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We Will Always Be Here Traveling Exhibit | Wisconsin Historical Society

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We Will Always Be Here: A Guide to Exploring and Understanding the History of LGBTQ+ Activism in Wisconsin Traveling Exhibit

Call for Art

We Will Always Be Here Traveling Exhibit | Wisconsin Historical Society

Summary and Background

EnlargeWe Will Always Be Here

The Wisconsin Historical Society's mission is to connect people to the past by collecting, preserving, and sharing stories. Society programs, historic sites, museums, collections, and archives inform and entertain while also challenging the public to think critically about their place in history. The Society believes that increasing the public's knowledge of history has profound societal, cultural, and economic benefit.

The Wisconsin Historical Society published We Will Always Be Here: A Guide to Exploring and Understanding the History of LGBTQ+ Activism in Wisconsin in June 2021. The Society is currently requesting proposals from artists to conceptualize and design an eight-panel, tabletop traveling exhibit with a design inspired by a graphic novel approach. The exhibit will be grounded in the Society's mission and in the context of history.

About the Book and Project

This inspiring and educational book presents examples of LGBTQ+ activism throughout Wisconsin's history for young people to explore and discuss. Drawing from a rich collection of primary sources—including diary entries, love letters, zines, advertisements, oral histories, and more—the book provides a jumping-off point for readers who are interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ history and activism, as well as for readers who want to build on the work of earlier activists.

We Will Always Be Here shines a light on powerful and often untold stories from Wisconsin's history, featuring individuals across a wide spectrum of identities and from all corners of the state. The LGBTQ+ people, allies, and activists in this guide changed the world by taking steps that young people can take today—by educating themselves, telling their own stories, being true to themselves, building communities, and getting active.

We envision the traveling exhibit to be designed as an eight-panel, tabletop exhibit that travels to schools, libraries, museums, LGBTQ+ centers, and other venues across the state of Wisconsin.

For more information, please contact Outreach Director Janet Seymour at


Deadline extended! The Society will accept proposals from artists from July 30 to September 17, 2021.

The selected artist will be notified of the commission by September 24, 2021.

The full graphic design and completed files will be due November 30, 2021.

The exhibit will begin traveling to local Wisconsin communities in early 2022.

*The timeline may be adjusted during the course of the project. Updates will be posted on this page.


The intended audiences include the general public, middle and high school students, educators, and others interested in history and Wisconsin's LGBTQ+ history. The exhibit will travel to schools, public libraries, museums, LGBTQ+ centers, and other cultural organizations throughout Wisconsin.


The total commission for the graphic design of the 8-panel tabletop exhibit will be $4,000.


Society staff will provide an exhibit outline, a copy of the We Will Always Be Here book, and other resources to the artist. The process will involve an initial meeting and check-ins with Society staff and the authors throughout the 60-day design timeline to ensure a collaborative process.

How to submit a proposal:

Application materials must include:

  • Artist bio or resume with current contact information and link to website, Instagram, or other social media
  • One to two paragraphs expressing your interest in the project
  • Up to three examples of previous relevant design projects
  • Three professional references including name, phone number, and email address for each reference

Submit an application and upload materials:

Apply Here

Artists from underrepresented communities, including the LGBTQ+ community, and emerging artists, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Terms of Commission Agreement

The Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) commissions the artist to create design files for an 8-panel, tabletop traveling exhibit (Work). The Work will be delivered to the WHS as a hi-res digital file at the agreed upon date of November 30, 2021. The Society may request revisions and the artist may request initial review of concept designs or drafts during the 60-day design period. WHS will pay artist $4,000 for the Work within thirty days of delivery date.

The Work will be printed as an 8-panel, tabletop traveling exhibit and distributed by WHS via the traveling exhibit program. In addition, the Work may be sent to members of the media accompanying a press release highlighting the project and shared via social media outlets to promote the exhibit. 

The artist will be credited for their Work on the physical exhibit and throughout accompanying exhibit materials and promotions. A copy of the Work will be added to WHS's permanent collection.

Rights Transferred: Artist and WHS agree that the following rights shall be transferred from artist to WHS upon receipt of full payment. Artist agrees to the perpetual non-exclusive license of all rights (including, but not limited to, the right to display, modify, transmit, transfer, sell, and create derivative works) to WHS, excluding only the right to authorship credit, which is retained by Artist.

Artist's Right to Authorship Credit: Artist may use Work in Artist's portfolio (including, but not limited to, any website that displays Artist's works). WHS must properly identify Artist as the creator of the Work.

Warranty of Originality: Artist represents and warrants to WHS that, to the best of their knowledge and belief, the Work assigned by this Agreement is original and has not been previously published or licensed to any third party.

Design Guidelines: The Work must be based upon the themes the We Will Always Be Here book and the content outline provided by the authors and the Society.

Void Clause: WHS reserves the right to reject any Work it feels does not meet these guidelines.