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Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums since 1997

JennaMy kid loves visiting here, and we do so often. The changing exhibit is always interesting, and the permanent ones can be a lot of fun.

Special Exhibit

Step Up to the Task

April 12 to October 5, 2024

A story about trailblazing Salina women.

Stories of progress and the march toward gender equality are the basis of this latest exhibit. There have always been people who challenged the usual way of doing things. For many women in the early and mid-20th century, this meant looking for jobs outside of their homes. In a society where men were mostly in charge, brave women pursued careers. It took even more courage to choose a profession dominated by men. Women who pushed against the norm often found themselves experiencing discrimination. Some of these trailblazers played a crucial role in paving the way for progress. In Salina, just like in other communities, there are shining examples of women who made waves, opened doors and broke through glass ceilings.

Visitors will learn of the struggles and triumphs of six local Salina women who helped break down discrimination towards women in the workplace. They are:

  • Lt. Dorothea A. LaFollette
  • Rep. Cora Walker Shelton
  • Amy Rasher
  • Irene J. Nelson Carlson
  • Bessie Ellis Caldwell
  • Mary Virginia “Ginny” Zook Bevan

In addition to these six women, there is also a wall of other notable, inspiring women of Salina.

Step Up to the Task offers four hands-on activities to spur engagement. Based on Amy Rasher’s pharmacy, this exhibit features a pharmacy-related immersive environment. In another area, visitors will be able to visualize and focus on the ramifications of unequal pay due to work biases against women. Visitors can also nominate a woman who has inspired them. Then, to stay inspired by the featured women, visitors can take home trading cards of the six featured women.

This is an exhibit that’s sure to inspire and hopefully spark discussion and raise questions. Where have I seen discrimination? What groups still struggle with equality? Do I have people in my life facing discrimination?

We hope to see you soon at the Smoky Hill Museum.


Special thanks to the following exhibit sponsors:

Special thanks to our sponsors:

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