Summer Scholars will have an opportunity to explore several exhibitions during the workshops. Project co-director and Spencer Museum of Art curator Cassandra Mesick Braun is curating an exhibition specifically for the NEH Landmarks workshops. The exhibition, Separate and Not Equal: A History of Race and Education in America, will explore the charged history of racial discrimination and disparity in American education using powerful works from the Spencer Museum’s permanent collection. Separate and Not Equal charts important moments during more than a century of shifting educational policies that specifically targeted Native American and African American children and their families, from the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 through the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education and its immediate aftermath. Historic works, such as beaded objects made by students in American Indian boarding schools, photographs from Civil Rights–era protests, and evocative prints of local African Americans and American Indians from the Lawrence area, directly attest to the experiences of Native Americans and African Americans during their long struggles for public education free from constraint and discrimination. Contemporary pieces, such as Gina Adams' ceramic basketballs, comment on current assimilation practices that continue to influence Native American identtiy, education, and experiences today. The exhibition will open to the public on May 20, 2017 and will close on October 1, 2017, giving local teachers ample opportunity to return with their students or on their own.
In addition, Summer Scholars will explore exhibitions at landmark sites, including the Shawnee Indian Mission, the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum, the Sumner High School Alumni Room, and the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic site.