Traveling Smithsonian exhibit coming to the Pioneer Valley

  • A traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian focused on rural America is coming to Athol in 2023. SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

Staff Writer
Published: 1/23/2022 3:55:50 PM
Modified: 1/23/2022 3:54:33 PM

A taste of the national Smithsonian Museum, with an emphasis on small-town America, will be coming to the Pioneer Valley next year.

“Crossroads: Changes in Rural America,” a traveling exhibit produced by the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program, will come to the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls in early 2023 and will also stop at the Athol Public Library in May and June next year.

It’s a project for which Mass Humanities, the nonprofit group based in Northampton, has partnered with the Smithsonian, the nation’s largest museum, to bring the exhibit to some of the smaller towns in Massachusetts — and to help some of those same places envision ways to remain vital.

Mass Humanities, the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, produces a broad range of programs — in history, literature, arts and other disciplines — across the state.

Late last summer, organizations in Massachusetts towns with populations of 12,000 or less were invited to apply to Mass Humanities for a chance to host the Smithsonian exhibit for a period of six weeks. Brian Boyles, Mass Humanities’ executive director, said those organizations were also asked about their ability to partner with other groups in their communities to create additional programming around the exhibit.


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