Smithsonian's Museum on Main

In 2021 and 2022, the Virginia Association of Museums (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!

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?

Museum Exhibit
Crossroads Education Partners & Lesson Plans

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.

Visit the National Website

Virginia Humanities

Virginia Humanities is the state humanities council.  Virginia Humanities aim is to share the stories of all Virginians—or, better yet, find ways for people to share their own stories. Virginia Humanities wants Virginians to connect with their history and culture and, in doing that, we hope we’ll all get to know each other a little better.

Founded in 1974, Virginia Humanities is one of fifty-six humanities councils created by Congress with money and support from the National Endowment for the Humanities to make the humanities available to all Americans. As a non-partisan organization, Virginia Humanities has been successful thanks to many years of strong bi-partisan commitment to our work at federal and state levels, as well as from the NEH itself.

Visit Website

Virginia Association of Museums

The Virginia Association of Museums (VAM) supports over 3,000 members, including individuals, businesses, and institutions ranging from historic houses to botanical gardens, aquariums and zoos, art museums and galleries, battlefields, military museums, historical societies, and more.

VAM Mission Statement: The Virginia Association of Museums helps our museum community succeed.

VAM Vision: A united museum community inspiring the world around us.

Visit Website

Hanover Museum of History & Culture / Ashland Museum

August 28, 2021 ~ October 3, 2021

Hanover Museum of History and Culture/Ashland Museum
Learn More

Danville Museum of Fine Art & History

October 16, 2021 ~ November 21, 2021

Danville Museum of Fine Art and History
Learn More

Reynolds Homestead

December 4, 2021 ~ January 9, 2022

Reynolds Homestead
Learn More

Historic Crab Orchard Museum

January 22, 2022 ~ February 27, 2022

Historic Crab Orchard
Learn More

Nelson Memorial Library & Nelson Historical Society

March 12, 2022 ~ April 17, 2022

Nelson Memorial Library and Nelson Historical Society
Learn More

Morven Park

April 20, 2022 ~ June 5, 2022

Morven Park: Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation
Learn More
Smithsonian Crossroads on Main
Virginia Humanities
Virginia is for Museum Lovers
Virginia Association of Museums