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Crossroads: Change in Rural America Exhibit
November 2, 2019 - December 5, 2019
Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit Coming to Morristown
The Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street, in cooperation with Humanities Tennessee, presents “Crossroads: Change in Rural America.” The exhibition examining the evolving landscape and culture of rural America opens at Rose Center on Saturday, November 2. “Crossroads” will be on view through December 7.
Rose Center and the surrounding community has been expressly chosen by Humanities Tennessee to host “Crossroads” as part of the Museum on Main Street program – a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour only six communities in Tennessee from September 7, 2019 through June 21, 2020.
“Crossroads” explores how rural American communities changed in the 20th century. From sea to shining sea, the vast majority of the United States landscape remains rural with only 3.5% of the landmass considered urban. Since 1900, the percentage of Americans living in rural areas dropped from 605 to 17%. The exhibition looks at that remarkable societal change and how rural Americans responded. Americans have relied on rural crossroads for generations. These places where people gather to exchange goods, services and culture and to engage in political and community discussions are an important part of our cultural fabric. Despite the massive economic and demographic impacts brought on by these changes, America’s small towns continue to creatively focus on new opportunities for growth and development.
“’Crossroads’ allows us to reflect on Morristown’s history, present, and future and we are excited to explore what the future may hold for our community,” said Beccy Hamm, Rose Center’s Executive Director. “We want to convene conversations about what makes our community unique and are developing local exhibitions and public programs to complement the Smithsonian exhibition.”
Designed for small-town museums, libraries and cultural organizations, “Crossroads” will serve as a community meeting place for conversations about how rural America has changed. With the support and guidance of state humanities councils, these towns will develop complementary exhibits, host public programs and facilitate educational initiatives to raise people’s understanding about their own history, the joys and challenges of living rural, how change has impacted their community, and prompt discussion of goals for the future.
The exhibition is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. The learn more about “Crossroads” and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit www.museumonmainstreet.org.
Support for MoMS has been provided by the U. S. Congress.
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D. C., for more than 65 years. SITES connect Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work, and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit www.sites.si.edu.
Rose Center, 442 W. 2nd North St, Morristown, TN 37814. 423-581-4330. Open 9-5, M-F, with special weekend hours for this exhibit. www.rosecenter.org
Humanities Tennessee, 807 Main St, Suite B, Nashville, TN 37206. 615-770-0006. www.HumTN.org