay by America’s first published African American poet Jupiter Hammon, who was born into slavery in 1711 at Lloyd Manor in Lloyd Harbor.

Also featured among the wide-ranging exhibition artifacts are a bracelet and ring made from scrap sheet metal by women aircraft factory workers on Long Island during World War II and drawings and models for the national monument to African America civil rights leader and women’s rights activist Mary MacLeod Bethune created by Long Island artist Robert Berks in 1974.

The exhibition begins in Cold Spring Harbor and will tour 12 communities across the state between this March and January 2026. It will be at the Preservation Long Island Exhibition Gallery on Main Street from March 22 through May 3.

Preservation Long Island Executive Director Alexandra Wolfe said in a statement: “The exhibition’s focus on freedom, civic participation, and political engagement resonates strongly with our commitment to making the past relevant to the present.”

“The objects we chose connect the broader historical narratives of Voices and Votes with Long Island people and stories — addressing themes such as the ways people make their voices heard, who is left out of the conversation, and the roles and responsibilities of citizens,” Preservation Long Island curator Lauren Brincat said in a statement.

Preservation Long Island is a not-for-profit organization that works “to raise awareness, appreciation, and support for the protection of our shared past through advocacy, education, and the stewardship of historic sites and collections.” The organization “maintains and interprets” a host of local historic sites, including the Joseph Lloyd Manor in Lloyd Harbor, Custom House-Sag Harbor, Sherwood-Jayne Farm in Setauket and the Old Methodist Church and Exhibition Gallery on Main Street in Cold Spring Harbor.

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