The First Amendment Museum in Augusta plans to offer two new rotating summer exhibitions focused on women activists in Maine and the impact of “news deserts” on local communities.

These rotating exhibitions, combined with free guided tours on the First Amendment, are available to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday through Sept. 30 at 184 State St., according to a news release from the museum.

Deqa Dhalac Portrait by Robert Shetterly

“I Am Woman: Maine Activists” features the works of Maine Contemporary Artist Robert Shetterly. The exhibition features 12 portraits of activists, and further highlights the role that women from Maine have played in advancing movements globally and locally — both historically and today.

A few of the portraits on view include Deqa Dhalac, the first Somali-American mayor in the country; Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, a Maine politician who for more than three decades served as a role model for women aspiring to national politics; and Rachel Louise Carson, a conservationist, biologist, and writer whose groundbreaking book, “Silent Spring” brought new awareness to the global environmental crisis.

Margaret Chase Smith Portrait by Robert Shutterly

“Democracy, Journalism, & the Informed Community: News Deserts” explores the effects of the absence of local journalism: how people become more disconnected from their communities, more uninformed about local events, and less aware of developments that impact their own backyards.

Insufficient news coverage has been linked to more corruption in local government, less competitive elections, weaker municipal finances, and the pervasiveness of party-line politicians who don’t care about their constituents.

In a five-part podcast series made in partnership with Oral History and Folklife Research, visitors can listen to interviews with Eric Conrad, former executive director and editor of The Maine Monitor; Sarah Fuller, town council chair in Winthrop; Emily Hayes, former reporter and writer with The Lincoln County News; Judy Meyer, executive editor of the Sun Journal; and Bill Nemitz, former columnist with the Portland Press Herald; on their thoughts on the recent consolidations in the news business leading to absences in local coverage.

Rachel Carson Portrait by Robert Shetterly

For more information, call 207-557-2290.