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Museum on Main Street Traveling Exhibition on Tour in South Dakota

October 22, 2022

The South Dakota Humanities Council is partnering with the South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum and Smithsonian Institution to bring the Museum on Main Street traveling exhibition “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” to South Dakota, beginning in Brookings.

The exhibit, which features a closer look at the land, communication, community and persistence of South Dakota and its rural population in relation to the South Dakota State University Extension Services, will be on display in Brookings until January 2023. Afterward, it will travel to Yankton, Sturgis, and close out the traveling tour in Fort Sisseton in June 2023.

“The Extension Services, for over 100 years, have participated and worked with area farmers and ranchers and rural communities throughout the changes our state has had whether it’s positive or negative,” Gwen McCausland, director of the South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, said.

According to the Smithsonian Institution, in 1900, 40% of Americans lived in rural areas and by 2010, that number decreased to only 18%. The Crossroads exhibit will offer small towns a chance to look back on their history and the changes made in the past century.

The Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street exhibit, “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” is currently on display at the SD Agricultural Heritage Museum on the SDSU campus. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The project is an opportunity to examine rural American populations, specifically in South Dakota, and their impact on the country. It also provides a space to discuss revitalization efforts and highlight the multifaceted historical aspects of agriculture in the state.

“Our mission is to inspire a passion for the diverse history, science and culture of agriculture in South Dakota. And our vision is to connect multi-generations in a diverse audience to the importance of agriculture in our daily lives,” McCausland said.

“Crossroads” Interview with KELOLAND Living

Additional information about the Museum on Main Street exhibition, including specific tour details, is available on the SDHC website.

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