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News
Fri, August 31 2018 – Mon, October 1 2018
IHC Seeks Applications to Host Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition on Rural America

     The Idaho Humanities Council is seeking applications from Idaho communities interested in hosting a Smithsonian traveling exhibit focusing on rural America titled Crossroads: Change in Rural America. It will visit six Idaho communities from August 2019 - June 2020 for six weeks at a time.

     While on display, each community will be expected to develop around the exhibit its own local programming, ranging from local exhibits and school displays, to lectures, films, panel discussions, and other activities limited only by the imagination.  See RFP link below for other requirements.

     In 1900, over 70% 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?  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.

     Despite the massive economic and demographic impacts brought on by these changes, America’s small towns continue to creatively focus on new opportunities for growth and development.  Economic innovation and a focus on the cultural facets that make small towns unique, comfortable, and desirable have helped many communities create their own renaissance.  The future is bright for much of rural America as small towns embrace the notion that their citizens and their cultural uniqueness are important assets.

     Idaho organizations (museums, historical societies, libraries, arts councils, preservation groups) located in small communities are eligible to apply.  Click HERE for the Request for Proposals information. Click HERE to apply. Applications are due October 1st. For questions contact IHC’s Program Officer, Jennifer Holley, at jennifer@idahohumanities.org or (208) 345-5346.

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