Michigan Humanities is pleased to announce the selected host sites for the 2019–2020 tour of a national Smithsonian Institution exhibition, “Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” which explores the past, present, and future of rural American communities.

Since 1900, the percentage of Americans living in rural areas dropped from 60% to 17%. Despite massive economic and demographic changes, America’s small towns continue to creatively focus on new opportunities for growth and development, and remain an epicenter for political and community discussion.

“Community construct is changing so much in Michigan, and local humanities projects such as the esteemed Smithsonian Exhibition, “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” really illustrates reflection on that change,” said Shelly Hendrick Kasprzycki, President & CEO of Michigan Humanities.  “The national exhibit provides the framework, and the local community really takes on what this opportunity can be for discussion, remembrance, study and planning for the future.”

“Crossroads” will serve as a community meeting place for conversations about how rural America has changed. With the support and guidance of Michigan Humanities and the Smithsonian Institution, host sites will develop complementary exhibits and programming to examine their community’s history, the joys and challenges of living rural, how change has impacted their community and spark discussion on the future of rural America.

The “Crossroads” exhibit will begin travel in September 2019 and close in June 2020, stopping at each site for a six-week period. “Crossroads” is funded by Michigan Humanities and the Smithsonian Institution.

The six host sites and dates of the exhibit are:

  • Dundee (Southeast) Monroe County
    Venue: Old Mill Museum
    September 7–October 13, 2019
  • Decatur (Southwest) Van Buren County
    Venue: Van Buren District Library-Webster Memorial Library
    October 26–December 8, 2019
  • Grayling (North) Crawford County
    Venue: Deveraux Memorial Crawford County Library
    December 14, 2019–January 26, 2020
  • Reed City (Central) Osceola County
    Venue: Reed City Area District Library
    February 1–March 15, 2020
  • Rogers City (Northeast) Presque Isle County
    Venue: Presque Isle District Library
    March 21–May 3, 2020
  • Pickford (UP) Chippewa County
    Venue: Pickford Community Library
    May 9–June 21, 2020


About Museum on Main Street / Smithsonian Traveling Exhibits

The mission of Museum on Main Street is to provide access to the Smithsonian for small-town America. Museum on Main Street engages small-town audiences and brings attention to underserved rural communities.

To build grassroots participation, Museum on Main Street works with state humanities councils and more than 1,400 institutions in rural towns across the nation. For these communities (with an average population of 8,000), the opportunity to work with the Smithsonian is much more than a quality educational experience. Through community programs and creative activities, Museum on Main Street exhibitions and research are a launching point for storytelling and local pride. Constantly evolving digital projects, such as the “Stories from Main Street” collecting portal and the digital student history initiative, are bringing more of the Smithsonian’s resources to people in small towns across the nation.


About the Michigan Humanities

The Michigan Humanities is a private, nonprofit organization created to foster a better understanding of each other and our state through local cultural, historical and literary experiences for all. MH was founded in 1974 and is funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and support from individual and corporate donors. For more information, please visit www.michiganhumanities.org or call 517-372-7770.