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Smithsonian Museum on Main Street

Catalyzing Conversations in Rural Massachusetts

Mass Humanities believes everyone deserves access to quality museum exhibitions. We partner with small towns to bring the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMs) to Massachusetts, with the goal of engaging small town audiences and revitalizing attention to rural communities.

Communities are invited to be active co-creators and co-curators, supplementing and contextualizing the Smithsonian exhibition with local artifacts and programming. The exhibits then become a jumping off point for sparking and amplifying local storytelling, history, and conversation.

In 2022-23, Mass Humanities partnered with the Smithsonian Institute to bring the exhibition, “Crossroads: Changes in Rural America,” to six host organizations. Free public programs brought local voices to the exhibit’s themes of identity, land, community, persistence, and managing change.

Crossroads 2022-23 Host Communities

   Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum: 9/10/2022 – 10/22/2022

   The Hull Lifesaving Museum: 10/30/2022 – 12/10/2022

   Rutland Free Public Library: 12/18/2022 – 1/28/2023

   Great Falls Discovery Center, Turners Falls: 2/5/2023 – 3/18/2023

   Bushnell-Sage Library, Sheffield: 3/26/2023 – 5/6/2023

   Athol Public Library: 5/14/2023 – 6/24/2023

More than 23,000 people engaged directly with “Crossroads,” and Mass Humanities partnered with the host organizations to tailor the exhibition, associated events and meetings to meet local needs and promote the stories across the Commonwealth and beyond.

2022-23 Tour Sponsors

Big Y

New England Biolabs Foundation

BlueCross BlueShield

Essex County Community Foundation

Greenfield Savings Bank

Mass Humanities will sustain partnerships with the six host sites for an additional year after the conclusion of the exhibition. Over the three-year period, Mass Humanities will:

  • Provide grants to the host sites to support Crossroads exhibition planning, free public events, marketing, and staff time.
  • Host five capacity-building workshops for the host sites in the year preceding the opening of the tour.
  • Provide a second year of funding and support to the host sites to sustain the conversations and partnerships developed during the Smithsonian tour.

For more details, email

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