Museum on Main Street is a unique cultural collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils, like Maryland Humanities, to bring high-quality traveling exhibits to small communities across the country.
Combining their strengths, small museums, regional arts councils, libraries, universities, and local governments partner to host the exhibit and produce dynamic humanities programs on the same theme, exploring the important stories that shaped their communities.
Building capacity and developing skills for host organizations is a primary activity of the Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program. Workshops, led by experts in the field, cover topics like building partnerships, program planning, connecting with teachers and students, engaging culturally diverse audiences, and incorporating oral histories into public programming.
- Water/Ways (2019-2020)
Water/Ways examines water as an environmental necessity and an important cultural element. The statewide tour of Water/Ways was part of Maryland Humanities’ Maryland H2O. A two-year initiative, Maryland H2O explored our many and varied relationships with water—which is part of our history, our culture, our future—through multiple programs. Maryland H2O also includes the Smithsonian exhibition H2O Today; One Maryland One Book 2019; Chautauqua 2019: Making Waves; and engaging programs to spark a statewide discussion about water.
In 2019-2020, 42,592 Marylanders explored their relationships with water.
The Historical Society of Baltimore County, Cockeysville (Baltimore) with partners Back River Restoration Committee, Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, Baltimore County Office of Tourism and Promotion, Cockeysville Public Library, Cromwell Valley Park Council, Ecotone, Fire Museum of Maryland, Gallery Unicorn at Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, Gunpowder Falls State Park, Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum, Master Gardener’s program, Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association, Oregon Ridge Nature Center, Patapsco Valley State Park, and Patapsco Heritage Greenway.
The Oxford Museum, Oxford (Talbot) with partners Oxford Community Center and Oxford Parks and Recreation; and support from the Oxford Garden Club and Oxford Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary.
Washington County Historical Society, Hagerstown (Washington) with partners C&O Canal National Historical Park and C&O Canal Trust
Cambridge Main Street, Cambridge (Dorchester) with partners Dorchester Center for the Arts, Dorchester County Department of Tourism, Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area, Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Choptank River Lighthouse, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Cambridge Yacht Club, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, Richardson Maritime Museum, Main Street Gallery, Blackwater Adventures, Dorchester Skipjack Committee, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Laboratory, Chesapeake College, Shore Rivers, Dorchester County Historical Society, Hoopers Island Oyster Co., Cambridge Power Boat Racing Association, Dorchester Seafood Heritage Association
Crisfield Heritage Foundation, Crisfield (Somerset) with partners Somerset County Library, The Crisfield Arts & Entertainment Project, Crisfield Chamber of Commerce, and the local Church Community
Calvert Library, Prince Frederick (Calvert) with partners Calvert Marine Museum, Bayside History Museum, and Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory
- The Way We Worked (2016-2017)
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. This exhibition explored how we identify with work – as individuals and as communities.
In 2017, 32,980 Marylanders participated in exploring our state’s rich work history.
- Western Maryland Heritage Association/Allegany Museum, Allegany College, Allegany County Historical Society, Allegany Library System, C. Gilchrist Museum of the Arts, C&O Canal National Historical Park, F. Brook Whiting House, Frostburg University, Frostburg Museum, Frostburg Discovery Center, Gordon-Roberts House, and Thrasher Carriage Museum, Cumberland, MD
- Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Post # 25 “Sumner Hall”/C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, with Downtown Chestertown Association, Greater Chestertown Initiative, Historical Society of Kent County, Kent County Arts Council, Kent County Library, Kent County Schools, Kent County Tourism Office, Museums of Kent County, RiverArts, Sultana Education Foundation, Town of Chestertown offices of Economic Development and the Mayor, Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board, Center for Environment and Society, and Clifton E. Miller Library, Chestertown, MD
- Carroll County Farm Museum/Union Mills Homestead Foundation, Gatehouse Museum of History, Westminster, MD
- Brunswick Heritage Museum/Brunswick Public Library, Brunswick, MD
- Salisbury University Art Galleries/Salisbury Arts & Entertainment Committee, Edward H. Nabb Center for Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University, and Fulton Public Humanities Program at Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD
- Hometown Teams (2014-2015)
Hometown sports are more than just games—they shape our lives, unite us, and celebrate who we are as Americans.
- Banneker-Douglass Museum/University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Annapolis, MD
- Federalsburg Historical Society/Win Transport/Caroline County Public Schools, Federalsburg, MD
- Allegany Museum/Allegany County Historical Society/Frostburg State University/Allegany College/Allegany County Library System/Gilchrist Museum of the Arts/Frostburg Museum, Cumberland, MD
- Galesville Community Center/Anne Arundel County Cultural Resources Division of the Office of Planning and Zoning, Galesville, MD
- Howard County Historical Society/Howard County Tourism and Promotion/Howard County Recreation and Parks, Ellicott City, MD
- Journey Stories (2012-2013)Tales of how we and our ancestors came to America are a central element of our personal heritage. From Native Americans to new American citizens—regardless of our ethnic or racial background—everyone has a story to tell.
Over a seven month period, 64,452 Marylanders participated in 185 free public programs exploring our state’s rich history.
- Harford County Public Library/Harford County Community Services, Abingdon, MD
- Cecil County Arts Council/Cecil County Public Library/Historical Society of Cecil County, Elkton, MD
- Brunswick Railroad Museum/Frederick County Public Library, Brunswick Branch, Brunswick, MD
- Mosely Gallery, University of Maryland Eastern Shore/Main Street Princess Anne, Princess Anne, MD
- Prince Georges Arts and Humanities Council/Oxon Hill Branch Library, Oxon Hill, MD
- Between Fences (2010-2011)We live between fences. We may hardly notice them, but they are dominant features in our lives and in our history. Built of hedge, concrete, wood and metal, the fence skirts our properties and is central to the American landscape.
Sixty-five humanities-based public programs planned in six communities reached 15,532 people directly.
- Montpelier Mansion, Laurel, MD
- Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, Havre De Grace, MD
- The Boyden Gallery at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s City, MD
- Montgomery County Historical Society, Silver Spring
- Spruce Forest Artisan Village, Grantsville, MD
- Julia A. Purnell Museum, Snow Hill, MD
- Key Ingredients: America by Food (2007-2008)Our recipes, menus, ceremonies, and etiquette are directly affected by our country’s rich immigrant experience, the history and innovations of food preparation technology, and the ever-changing availability of key ingredients.
Ninety-six humanities-based public programs planned in six communities reached 41,825 Marylanders.
- Washington County Rural Heritage Museum, Boonsboro, MD
- Historical Society of Cecil County/Cecil County Arts Council, Elkton, MD
- Compton Science Center Exploratorium at Frostburg State University, Frostburg, MD
- City of Bowie Museums, Bowie, MD
- Calvert Library, Prince Frederick, MD
- Dorchester County Historical Society, Cambridge, MD