A view of Portage Lake in the Calumet region. A set of wooden stairs lead down from the sand dunes onto the lakeshore. Three individuals can be seen standing near the water. The Chicago skyline is visible in the distance.

Calumet Voices, National Stories

Category: Exhibitions

Exhibition Summary


Included with Basic admission

When exhibit closes

Closes Dec 3, 2023

Targeted age groups

All ages


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Discover a local region like no other

The Calumet region, shaped by generations of community resilience and passion, is home to rare ecosystems and monumental steel mills. Explore the unique relationship between nature, world-class innovation, and artistic expression that makes this region located at the southern end of Lake Michigan an unexpected national treasure. Calumet Voices, National Stories shines a spotlight on the region’s past, present, and future, and on the people who have fought to protect it. Experience the daily life of an industrial worker and the role their work has in the region. See neighborhoods and nature through the eyes of renowned artists, and learn about the region’s natural areas through specimens like puccoon plants and red-headed woodpeckers on display.

Calumet is one of this nation’s crossroads for nature, labor, and people.

Exhibition highlights

  • Encounter a recently re-discovered ten-foot-tall steel slab with welding by some of the first women to work in the area’s steel mills, during World War II.
  • Learn how bird feathers show the rise, and fall, of coal-induced air pollution in Calumet.
  • See photomurals and maps portraying the unique natural ecosystems of Calumet waterways, dunes, and Lake Michigan.
  • Explore the Calumet Voices, National Stories companion website.

Collaboration across the Calumet region

The exhibition at the Field Museum is a culmination of a collaborative series presented across the region in recent years, with 15 local museums and history centers sharing their collections and stories. The Field’s exhibition focuses on the region by highlighting our own Calumet collections while presenting our scientists’ research and activism in the area.