People, Places, and Power: Gallatin County Edition

Illinois Humanities presents, Country and the City: Common Ground in the Prairie State? Gallatin County Edition.

Distributions: People, Places, and Power – Gallatin County edition first aired live on August 20, 2020. Many issues confronting our state and our nation involve the relationship between population distribution and the allocation of political power and public resources. This 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:

  • 4:24: An exploration of Gallatin County’s significance in Illinois history featuring regional historians Todd Carr, Christy Short, and Joe Patrick.
  • 18:03: 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.
  • 35:31: A debate about the merits of the Electoral College from a southern Illinois perspective, conducted by the Southeastern Illinois College Model Illinois Government Team.
  • 46:51: A discussion of regionally significant current issues with journalists Molly Parker and Travis DeNeal.
  • 57:27: Music by Chris Vallillo and photography by Christy Short and Gary DeNeal.

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 thanks The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership. We also thank the Grand Victoria Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This episode of Country and City: Common Ground in the Prairie State? would not have been possible without the generosity of the people and partners featured in this program. Illinois Humanities activates the humanities through free public programs, grants, and educational opportunities that foster reflection, spark conversation, build community, and strengthen civic engagement.

Illinois Humanities is a nonprofit organization and the state’s affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Learn more at and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn @ILHumanities.

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.

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