Smithsonian Exhibition on Rural America Makes Final Maryland Stop on the Upper Eastern Shore

April 18, 2023

Crossroads concludes its tour of the state through with Kent County

A college of 4 photos. In the middle, there is a navy blue circle that has an outline of a green signpost with two signs with now words on them. Underneath it, it says in green capital letters "Crossroads." In light blue it says "Change in Rural America." The 4 images are a field of sunflowers, a sky and tree, a tractor, and a field with a tree and mountains in the background.(Baltimore, MD) – Crossroads: Change in Rural America, a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition, a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition, opens at Kent Cultural Alliance’s new Vincent & Leslie Prince Raimond Cultural Center on April 22. The Raimond Center serves as the final venue of a five-stop tour of the state, presented through Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program. Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area partners with Maryland Humanities for the tour’s final Maryland stop. Maryland Humanities, Stories of the Chesapeake, and the Kent Cultural Alliance host an opening reception at the Raimond Cultural Center on April 27 at 4:00 p.m.

Each Crossroads partner creates its own exhibit to complement the Smithsonian’s exhibition. Chesterville Graveyard: Revelations, also on view at the Raimond Center, is an art and poetry exhibit created by community members.  The exhibit pairs pen and ink drawings by Stu Crawley with poems by Robert Earl Price and aims to bring attention to one of the “lost” cemeteries in the region.  Whether paved over by highway development or left to the forces of nature, one of the changes in rural communities this last century includes cemeteries covered over in brambles and trees. 

Stories of the Chesapeake collaborated with a wide variety of other Upper Eastern Shore partners who will showcase other exhibits and programming for visitors of all ages. Visitors can learn about the various ways people have lived and worked in these rural communities along with stories of change and resilience.  Eight small museums will display their own companion exhibits on view at the and a Small Museums of Kent Driving Tour. Other programming from Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area’s partners also includes historic tours of Crow Vineyard, previously a historic dairy; an antique airplane fly at the Massey Air Museum; and a documentary highlighting title local stories being shown on MPT as part of Bay Week.

“The Stories of the Chesapeake is thrilled to bring this thought-provoking program to the Eastern Shore.” says Gail Owings, the Executive Director of Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area.  “The new Raimond Building in Chestertown is an ideal location for the exhibition.  Our partnership with Maryland Humanities, Kent Cultural Alliance, Washington College, Main Street Chestertown, and the Small Museums of Kent, which are all planning companion programing and exhibits, will have a long-lasting impact in the community.”

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. Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area’s partners include the African-American Schoolhouse Museum, Bettertown Heritage Museum, the Eastern Neck Island Wildlife Refuge Lodge, Historical Society of Kent County, the Kent County Museum, the Massey Air Museum, Sumner Hall, and the Watermen’s Museum.

Crossroads runs at Kent Cultural Alliance April 22–May 31. The venue is located at 101 Spring Avenue in Chestertown. The exhibition will be on view Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m.

 Learn more at  Contact or call 410-778-1460 for further information.

Tour Schedule:

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

A navy blue circle that has an outline of a green signpost with two signs with now words on them. Underneath it, it says in green capital letters "Crossroads." In light blue it says "Change in Rural America."About Crossroads
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.

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