Maryland Humanities Announces Five Host Sites for Statewide Smithsonian Exhibition Tour The Way We Worked

May 9, 2016

(Baltimore, MD) –  Maryland Humanities has chosen five sites to host The Way We Worked, a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition, which will tour throughout Maryland from February to November 2017 and showcase Maryland’s unique work stories and history. The host sites include Brunswick Heritage Museum in Brunswick, Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Post # 25: Sumner Hall in Chestertown, Salisbury University Art Galleries in Salisbury, and Western Maryland Heritage Association in Cumberland.

The Way We Worked is the fifth Museum on Main Street (MoMS) project brought to small communities throughout Maryland by Maryland Humanities. Adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives, the Way We Worked explores how work became such a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years. Each of the five sites chosen will host the exhibit for six weeks and develop a complementary exhibit highlighting their community’s local work stories and histories. Local exhibits and related programming will highlight the often-untold stories of people in each host site’s community.

“The sites chosen celebrate Maryland’s diverse and engaging work history, from the paper and steel mills of the 19th Century to the technology boom of today. We can’t wait to explore the rich local history unearthed through each community’s companion exhibit and programming,” said Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities.

The Baltimore Museum of Industry will serve as a program partner for the Maryland Humanities tour of The Way We Worked.

The Way We Worked Host Sites

Host sites include Brunswick Heritage Museum, which will partner with Brunswick Public Library to bring The Way We Worked to Frederick County.  The Carroll County Farm Museum, with partners Union Mills Homestead Foundation in Westminster and the Gatehouse Museum of History in Sykesville, will bring The Way We Worked to Carroll County. The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Post # 25: Sumner Hall will host the exhibit in Chestertown with partners that include C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College, Downtown Chestertown Initiative, Sultana Education Foundation, Kent County Public Library, Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board, and Kent County Schools. The Salisbury University Art Galleries has garnered support from the Salisbury Arts & Entertainment District Committee, with the Edward H. Nabb Center for Delmarva History and Culture and the Fulton Public Humanities Program at Salisbury University. The Western Maryland Heritage Association will host the exhibit in Cumberland, with a network of programming at the Allegany Museum, Gilchrist Museum of Arts, Thrasher Carriage Museum, Gordon-Roberts House, Allegany College of Maryland, Allegany County Historical Society, C&O Canal National Historical Park, and Frostburg University.

Tour Schedule:

February 3–March 24, 2017 Western Maryland Heritage Association, Cumberland, Allegany County
March 31–May 19, 2017 Sumner Hall (G.A.R. Post 15), Chestertown, Kent County
May 26–July 14, 2017 Carroll County Farm Museum, Westminster, Carroll County
July 21­­–September 8, 2017 Brunswick Heritage Museum, Brunswick, Frederick County
September 15–November 3, 2017 Salisbury University Art Galleries, Salisbury, Wicomico County

Here’s what the host sites are saying:

Elizabeth Kauffman, director of Salisbury University Art Galleries, said: “Being part of The Museum on Main Street program, The Way We Worked, will not only provide us with a high-quality exhibition about a topic so relevant to the Eastern Shore, but will also give Salisbury University, the City of Salisbury and other local organizations the opportunity to collaborate in ways we never have before. We look forward to this exciting project and the potential to engage our community with this exhibition and the surrounding events and conversations.”

James R. Castle, president of the Brunswick Heritage Museum, said: “Hosting the Smithsonian traveling exhibit in 2017 will provide Brunswick an opportunity to showcase The Way We Worked.  We are so excited to be selected as a host site.”

“We are so honored to have been chosen to partner with the Smithsonian and Maryland Humanities on The Way We Worked. We believe this traveling exhibit will be an ideal fit for the Carroll County Farm Museum and our partners, the Union Mills Homestead and the Sykesville Gate House Museum of History.  We appreciate the opportunity to introduce visitors to the vibrant history of our local industries. We are truly looking forward to showcasing this exhibit and related activities during the summer of 2017,” said Joanne Morvay Weant, manager of Carroll County Farm Museum.

“We are thrilled to have an opportunity to showcase both the workers and the fruits of their labor in Allegany County.  Some of the issues we plan to highlight include the Depression-era’s WPA program in terms of providing jobs and also building our infrastructure, the evolution in agriculture, coal mining, and also how labor unions helped reshape the work environment,” said Courtney McKay, manager of Allegany Museum, partner of host Western Maryland Heritage Association.

Nina Johnson, president of the Board of Directors of Sumner Hall, said: “We are thrilled to have been designated as one of the Maryland sites to host The Way We Worked exhibition! Sumner Hall and the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College—along with our other great partners—expect to create a real celebration to honor all workers in our community while the exhibition is in Chestertown.  And we look forward to engaging a wide range of citizens and visitors at our museum, the former home of the African-American Civil War Veterans of Charles Sumner Post #25, Grand Army of the Republic.”

About The Way We Worked
With their hands and minds hard at work and sweat on their brows, American workers perform a diverse array of jobs to power our society. Whether we work for professional satisfaction and personal growth or to ensure the well-being of ourselves and our families, work is a part of nearly every American’s life. Office workers, factory workers, homemakers, truckers and the millions more who keep the nation going through their work make great contributions not only to industry, but also to American culture. The diversity of the American workforce is one of its strengths, providing an opportunity to explore how people of all races and ethnicities identified commonalities and worked to knock down barriers in the professional world. And, finally, the exhibition shows how we identify with work – as individuals and as communities.

About Museum on Main Street
Museum on Main Street (MoMS) is a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service program that teams up with state humanities councils to bring high-quality traveling exhibits to small communities through their own museums, historical societies, and other cultural venues.  Residents enthusiastically engage with exhibition content, as diverse community members come together to share and celebrate their heritage.

About Maryland Humanities

Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities. Maryland Humanities is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Maryland, and the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, creator of the Baker Artist Awards.

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