exhibits

City of Hope: Resurrection City & the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign

“City of Hope: Resurrection City and the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign” will be on display from Saturday, January 15th through Monday, February 28th, 2022 in The Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery inside Joplin Public Library.

This Smithsonian-created poster exhibition honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final and most ambitious vision that each U.S. citizen have equal access to economic opportunities and the American dream. It examines the Poor People’s Campaign, a grassroots, multiracial movement that drew thousands of people to Washington, D.C. for 43 days between May and June 1968, where demonstrators demanded social reforms while living side-by-side on the National Mall in a tent city known as Resurrection City.

Although President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty” in 1964, tens of millions of Americans were denied livable wages, adequate housing, nutritious food, quality
education, and healthcare. Led by Drs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) organized the Poor People’s Campaign in
response to poverty as a national human rights issue. Stretching 16 acres along the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, Resurrection City housed 3,000
protesters with structures for essential services like sanitation, communications, medical care, and childcare. It included a dining tent, cultural center, and a city hall along the encampment’s
bustling “Main Street.”

The Poor People’s Campaign marked an important moment in U.S. history and set the stage for future social justice movements. Within months after Resurrection City’s evacuation,
major strides were made toward economic equality, influencing school lunch programs, rent subsidies, home ownership assistance for low-income families, education and welfare
services through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and more.

Organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in collaboration with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, “City of
Hope” highlights a series of newly discovered photographs and an array of protest signs and political buttons collected during the campaign. Featuring 18 posters, the exhibition will help
visitors engage and contextualize the Poor People’s Campaign’s historical significance and present-day relevance.

 

My Missouri 2021 Photo Project Exhibit

In celebration of its 200th year, Missouri 2021, an initiative of The State Historical Society of Missouri, coordinated the My Missouri 2021 Photo Project and we helped bring it to the Joplin Public Library!

In 2018, Missouri 2021 invited professional and amateur photographers from across the state to capture and share unique and meaningful aspects of place in Missouri. Of the nearly 1,000 photographs submitted, 200 were chosen for a traveling exhibition – including several of Joplin and surrounding areas!

My Missouri 2021 is oriented around the four seasons and showcases the geographic and cultural landscape of the state. They provide an opportunity on the occasion of Missouri’s Bicentennial to reflect upon and increase the understanding of the state’s rich diversity while recognizing the many things its people share. My Missouri 2021 will be in The Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery (off of our lobby) from Saturday, September 4, 2021, through Sunday, September 26, 2021.

Shelter Insurance® is the platinum sponsor of the My Missouri 2021 exhibition. The exhibition was designed by PRO Expo Exhibits, the gold sponsor for the show, and supported by contributors to The State Historical Society of Missouri. Exhibits in the library are curated by Post Art Library. For more information, contact Jill Sullivan at 417-623-7953 x1041.

Photographer George Haubein shows a library patron which of his photographs are among the 200 selected for the My Misosuri 2021 Photo Project exhibit.