Local members of Summerville’s Smithsonian exhibit planning committee recently attended a series of workshops in preparation for the highly anticipated Smithsonian Museum on Main exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America. Summerville is the fifth, and one of only six host communities in the state of Georgia that will host the exhibit. It is part of Museum on Main Street, a partnership with Smithsonian Institution and Georgia Humanities that provide small and rural communities’ access to Smithsonian traveling exhibits. ThisCrossroads exhibit celebrates rural America, and will encourage conversations about local history, explore the pleasures and challenges of rural living, examine how change has made an impact on how communities, and prompt discussion of goals for the future. The Crossroads exhibit will be on display inside theSummerville Depot from March 7 – April 18, 2020.
Local exhibit Site Director, Susan Locklear, Assistant Site Director, Gene McGinnis, and Education/ Stories Yes Chair, Paula Buice participated in a series of workshops held in Thomaston, GA. Workshops on exhibit installation, living history/storytelling, and exhibition and docent training were presented by Arden Williams, Tour Coordinator for Crossroads, Robbie Davis, Smithsonian Institution/Museum on Main Street,and Dr. Ann McCleary, State Scholar, and National Co-Curator,Crossroads: Change in Rural America, Professor of History forUniversity of West Georgia. Special presentations were also given by Kiran Singh Sirah, President of the International Storytelling Center, “International Storyteller for Peace”, and Dr. G. Wayne Clough, Honorary Chairman for Crossroads, President Emeritus for the Georgia Institute of Technology and Secretary Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institute.
The Crossroads: Change in Rural America exhibit kicked off its Georgia tour in Thomaston on August 24. As part of the workshop, each host community’s site directors and various committee members worked to assemble the Thomaston exhibit for a “hands on” installation learning experience. Docent training was also conducted to ensure an engaging experience for those who visit the exhibit.
The Smithsonian name alone will attract people to visit our community that may have never heard of Summerville and much work is yet to be done in preparation for hosting this exhibit. Educational school field trips will be offered to schools throughout the region and special events for each weekend are currently in the planning stages. Fund raising and a gathering of local historical items for the community’s local exhibit component will also be ongoing.
Local planning committee members include Site Director/ Main Street Director, Susan Locklear, Assistant Site Director/ Chattooga County Historical Society President, Gene McGinnis, Education/Stories Yes Chair, Paula Buice, Rebecca Thomas, UGA Extension, Cindy Rivers, Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce, Shelly Baker, Chattooga Library System, and TinaCox, Paradise Garden Executive Director.
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Summerville Main Street
P.O. Box 180, Summerville, Ga. 30747
Phone: (706) 859-0900