Museum on Main Street

From Western Maryland to the lower Eastern Shore, our state is rich in cultural heritage. Museum on Main Street shines the spotlight on it.

True to our name, Maryland Humanities is committed to bringing outstanding humanities programs to every corner of our state. Museum on Main Street (MoMS) helps fulfill that promise. A collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils like Maryland Humanities, MoMS brings high-quality traveling exhibits to Main Street 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.

In 2015, for example, Maryland Humanities brought the sports-oriented Smithsonian traveling exhibit Hometown Teams to five communities across Maryland. Sports are an indelible part of our culture, reflecting the trials and triumphs of the human experience. Hometown Teams identifies compelling sports stories on the local level and brings them to light.

To contact Maryland Humanities about Museum on Main Street or its exhibitions, contact Theresa Worden.

Now Accepting Applications

through March 30, 2018

Water/Ways is the next Smithsonian exhibition tour, traveling Maryland May 25, 2019 through March 8, 2020.

Learn More!

  • “The project definitely raised the visibility of our organization in western Maryland. Spruce Forest Artisan Village has become a fixture in Garrett County, but it does become taken for granted. This project gave local residents a new reason to make the effort to make a return visit to the Village. Moreover, the programs hosted by the adjacent Penn Alps Restaurant helped us in reaching a new audience.”

    ​Kara Rogers Thomas ~ Frostburg State University faculty, and Board Member at Spruce Forest Artisan Village, Grantsville, MD, Host Site, Museum on Main Street
  • “The Smithsonian connection gave us new credibility. We were able to track attendance and we’ve seen a continued rise in weekend activity. Based on increased attendance numbers, we’ve decided to keep the museum open year round. Using our guest book, our gung-ho membership chair was able to double the membership in the Friends organization. This enhanced our treasury by a substantial amount and identified many new volunteers.”

    ​Dorry Norris ~ Washington County Rural Heritage Museum, Boonesboro, MD Host Site, Museum on Main Street
  • “The opportunity to host the Smithsonian’s “The Way We Worked” exhibition allowed Sumner Hall to develop meaningful companion exhibits that can remain open to the public in the future. Exhibitions across the county were co-curated by community tradition-bearers, scholars, and college students, empowering citizens of diverse backgrounds to work together to tell their own often-untold stories.”

    Barbara Foster, Vice President, G.A.R. Post #25 Sumner Hall, Chestertown, MD, Host Site, Museum on Main Street
  • “Across three months of programming, Kent County witnessed an explosion of 39 free public humanities and arts program presented by more than 20 community partners. Hosted by local churches, businesses, storefronts, art galleries, environmental groups and government agencies, these programs included lectures, exhibitions, walking tours, poster contests, book discussions, school field trips and oral history projects. This wide-ranging and grassroots approach to fostering civic dialogue created a moment for the community to pause and reflect – to consider together its diverse work experiences and shared economic histories while also discussing the county’s economic potential and planning policies moving forward.”

    Barbara Foster, Vice President, G.A.R. Post #25 Sumner Hall, Chestertown, MD, Host Site, Museum on Main Street
  • “We were very proud to have been chosen to partner with the Maryland Humanities on this exhibit project. Small museums, such as ours…are generally not able to field programs of this scope. Maryland Humanities has truly given us an opportunity to bring a nationally recognized program to the City of Bowie and Prince Georges County and have made it easy to reach and stretch and accomplish something that we’ve never done before on this level in our small museum system. The support of Maryland Humanities both financially and professionally is invaluable to us.”

    Pam Williams ~ Belair Manison, City of Bowie Museums, Bowie, MD, Host Site, Museum on Main Street​
  • “Although “Fences” are down, the reverberations of our initiative are still resonating. The web of collaboration is clearly active. Many “reached across the fence.” Our community is all the stronger for it. The exhibition boasts the largest attendance of any seven week display on campus with a visitor count of over 1,050. Add to that the rich programming amounting to over 25 events which saw attendance again well over 1,000 participants. What is remarkable is the cross section of interest groups and individuals who attended from the three-county area of southern Maryland and beyond. In essence, the rich mosaic that formed attracted a broad range of people and opened a rare exchange of ideas. We witnessed epiphanies!”

    ​Mary Braun ~ Director of the Boyden Gallery, St. Mary’s College, St. Mary’s City, MD Host Site, Museum on Main Street
  • “[The Museums on Main Street] project was a win-win for the University and community. It enhanced student learning; they gained the ability to explore divisive topics from multiple angles and viewpoints, developed the skills needed to create engaging visual and audio displays, and cultivated an aptitude for envisioning a tangible project from inception through completion, all the while involving them in the local community.”

    ​Kara Rogers Thomas ~ Frostburg State University faculty, and Board Member at Spruce Forest Artisan Village, Grantsville, MD Host Site, Museum on Main Street
  • “The Smithsonian exhibit, Key Ingredients: America By Food, has left the building but not the community. We got a glimpse of what we can do and how we can bring the community together around a common goal. From this day forward, the sky is now the limit for DCHS.”

    ​Carol Lacy ~ Dorchester County Historical Society, Cambridge, MD, Host Site, Museum on Main Street
  • “It was wonderful for us to be able to facilitate this occurrence for it demonstrated to key community stakeholders the power of our museum as an anchor in an old town that is working to draw people downtown and it demonstrated the value of working together on large initiatives.”

    ​Michael Dixon ~ The Historical Society of Cecil County, Elkton, MD, Host Site, Museum on Main Street
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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
108 West Centre Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-4565
(410) 685-0095
(410) 685-0795 fax
info@mdhumanities.org
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