A Smithsonian traveling exhibit that focuses on rural America opens Nov. 30 in Salmon at 204 Main St., next door to the Lemhi County Museum.
The exhibit, named “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” will be on display for six weeks, until Jan. 10. It’s been displayed in Moscow, is currently in Burley and moves to Lewiston, Rexburg and Nampa after leaving Salmon.
The exhibition examines the evolving landscape of rural America. It explores how rural American communities changed in the 20th century. According to the Census Bureau, in 1900 about 67 percent of Americans lived in rural areas. By 2010 that number had dropped to 20 percent. The exhibition looks at that societal change and how rural Americans responded.
Hosting the exhibit will allow people to reflect on Lemhi County’s history, its present and its future, Lemhi County Historical Society and Museum President Hope Benedict said.
“We want to convene conversations about what makes our community unique,” Benedict said.
“The exhibit highlights rural America as an important part of our cultural identity as a nation and celebrates our history,” Sacajawea Center Director Lin Gray said.
Benedict, Gray and other community leaders are developing public programs and exhibits to complement the Smithsonian exhibit.
The historical society and the Sacajawea Center are seeking entries for an essay and art project that will be displayed in conjunction with the Smithsonian exhibit. It’s open to all Lemhi County residents.
Entries in the prose and poetry division are limited to 500 words or less. Song entries must be recorded and can’t be longer than five minutes. Art entries in any medium must be of a size that can be easily displayed inside the building. Paintings, drawings or posters should be no bigger than 11-by-17 inches. Entries are due by Dec. 2 and should be delivered to the exhibition space. Entries must include the creator’s name, phone number and email. Student entries must include their grade level and teacher’s name.
Entries must correspond to at least one of the exhibition’s themes which are identity, land, community, persistence and managing change.
Volunteers are also needed to help man the exhibit during its six-week stay in Salmon. The exhibit will be open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.
More information about the exhibit, the contests or volunteering is available by contacting Gray at 208-303-0245 or Benedict at 208-756-7885.