Traveling Smithsonian exhibit makes first stop in Green River
September 16, 2021
A traveling exhibit about rural towns is making its first stop in Wyoming at the Green River Visitors Center.
“Crossroads: Change in Rural America” was installed at the visitors center last week and focuses on the challenges and opportunities rural American towns currently face. Carol Harsh, director of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program, said the exhibit was inspired by a desire to focus on rural America for the program’s 25th anniversary. She said rural America is not widely understood by most people, especially after the economic and population shift to urban areas occurred. However, despite that shift, Harsh said rural towns continue to be important to America because much of the nation’s energy and food are still produced in those places.
Shawn Reese, executive director of Wyoming Humanities, which is cohosting the exhibit with the Sweetwater County Historical Museum, said the themes present in the exhibit are important to Wyoming’s communities, especially as the state navigates the challenges presented by a shifting energy economy. Reese said communities can see growth if they look towards their history and their sense of community.
Reese said Wyoming Humanities plans to host additional program based on the themes presented in the exhibit while it travels Wyoming.
Dave Mead, director of the Sweetwater County Historical Museum, which assisted with setting up the exhibit, said the museum has had the privilege of being the first to host several Smithsonian exhibits over the years.
With the Crossroads exhibit, Mead believes it presents a number of topics residents will find interesting and thought provoking.
The exhibit will be on display at the visitors center through Oct. 24. A grand opening will take place Friday from 5-7 p.m. at the visitors center, with a ribbon cutting set to take place at 5:30 p.m.