The Smithsonian is Coming to Missouri!

The exhibit will tour six Missouri communities from September 2023 to June 2024.

Missouri Humanities is pleased to announce a special Missouri tour of Crossroads: Change in Rural America, an exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution. Developed as part of the Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program, this exhibit is designed especially for small cultural organizations and rural audiences that lack regular access to traveling exhibitions due to space and cost limitations.

Eligible host sites are: small museums, libraries, historical societies, cultural centers and other community venues in towns of fewer than 20,000 residents. Any host site must demonstrate the physical capacity to host the exhibit, which requires 700 square feet of exhibit space, 8.5 foot ceilings, and access to electrical outlets. Sites will be chosen based on strength of proposed ideas for auxiliary events, meaningful partnerships, geographic location, and physical display space. Preference is given to sites that have not recently hosted a Museum on Main Street exhibit and that do not charge admission.


In 1900, about 40% 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 moved millions of Americans into urban areas. Yet, only 10% of the U.S. landmass is considered urban. 

Many Americans consider rural communities to be endangered and hanging on by a thread—suffering from brain drain, inadequate schools, and a barren, overused landscape. Why should revitalizing the rural places left behind matter to those who remain? Those who left? And those who will come in the future? Because 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. . 

The submission deadline has past.

Applications were due by midnight, Saturday, October 1, 2022.

Submission of an application does not guarantee selection as a host site. Selections will be announced in November 2022.

For more information or if you have questions, please contact Erin at