Minnesota History Center’s New Exhibit Focuses On Extraordinary Women Through The Ages

Exhibit developer Kate Roberts shares how the new exhibit highlights women in history (3:25) WCCO 4 Saturday Morning - March 27, 2021

Video Transcript

JENNIFER MAYERLE: As women's History Month comes to a close, we head to the Minnesota History Center to learn about the new exhibit shedding light on some extraordinary women through the ages. We are live there this morning with exhibit developer Kate Roberts. Good morning.

KATE ROBERTS: Good morning.

JENNIFER MAYERLE: We're glad you're with us, Kate. Tell us a little bit about this exhibit that highlights women in history.

KATE ROBERTS: Yeah, this is an exhibit, as you mentioned. It's called Extraordinary Women. And when you enter the gallery, you get a chance to meet 22 Minnesota women who took a moment in their lives, a key moment, and really made a difference in history.

All sorts of activism is represented here from votes for women to thinking about housing rights. One woman sponsored an anti-lynching bill in 1921. We come all the way up through segregation issues and to the present. So lots of remarkable women here. Some you've heard of. Some will be brand new to it-- to you.

JENNIFER MAYERLE: Yeah, this is so interesting. It sounds like there is a lot there to learn. Does this showcase Minnesotans, as well as recognizable women, you know, around the country who fought for equal rights?

KATE ROBERTS: Yes, and these are all people with a Minnesota connection. They were born here. They did most of their work here. So yes, this is definitely just a very small number of the Minnesota women who we could have profiled who have made a difference, and, as you say, have promoted civil rights, social rights, rights for women and all people across time.

JENNIFER MAYERLE: How has the work that women did back then get us to where we are today?

KATE ROBERTS: Well, that's-- that's such a great question, Jennifer. The work that everything is a step. So the work is never finished. So, for example, we think about the women who fought for suffrage a century ago. That was a major milestone, but it didn't mean that every woman could vote. It didn't mean that every person could vote.

So the work goes on and to this day. And that's actually one of the things that we hope to bring about in this exhibit is to have every person walk through and say, wow, they did that? I can do this. Move on, take the next step.

JENNIFER MAYERLE: Absolutely. That's such a good point. Now, it seems appropriate that you partnered with the League of Women Voters of Minnesota on this exhibit.

KATE ROBERTS: Yes, absolutely. They've been our partner from the start, and it's really great because a number of the women featured are league members more than we even realized going into the exhibit. But as we researched their history, we realized that there is a through line here from the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association, of course, through the League of Women Voters. That's been one major force of activism and of collective action throughout the history of the state.

JENNIFER MAYERLE: Wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing some of that with us. And we're going to let people know how they can go see it, Kate.

KATE ROBERTS: Oh, wonderful. Thank you so much for having us today.

JENNIFER MAYERLE: All right, thank you. You can see the Extraordinary Women Exhibit at the Minnesota History Center through the end of the year. Hours today are 10:00 until 4:00. Tickets are $8 to $12.

Members get in free. We have all that information on our website wcco.com. And there's also an online component if you'd like to check it out from home.