Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street
In 2021 and 2022, VAM and Virginia Humanities are sponsoring the Museum on Main Street exhibition, Crossroads: Change in Rural America as it makes a visit to Virginia. Be sure to visit one of our host sites while it is here!
Crossroads: Change in Rural America
In 1900, about 40% of Americans lived in rural areas, By 2010, less than 18% of the U.S. population lived in rural areas. In just over a century, massive economic and social changes led to massive growth of America's urban areas. Yet, less than 10% of the U.S. landmass is considered urban.
Many Americans assume that rural communities are endangered and hanging on by a thread—suffering from outmigration, ailing schools, and overused land. But that perception is far from true in many areas. Many rural Americans work hard to sustain their communities. Why should revitalizing the rural places left behind matter to those who remain, those who left, and those who will come in the future? All Americans benefit from rural America's successes. We can learn great things from listening to those stories. There is much more to the story of rural America!
Crossroads: Change in Rural America offers small towns a chance to look at their own paths to highlight the changes that affected their fortunes over the past century. 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 occurred.
In 2021 and 2022, this national exhibition created by the Smithsonian will be touring small museums in small communities throughout Virginia. Be sure to visit one of the sites and learn more about the local stories of rural change and growth alongside the national one.
Crossroads Tour in Virginia
Opening Site: August 28, 2021 to October 3, 2021
Site Two: October 16, 2021 to November 21, 2021
Site 3: December 4, 2021 to January 9, 2022
Site 4: January 22, 2022 to February 27, 2022
Site 5: March 12, 2022 to April 17, 2022
Closing Site: April 20, 2022 to June 5, 2022