Past Event

People, Places and Power: Gallatin County Edition

Still from video of People, Places, and Power: Gallatin County Edition videoIllinois Humanities will open its 2020 season of Country and City: Common Ground in the Prairie State? with “People, Places and Power: Gallatin County Edition on Thursday, August 20 at 7pm via the Illinois Humanities YouTube channel.

Many issues confronting our state and our nation involve the relationship between population distribution and the allocation of political power and public resources. This online program examines that complex relationship from the vantage point of Gallatin County in southeastern Illinois. Gallatin County’s evolution illustrates the dramatic changes in population distribution that have occurred over the state’s history, as well as the resulting changes in the geographic distribution of power. The program features…

  • An exploration of Gallatin County’s significance in Illinois history featuring regional historians Todd Carr, Christy Short, and Joe Patrick.
  • A panel discussion about rural-urban political dynamics in Illinois, past and present, featuring regional and state leaders Rhonda Belford, Dale Fowler, Ameya Pawar, Glenn Poshard, and Sheila Simon, moderated by John Shaw of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
  • A debate about the merits of the Electoral College from members and alumni of Southeastern Illinois College’s award-winning Model Illinois Government team from the perspectives of rural Illinoisans.
  • A discussion of regionally significant current issues with journalists Molly Parker and Travis DeNeal.
    Music by Chris Vallillo and photography by Christy Short and Gary DeNeal.
  • Our “People, Places, and Power” programs anticipate our 2021-22 Illinois tour of “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America,” the newest Museum on Main Street exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution. For information about that tour, please visit

This program is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry.

Illinois Humanities is presenting “People, Places, and Power: Gallatin County Edition” in cooperation with the Gallatin County Historical Society, the Ohio River Scenic Byway Visitors Center in Equality, and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and the Grand Victoria Foundation.

Illinois Humanities thanks The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.

Learn more about the “Distributions: People, Places, and Power” series and The Country and the City: Common Ground in the Prairie State? program.