The Idaho Humanities Council has officially announced the return of the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program and the six sites selected for the 2023-2024 tour of Spark! Places of Innovation. This exhibit will be the first bilingual (Spanish) and fully interactive MoMS exhibit, and the 11th MoMS exhibit in Idaho since 2004. The first stop on the tour will begin in Priest River at the West Bonner Library on May 20th, with stops in five additional towns across Idaho through March of 2024.
MoMS is a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), the Idaho Humanities Council (IHC), and partner hosts and venues. Idaho will be one of four states to unveil SPARK! Places of Innovation exhibit to the public, and the only state west of the Mississippi River during its debut tour across America.
The Spark! exhibit explores what ignites innovation. Themes include the spirit of ingenuity, creativity, resiliency, and optimism. Stories in the exhibit are exclusively pulled from the rural communities across the US and will feature new and exciting ways to interact, including augmented reality! It is also the first Smithsonian exhibit under this program to be entirely bilingual (English and Spanish).
About Spark! Places of Innovation
The Idaho Humanities Council works with the Smithsonian Institution’s “Museum on Main Street” program (MoMS) to bring Smithsonian traveling exhibitions to small Idaho communities each year. MoMS is a partnership of the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and state humanities councils nationwide, serving small-town museums and citizens of rural America.
Experience the distinctive combinations of places, people, and circumstances that generate innovation and invention in rural communities. Inspired by an exhibition at the National Museum of American History, Spark! will explore real stories of small-town innovation and invention told from the diverse perspectives of the people who have lived it and supported by images and objects unique to the community.
Rather than tell visitors about innovation, Spark! will show what actual innovation looks like in rural America with photographs, interactive components, objects, videos, and augmented reality. These will give viewers a multilayered experiences, revelaing the leaders, challenges, successes, and future of innovation in each featured town. Real stories will be crafted into case studies in the exhibition with the goal of inspiring visitors to think about innovation in their own town and look at the following questions:
- What is the role of creative thinkers and inventors in a town?
- What resources do towns have for innovation and invention?
- How important is the role of self-expression and openness to change?
- How does a place encourage risk-taking?
- How can diversity spark innovation?
Learn more about the exhibit and view downloadable resources here: https://museumonmainstreet.org/spark
Learn more about the inspiration behind Spark!: https://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/places-invention