Wisconsin Historical Society collects materials to document pandemic

The Wisconsin Historical Society is collecting materials to document the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the items is public information posters and the Historical Society is asking artists to submit their ideas to be featured. 

Public information posters like the iconic Uncle Sam and Rosie the Riveter have been used to spread information for years. 

"As the pandemic was happening we thought that this was a way to involve the artist community and to gather more voices about different experiences of the pandemic," said Simone Munson, Archivist and Librarian, Wisconsin Historical Society. 

Simone Munson

Simone Munson

The first phase of the Wisconsin Historical Society's COVID-19 Poster Project featured images of washing your hands, the importance of essential workers and staying at home. 

"I'm hoping that the next round of posters will show how we persevered through those challenges that we were feeling at the beginning of the pandemic," said Munson. 

Any artist with a Wisconsin tie, high school-age and older, is encouraged to submit a poster by May 15. 

"As we are figuring out what we want to document from the pandemic it’s important that we have multiple voices and multiple perspectives and that there’s a diversity in what we’re collecting," said Munson.

For future generations to understand. 

"History is happening right now and we want to make sure that as we move forward and come out of the pandemic that the historical society has the documentation of what our experiences were as we lived through this historical moment," said Munson. 

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If chosen, artists will receive a $600 commission and their work will appear on the Historical Society's social media and website. 

"We want to make sure that, that diversity is not just a diversity of formats so art and writing and all sorts of different formats but also a diversity in actual voices that we’re collecting. So having a poster project and allowing artistic expression just allows us to get a more diverse set of voices," said Munson. 

You can find more information on the COVID-19 Poster Project here. 

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