Smithsonian exhibit to make Northwest stop

Northwest Mississippi Community College is excited to announce that its Senatobia campus will be the first stop in Mississippi for the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibition “Crossroads: Change in Rural America.”

The exhibition opens at the R.C. Pugh Library on Sept. 12, 2020, and will be available for viewing through Oct. 27. The exhibit, presented by the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street in cooperation with the Mississippi Humanities Council, is an examination of the evolving landscape of rural America.

“’Crossroads’ allows us to reflect on the history of Northwest’s 11 counties and their communities’ present and future, and we are excited to explore what the future may hold for our rural areas,” said Dr. Michael Heindl, Northwest president. “Northwest is committed to the success of our communities by furthering our 11 counties’ economic and community development through our college-community partnerships.”

Out of 12 applicants, Northwest was selected to be one of six statewide hosts of the “Crossroads” exhibit as part of the Museum on Main Street program, a national, state and local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour the six chosen Mississippi communities from Sept. 12, 2020 through June 27, 2021.

“Crossroads” explores how rural American communities changed in the 20th century. From sea to shining sea, the vast majority of the United States landscape remains rural, with only 3.5 percent of the landmass considered urban. Since 1900, the percentage of Americans living in rural areas dropped from 60 percent to 17 percent. The exhibition takes a look at that remarkable change and how rural Americans responded.

For generations, Americans have relied on rural crossroads. These places where people gather to exchange goods, services and culture and to engage in political and community discussions are an important part of our cultural fabric. 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.

“We look forward to hosting complementary programs that will explore the history of rural America, the future of rural America businesses and the arts and music of rural America,” said Dr. Melissa Wright, Northwest’s director of Learning Resources.

The exhibit will be open for viewing Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m., 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Fridays and 2-7 p.m. on Sundays. The exhibit and all related programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call Wright at (662) 562-3277 or email mwright@northwestms.edu.

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