Utah Women Working for Better Days!
“What is your story going to be?”
the right to vote
This digital exhibition documents a physical exhibition Utah Women Working for Better Days! that was installed in the ACME Lab of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) on the campus of the University of Utah. The exhibition debuted on March 5th, 2020; several days later, due to COVID19, the University of Utah closed. The exhibition consisted of materials from the J. Willard Marriott Library's Special Collections and was curated jointly by staff from the UMFA, Special Collections, and Better Days 2020, an organization championing Utah women's history.
Utah Women Working for Better Days! celebrates voting rights anniversaries in 2020, including the 150th anniversary of Utah women casting the first votes in the United States under a women's equal suffrage law. The exhibition asks us to reflect upon women’s contributions and how their work might inspire us today.
A variety of histories inspired this exhibition, such as the story of Seraph Young, a Utahn who, in 1870, became the first woman in the United States to vote with equal suffrage rights, and the 100-year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which extended suffrage to women citizens in 1920. These stories acknowledge the importance of voting, while recognizing it as just one avenue of our civic participation. How do you define “better days”? What could be your role in creating them?