Smithsonian Exhibit - Crossroads

Please note that we have extended the deadline for applications until Friday, March 22, 2019. Applications must be postmarked by that date.

Kentucky Humanities invites smaller museums, libraries and historical societies in towns of fewer than 20,000 residents to apply to host a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit called Crossroads: Change in Rural America. The portable, six-kiosk display was developed by the Smithsonian especially for rural audiences and small museums without access to traveling exhibitions due to space and cost limitations.

The exhibit will tour six Kentucky communities from September, 2020 until June, 2021. Sites will be chosen based on their geographic location, ideas for auxiliary events, and physical display space.

Applications are due by February 28, 2019.

To apply, complete the information below and return it to: Kentucky Humanities, 206 E. Maxwell Street, Lexington, KY  40508 

Phone 859/257-5472 or email to

About the Exhibit: Crossroads explores how rural American communities changed in the 20th century. From sea to shining sea, the vast majority of the United States landscape remains rural with only 3.5% of the landmass considered urban. Since 1900, the percentage of Americans living in rural areas dropped from 60% to 17%. The exhibition looks at that remarkable societal change and how rural Americans responded. This exhibit offers small towns a chance to look at their own paths to highlight the changes that affected their fortunes over the past century. The exhibit 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. The exhibit will engage rural communities in a rich and exciting discussion about their future.

Museum on Main Street is a partnership of the Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and State Humanities Councils nationwide that serves the small-town museums and citizens of rural America.

Museum on Main Street serves rural communities by circulating Smithsonian exhibitions that focus on broad topics of national history and culture. State Humanities Councils help small museums prepare exhibition-related events for and about their communities. The museums benefit from the project's professional training in educational programs, marketing, and interpretation of local history. Through these combined resources, Museum on Main Street provides high-quality cultural programs to under-served rural citizens and sparks everlasting professional improvement for small-town cultural organizations. Learn more about Museum on Main Street at The site has detailed information for the general public and members of the press including updated itineraries and educational resources for each exhibition. It is also used as a key administrative and assistance tool for state and local Museum on Main Street coordinators.

For more information about Crossroads: Change in Rural America, visit the Smithsonian Instition’s Museum on Main Street website at

The modular, freestanding units require 850 square-feet of display space with 8’ 6” ceilings plus storage space for 21 crates. Additional space is recommended to show local artifacts and special exhibits. Applicants should also consider nearby facilities that can accommodate groups attending events associated with hosting the display.


Here is an interview with the Campbell County Public Library when they were hosting a previous Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit called Hometown Teams.




Hometowns Teams arrived in Kentucky and opened at the Mountain Sports Hall of Fame in Wayland, Kentucky, on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Wayland Mayor Jerry Fultz has been the driving force in bringing the Smithsonian traveling exhibit to Wayland. Hear Mayor Fultz talk about what it means to have the Smithsonian exhibit in the small eastern Kentucky town and give a glimpse of the local exhibit Wayland has put together to accompany the national exhibit.