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Kauffman Museum traveling exhibit wins national award

August 4th, 2020

Voices of Conscience exhibit

The American Association for State and Local History has honored “Voices of Conscience“ with an Award of Excellence.

Bethel College's Kauffman Museum was the only entity in Kansas to win a 2020 AASLH award.

The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 75th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

The traveling exhibit “Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War” lifts up the prophetic insights and personal courage of World War I peace protesters and suggests parallels to the culture of war and violence in the world today.

The exhibition premiered at the “Remembering Muted Voices: Conscience, Dissent, Resistance and Civil Liberties in World War I through Today” symposium at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City on Oct. 19, 2017, and continues to travel.

To date, “Voices of Conscience” has been shown at 16 sites in nine states and one Canadian province, reaching an estimated 12,000 visitors.

David Kreider, Kauffman Museum staff member who travels with the exhibit, remarked, “It has been gratifying to see host sites add companion exhibits sharing the stories and artifacts from people in their own community who had a World War I peace witness.

“The exhibit also helps people reflect on who are the voices of conscience in our communities today.”

For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit kauffmanmuseum.org, or go to voicesofconscienceexhibit.org to book “Voices of Conscience” for a museum, library or church.

This year, AASLH conferred 57 national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits and publications, with Kauffman Museum the only awardee in Kansas.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States.

AASLH is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., AASLH provides leadership, service and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all people.

AASLH publishes books, technical manuals and a quarterly magazine, and maintains numerous affinity groups and committees serving a broad range of constituents across the historical community. The association sponsors an annual meeting, regional and national in-person workshops, and online training. See www.aaslh.org

Regular Kauffman Museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the permanent exhibits, “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture,” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members, Bethel College students, and children under 6. For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit its website, kauffmanmuseum.org, or Facebook page.

The next Kauffman Museum special exhibit is one of its own, the award-winning traveling exhibit “Sorting Out Race: Examining Racial Identity and Stereotypes in Thrift Store Donations,” which opens Aug. 28. “Sorting Out Race” also garnered the museum an AASLH Award of Excellence, in 2018.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.