Traveling Smithsonian Exhibit Stops In Elkhart County, Highlights Rural Communities

Feb 11, 2020

Traveling Smithsonian exhibit, "Crossroads: Change in Rural America," stops at the Elkhart County Historical Museum.
Credit Annacaroline / WVPE News

A traveling Smithsonian exhibit that highlights rural America has made a stop at the Elkhart County Historical Museum. 

“Crossroads: Change in Rural America.” It’s an exhibit that’s travelling around the country to educate visitors about rural communities.

It’s split up into five sections, Identity, Land, Community, Persistence, and Change. It has videos and audio features like sounds of the land and rural radio programming.

Museum Director Julie Parke said she hopes this exhibit counters phrases like “flyover states” that might make people feel like rural life is insignificant.

“It’s important that in the conversations we have, we don’t allow people to dismiss rural communities as less important, as having less to say.”

Patrick McGuire, the museum’s curator, said he thinks people in the community will be able to relate to the exhibit even though it doesn’t directly mention Elkhart.

“People may be able to see themselves in this exhibit. It talks about the nation but really you look through this and there’s nothing you can’t see that isn’t connected to our community.”

While the exhibit is in Bristol it also tells local rural stories.

Credit Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE News

The exhibit will be at the Elkhart County Historical Museum in Bristol until March 15th.

Contact Annacaroline at acaruso@wvpe.org or follow her on Twitter at @AnnacarolineC16

If you appreciate this kind of journalism on your local NPR station, please support it by donating at:  https://wvpe.thankyou4caring.org/