Project Description

Museum on Main Street — Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibit


Crossroads: Change in Rural America is a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition drawing on the history and culture of rural America to provoke fresh thinking and spark conversations about the future and sustainability of rural communities.

Crossroads: Change in Rural America offers small towns a chance to look at their own paths over the past century and to highlight the changes that affected their fortunes. 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 continue today.

With support from Colorado Humanities and the Smithsonian, the Crossroads exhibition gives Colorado communities the chance to explore how their community has adapted to change. Host sites will develop a complementary exhibit and programming that tells their community’s unique Crossroadsstory and sparks important conversations about local issues.

How to become a Host Site for Crossroads

Six Colorado communities will be selected to host the Smithsonian exhibition for six weeks, beginning September 12, 2020. Colorado Humanities invites nonprofit cultural organizations, museums, art centers, public libraries, and others to apply.

About Museum on Main Street

Museum on Main Street (MoMS) is a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution and Colorado Humanities to bring traveling exhibitions, educational resources, and programming to small towns through their own local museums, historical societies, and other cultural venues. The exhibitions are designed to engage communities and become a catalyst for conversations.

Request for Proposal PDF

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Check the calendar to learn more about the upcoming events.

For information about how to bring the Smithsonian to your own community, contact Betty Jo Brenner, Program Coordinator, 303.894.7951 x17 or


Host Sites Receive

  • A Smithsonian exhibit for six weeks at their venue — The exhibit is especially for small institutions and rural audiences that typically do not have access to traveling exhibits. The structure is a free-standing exhibition with audio, video, and interactive components, banners, and artifacts mounted in cases. The exhibit travels in easy-to-handle wheeled crates and requires no tools to assembly. The exhibit space must be clean and well lighted, but no specific environmental controls are needed. It requires 650-750 square feet of exhibition space and an 8-foot ceiling.
  • An exhibition support manual detailing installation, public relations, and evaluations information
  • Promotional materials such as posters, brochures, banners, and a press kit
  • Workshops on program planning and exhibit installation
  • Consultation with Colorado Humanities staff for project planning and implementation — Colorado Humanities will select host institutions based on factors such as geographic distribution, ability to provide public access to the exhibit, and interest in community programming. Luxurious facilities and previous experience with traveling exhibits or public humanities programming are NOT essential to a successful application

To apply to host the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Crossroads: Change in Rural America, click here.  Application deadline 06/28/19.

Made possible in Colorado by Colorado Humanities. Crossroads: Change In Rural America is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Federation of State Humanities Councils. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Hearst Foundation.

Special thanks to our sponsors

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