Smithsonian Museum on Main Street Crossroads Exhibit
Sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, SC Humanities, and Wells Fargo
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 moved millions of Americans into urban areas. Yet, only 10% of the U.S. landmass is considered urban. Many Americans consider rural communities to be endangered and hanging on by a thread—suffering from brain drain, inadequate schools, and a barren, overused landscape. Why should revitalize the rural places left behind matter to those who remain, those who left, and those who will come in the future? Because there is much more to the story of rural America.
Crossroads: Change in Rural America offers small towns a chance to look at their own paths to highlight the changes that affected their fortunes over the past century. The exhibition will prompt discussions about what happened when America’s rural population became a minority of the country’s population and the ripple effects that occurred.
Despite the massive economic and demographic impacts brought on by these 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.
Enhanced Experience: Public Reception- December 16, 2018, with Randy Cohen of Americans for the Arts at 4:00 P.M.
Lost Traditions of the South Talk with Tom Poland, January 22, 2019, at 11:00 A.M.
SC Backroads Talk and Public Reception & Book Signing, January 22, 2019, with Tom Poland at 7:00 P.M.
Date & Time
Dec 16, 2018 through Feb 02, 2019
1:00PM - 6:00PM