Smithsonian 'Museum on Main Street' Traveling Exhibitions
Since 1994, Utah Humanities has partnered with the Smithsonian Institution's Traveling Exhibition Service to bring Museum on Main Street (MoMS) exhibitions to communities throughout Utah. Together with local partners, we have collaborated on ten exhibition tours through more than 50 communities, and reached more than a million people in Utah with this programming.
Smithsonian MoMS exhibitions are toured in Utah exclusively through Utah Humanities. As the tour coordinator, our goal for each statewide tour is to engage diverse audiences in meaningful ways, convey under-told stories, and help local hosts leverage the experience in ways that benefit their own organization over the long term. The MoMS program provides a catalyst for host communities to collect, celebrate, and showcase their unique local history and traditions within the national exhibition theme. Through this unique collaboration, host organizations regularly draw in new audiences, establish new partnerships, and find new ways to use the project to meet their own institutional and community goals.
Crossroads: Change in Rural Americais traveling Utah in 2023-2024! Check out our main tour page for details about how to participate in your community!
- In each host community, the Smithsonian exhibition is featured alongside local companion exhibits, tours, workshops, speakers, as well as school and other public humanities programming.
- 2020-2022: Water|Ways explores how water forms our world and our lives, and is an essential natural resource that we struggle to access and control. As part of Utah Humanities' larger Think Water Utah project, exhibition visitors in Sevier, Kanab, Park City, and Green River considered the critical topic of water for Utah and our nation. The Smithsonian's H2O Today exhibition continued that conversation in West Valley, Vernal, Hyrum and the Bear River Heritage Area, Cedar City, and Monticello. The Think Water Utah project partners won the Utah Division of State History's Outstanding Achievement Award (2022). What's your water story?
- 2017-2018: The Way We Worked explores how work became such a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years. Exhibition visitors in Ogden, Hyrum, Castle Dale, Fillmore, Leeds, and Park City considered how they make a living, and how local work stories connect to the larger national story. The Utah tour project won the Utah Museums Association Award for Excellence in Statewide Collaboration (2017), as well as the prestigious National Leadership in History Award (2018) from the American Association for State & Local History.
- 2014-2015: Journey Stories explores how migration and transportation built our nation, how it has changed us, and how our mobile world looked to travelers along the way. Audiences in Moab, Vernal, West Valley City, Ephraim, and Brigham City considered the question, "Everyone has a journey story… what's yours?"
- 2010-2011: New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music examines the cultural significance of American roots music. This toe-tapping experience toured Park City, Boulder, Cedar City, Moab, and West Jordan.
- 2006-2007: Between Fences explores the history and meaning of fences, ordinary objects that are central to the American landscape and entwined with politics, industry, and daily life. This exhibition traveled to Layton, Wellsville, Lehi, Boulder, and Delta.
- 2003-2004: Key Ingredients inspired audiences in Castle Dale, Huntsville, Springdale, Richfield, Tooele, and West Valley City to examine the evolution of the American kitchen, food industries, food culture, and food community.
- 2001-2002: Yesterday's Tomorrows explores past visions of America's future and traveled to Brigham City, Payson, Hyrum, Washington, and Salt Lake City.
- 1998-1999: Barn Again! explores the barn as both a cultural and agricultural icon and toured Heber City, Monticello, Ephraim, and Wellsville.
- 1994-1995: Produce for Victory uses WWII posters to tell the story of an America mobilizing its human and natural resources for the war overseas. The exhibition toured Payson, Kanab, Vernal, Delta, and Castle Dale.
Museum on Main Street is a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.