LEWISTON, Idaho – The Smithsonian traveling exhibit focusing on rural America called “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” will run Jan. 17-Feb. 28 at the Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History, located at 415 Main St.
The exhibit examines the evolving landscape of rural America and features displays, photos, lectures and readings. The traveling exhibit looks at the history that helped shape small towns to what they are today. In 1900, about 40 percent of the United States population lived in rural areas. With the economic and social change that followed for more than a century, that number had fallen to less than 18 percent, even though less than 10 percent of the U.S. land mass is considered urban.
An opening celebration for the exhibit will be held on Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. and will feature a lecture by Rochelle Johnson, a state scholar for the Idaho Humanities Council and the Crossroads Exhibit, on “The Crossroads as Witness: Hope, Silence and the Rural Ideal.”
Some of the other special events planned include an evening of readings on rural life by LC State students and faculty, including author Claire Davis, on Jan. 29, starting at 7 p.m. Award-winning local author Kim Barnes, who grew up in the logging camps of the Clearwater National Forest, will give an exclusive reading from her novel in progress “Salvo,” which is a story about two contemporary women whose paths intersect as they attempt to escape their individual fates.
There will be three panel discussions during the exhibit, all held at the Lewiston City Library, located at 411 D St. On Feb. 5, at 4:30 p.m., a panel will discuss “What happened to ‘Company Towns?’ – changes in rural commerce and industry.” On Feb. 19, also at 4:30 p.m., the topic is “Farms & Agriculture – Was Daniel Webster right when he said farmers are the founders of human civilization?” The final discussion is at 1 p.m. on Feb. 22 and will cover “Crossroads of our Region: Rivers, Rails & Roads, our Transportation Story.”
The exhibit will wrap up with a celebration of regional cultural heritage on Feb. 22 at 3-5 p.m. at the Center.
All events are free and open to the public.
The exhibit is part of the Smithsonian's "Museum on Main Street" program, an exhibition program that was developed to bring exhibitions primarily to smaller communities in America that would not ordinarily have the opportunity to host such an exhibit. The exhibit is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institute and the state humanities councils across the United States. Support for the Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.
The Center for Arts & History was chosen as one of six host sites for the exhibit in Idaho through an application process with the Idaho Humanities Council, which works with the Smithsonian Institution’s “Museum on Main Street” program to bring Smithsonian traveling exhibitions to small Idaho communities each year. Support for the Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.
The exhibit at the Center is made possible through Friends of the Center and by support from the Idaho Humanities Council and US Bank.
For more information on the LC State Center for Arts & History visit www.lcsc.edu/cah.