For Immediate Release
Contact: Kara Rogers Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org 240 522 7635
Date: December 27, 2022
MARYLAND HUMANITIES TOUR OF SMITHSONIAN EXHIBITION
TRAVELS TO WESTERN MARYLAND
Crossroads travels the state through Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program
(Baltimore, MD) – Crossroads: Change in Rural America, a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition, opens
at the Allegany Museum on January 7. Cumberland and the Allegany Museum serves as the third venue of a
five-stop tour of the state, presented through Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program. A
member of the Western Maryland Heritage Association, The Allegany Museum partners with Maryland
Humanities to host Crossroads, which explores why revitalizing rural places matters to those who remain,
those who left, and those who will come in the future.
Each Crossroads partner creates its own exhibit to complement the Smithsonian’s exhibition. The Allegany
Museum’s companion exhibit, “Understanding the Push and Pull of Appalachia to Create a Resilient Future”
features responses from a community listening project conducted by Frostburg State University Honors
students enrolled in the interdisciplinary course, “Experiencing Appalachia.” The work, which incorporates
photographs of the region, features community assets, challenges, and pathways to resilience. During the
Fall semester, students set up listening stations at regional events inviting residents to respond to the
following questions: what issues and concerns do you see in your community; what are your community’s
strengths; and what direction should your community take as you move into the future?
FSU students have also planned a weekly series of public events and performances to complement these
exhibits. All events take place in the Allegany Museum Ballroom on Saturdays, at 3 PM. A Kid’s Arts and
Crafts Day where children will be invited to pictorially map their community will launch the series January
14. A discussion panel focusing on community assets and the creation of a sustainable future featuring local and state elected officials as well as young adults from the region will be held on January 21. Local residents
are invited to participate in a Story Slam sharing short stories and memories about life in western Maryland
on January 28. And an Open Mic Night featuring area musicians and singer/songwriters sharing music
written about or inspired by experiences in the region will cap off the series on February 4.
Moreover, multiple members of the Western Maryland Heritage Association are planning special events and
exhibits to coincide with Crossroads opening weekend. The Allegany County Historical Society will focus on
how life changed in rural America for the Gordon Roberts family via a slideshow presentation and tours of
the Gordon Roberts House. The LaVale Toll House on the historical National Road will provide interpretive
programming exploring changes in transportation since the 1800s. The C. William Gilchrist Museum of the
Arts continues that theme, showcasing John Wellington paintings relating to transportation in the early to
mid-20 th century. The Emmanuel Episcopal Church will offer tours of the Underground Railroad. And the
Cumberland Railroad Museum will host “From City to Town,” an exhibit featuring vintage photos and
narrative of trains and trolleys transporting freight and people through rural America in the late 19 th to early
20 th century. The Allegany Museum will host an opening reception from 4 pm to 6 pm on Saturday, January
The Western Maryland Heritage Association Chairman, Vic Rezendes, said, “The organization is honored to
host the Crossroads exhibit. The focus on change in rural America captures our region’s metamorphosis
over the years, especially concerning transportation as we transformed from Conestoga wagons heading
West to modern superhighways.”
Crossroads is the eighth Museum on Main Street project that Maryland Humanities has brought to small
communities throughout the state. Each site hosts the exhibition for five to six weeks and develops a
complementary exhibit highlighting their community’s heritage and histories.
“We are looking forward to the next iteration of Museums on Main Street, an invaluable tool for Maryland
organizations,”; says Lindsey Baker, executive director of Maryland Humanities. “We are so thankful to bring
another tour around the state, because the program has a wide-reaching and long-lasting impact on the
partner organizations and their communities.”
Crossroads programming is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of
Maryland, and BGE. Maryland Public Television is the tour’s Media Sponsor. The Allegany Museum is a member of the Western Maryland Heritage Association, which partners with this exhibit. Additional partners include Folklore and Folklife Programming and the Honors Program in General Education at Frostburg State University.
Crossroads: Change in Rural America runs at The Allegany Museum January 7-February 17, 2022. The
Museum is located at 3 Pershing St, in Cumberland. The exhibition will be on view in the Ballroom on
the Second Floor, Wednesday-Thursday 10 am to 4 pm, Friday-Saturdays 10 am to 5 pm, and Sundays 1
pm to 5 pm. The Allegany Museum’s 1 st Floor Exhibit, Crossroads of America will also be open Saturdays 1
pm to 5 pm and Sundays 1 pm to 5 pm. Learn more at https://alleganymuseum.org/exhibits-special-
events/and contact email@example.com or call (301) 777-7200 for further information.
10-4Wed/Thur. 10-6/Fri/Sat 1-5 Sunday
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 led to massive growth of America’s urban areas. Yet, less than 10% of the U.S. landmass is
Many Americans assume that rural communities are endangered and hanging on by a thread—suffering
from outmigration, ailing schools, and overused land. But that perception is far from true in many areas.
Many rural Americans work hard to sustain their communities.
Despite the massive economic and demographic impacts brought on by 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.
About Museum on Main Street
Museum on Main Street (MoMS) is a Smithsonian Institution
Traveling Exhibition Service program that teams up with state
humanities councils to bring high-quality Smithsonian traveling exhibitions to museums, historical societies,
and other small-town cultural venues across the country. These exhibits boost civic pride, as residents young
and old, from diverse backgrounds come together to share and celebrate their heritage.
About Maryland Humanities
Maryland Humanities creates and supports bold experiences that explore and elevate our
shared stories to connect people, enhance lives, and enrich communities. For more
information, visit www.mdhumanities.org. Maryland Humanities is generously supported
by the National Endowment for the Humanities; the State of Maryland; the Citizens of
Baltimore County; private foundations; corporations; small businesses; and individual
donors. Connect with Maryland Humanities on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.