Museum on Main Street (MoMS) is a one-of-a-kind cultural project that serves small town museums and residents of rural America. It is a partnership of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and state humanities councils nationwide. MoMS combines the prestige of Smithsonian Institution exhibitions, the program expertise of state humanities councils, and the remarkable volunteerism and unique histories of small rural towns. MoMS is funded by the United States Congress and brought to North Carolinians through the North Carolina Humanities Council. Learn more on the Museum on Main Street website.
Our 2020-2021 tour is Water/Ways, which dives into water--an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically. In societies across the globe, water serves as a source of peace and contemplation. Authors and artists are inspired by the complex character of water – a substance that is seemingly soft and graceful that is yet a powerful and nearly unstoppable force. North Carolina’s distinct aquatic landscape of Atlantic Coast beaches, mountain rivers and local lakes plays an integral part in shaping our state’s identity. Water also plays a practical role in American society.
Our 2018 tour will feature The Way We Worked. American workers perform a diverse array of jobs to power our society. Whether we work for professional satisfaction and personal growth or to ensure the well-being of ourselves and our families, work is a part of nearly every American’s life. Office workers, factory workers, homemakers, truckers and the millions more who keep the nation going through their work make great contributions not only to industry, but also to American culture.
In 2015, Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America offered rural communities in North Carolina the opportunity to understand the value of sports in history ranging from ancient Cherokee Indians with anetso, the ancestor of modern day lacrosse to current day professional teams such as the Carolina Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes. This exhibition educated, celebrated, and highlighted how sports can alter community development and create discussion and change throughout history.
Journey Stories, our 2012 Museum on Main Street (MoMS) exhibition, examined the tales of how we and our ancestors came to America – are a central element of our personal heritage. From Native Americans to new American citizens, regardless of our ethnic or racial background, everyone has a story to tell. Our history is filled with stories of people leaving everything behind – families and possessions – to reach a new life in another state, across the continent, or even across an ocean.
New Harmonies, our 2010 exhibit, took visitors on a journey through the development of Americans' creative expression through music. The music that emerges is known by names such as blues, country western, folk ballads, and gospel. The main beat of this exhibition, is the on-going cultural process that has made America the birthplace of more music than any place on earth.