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Posted on: August 27, 2018

McRae-Helena chosen to host Smithsonian Crossroads exhibit

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(Atlanta, GA)— Georgia Humanities is pleased to announce the selection of six communities to host Crossroads: Change in Rural America, an exhibition that examines the evolving landscape of rural America. The sites are: Blue Ridge, Cuthbert, McRae-Helena, Monticello, Summerville, and Thomaston. Between August 2019 and June 2020, Crossroads will be on view for six weeks in each community. This traveling exhibition is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program, a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations.

Crossroads explores how rural American communities changed in the 20th century. From sea to shining sea, the vast majority of the U.S. landscape remains rural, with only 3.5% of the landmass considered urban. Yet since 1900, the percentage of Americans living in rural areas dropped from 60% to 17%. The exhibition considers that remarkable societal change and how rural Americans have responded.


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 Georgia Humanities, the host communities will develop complementary exhibits, host public programs, and facilitate educational initiatives to raise understanding about local history, explore the joys and challenges of living rural, examine how change has impacted their community, and prompt discussion of goals for the future.


The exhibition is part of Museum on Main Street (MoMS), a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. To 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. The Georgia tour of Crossroads is presented by Georgia Humanities, the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, and Georgia EMC.


McRae-Helena will host the exhibit at the Telfair Center for the Arts October 12 – November 23, 2019. More information about the exhibit and activities will be forthcoming.


“This exhibit emphasizes the importance of rural communities like McRae-Helena and the impact we have on the history and future of our nation,” said City Manager Liz McLean. “We are very excited to host this nationally acclaimed program.”


To get involved with Crossroads, contact Laura McCarty (ltmc@georgiahumanities.org), president of Georgia Humanities, to learn about sponsorship and programming opportunities.


About Georgia Humanities 

Georgia Humanities is a statewide nonprofit organization that gathers, preserves, and shares our state’s distinctive stories through a range of cultural and educational programs and resources. Georgia Humanities partners with scholars and educators across the state to bring people together in learning and conversation. Founded in 1971, Georgia Humanities is the statewide affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. To learn more, please visit www.GeorgiaHumanities.org.

About Museum on Main Street and Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service 

Museum on Main Street is a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. To learn more about Hometown Teams and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit www.museumonmainstreet.org. SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 60 years. SITES connects 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.

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