Maryland Humanities Tour of Smithsonian Exhibition Travels to Western Maryland
Crossroads travels the state through Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program
(Baltimore, MD) – Crossroads: Change in Rural America, a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition, opens at The Allegany Museum on January 7. The museum serves as the third venue of a five-stop tour of the state, presented through Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program. The Western Maryland Heritage Association, which includes Allegany Museum, partners with Maryland Humanities for the second Maryland stop. The Allegany Museum hosts an opening reception from 4 pm to 6 pm on January 7. Multiple members of the Western Maryland Heritage Association will host special exhibits on opening weekend.
Each Crossroads partner creates its own exhibit to complement the Smithsonian’s exhibition. The companion exhibit, Understanding the Push and Pull of Appalachia to Create a Resilient Future, features responses from a community listening project from Frostburg State University. Honors students in “Experiencing Appalachia,” an interdisciplinary course, set up listening stations at regional events inviting residents to respond to the following questions: what issues and concerns do you see in your community? What are your community’s strengths? What direction should your community take as you move into the future? The companion exhibit incorporates photographs of the region, features community assets, challenges, and pathways to resilience.
“The organization is honored to host the Crossroads exhibit,” says Vic Rezendes, Chairman of the Western Maryland Heritage Association. “The focus on change in rural America captures our region’s metamorphosis over the years, especially concerning transportation as we transformed from Conestoga wagons heading West to modern superhighways.”
Crossroads is the eighth Museum on Main Street project that Maryland Humanities has brought to small communities throughout the state. Each site hosts the exhibition for five to six weeks and develops a complementary exhibit highlighting their community’s heritage and histories.
“We are looking forward to the next iteration of Museums on Main Street, an invaluable tool for Maryland organizations,” says Lindsey Baker, executive director of Maryland Humanities. “We are so thankful to bring another tour around the state, because the program has a wide-reaching and long-lasting impact on the partner organizations and their communities.”
Crossroads programming is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Maryland, and BGE. Maryland Public Television is the tour’s Media Sponsor. The Allegany Museum is a member of the Western Maryland Heritage Association, which partners with this exhibit. Allegany Museum’s additional partners include Folklore and Folklife Programming and the Honors Program in General Education at Frostburg State University.
Crossroads runs at The Allegany Museum in the second-floor ballroom January 7–February 17, 2022. The museum is located at 3 Pershing Street in Cumberland. The exhibition will be on view Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; and Sundays, 1:00–5:00 p.m. Crossroads of America, another exhibit from The Allegany Museum, is on view on Saturdays and Sundays, 1:00–5:00 p.m., on the museum’s first floor.
Learn more at https://alleganymuseum.org/exhibits-special-events. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (301) 777-7200 for further information.
|September 8, 2022–October 14, 2022||Farm Heritage Conservancy at Serenity Farm, Benedict, Charles County|
|October 29, 2022–December 16, 2022||Oxford Museum at St. Paul’s Church, Oxford, Talbot County|
|January 7, 2023–February 17, 2023||Western Maryland Heritage Association at Allegany Museum, Cumberland, Allegany County|
|March 4, 2023–April 14, 2023||Rose Hill Manor Park and Museums, Frederick, Frederick County|
|April 22, 2023–May 31, 2023||Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area at Kent Cultural Alliance, Chestertown, Kent County|
In 1900, about 40% of Americans lived in rural areas. By 2010, less than 18% of the U.S. population lived in rural areas. In just over a century, massive economic and social changes led to massive growth of America’s urban areas. Yet, less than 10% of the U.S. landmass is considered urban.
Many Americans assume that rural communities are endangered and hanging on by a thread—suffering from outmigration, ailing schools, and overused land. But that perception is far from true in many areas. Many rural Americans work hard to sustain their communities.
Despite the massive economic and demographic impacts brought on by changes, America’s small towns continue to creatively focus on new opportunities for growth and development. Economic innovation and a focus on the cultural facets that make small towns unique, comfortable, and desirable have helped many communities create their own renaissance. The future is bright for much of rural America as small towns embrace the notion that their citizens and their cultural uniqueness are important assets.
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 Smithsonian traveling exhibitions to museums, historical societies, and other small-town cultural venues across the country. These exhibits boost civic pride, as residents young and old, from diverse backgrounds come together to share and celebrate their heritage.