Program Made Possible Through Maryland Humanities Grant Program, Major Grant
(Frederick, MD) – Crossroads: Change in Rural America, a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition, is opening at Rose Hill Manor Park in Frederick on March 4. The exhibition will open to the public at 11 a.m. The museum serves as a venue on a five-stop tour of the state, presented through Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program. Each Crossroads partner created its own exhibit to complement the Smithsonian’s exhibition.
Frederick County’s unique location has placed it at the Crossroads of local and national events throughout history. From its use as a place through which nomadic Indigenous peoples traveled to its role as a pre-Revolution gatekeeper to the west, to its prominence as a spot along the national road, to the establishment of inviting hotels and inns for tourists in motorcars, Frederick has seen many people come and go via its roadways. Railroads and canals brought innovations in industry to the region and continued over the years to lead the growth and changes to our small towns nestled among the rolling hills. This growth has often at times come with change, resistance, and suppression. The exhibit at Rose Hill looks at how our local communities have adapted and changed as a result of the literal crossroads of waterways, roads, and railroads and the figurative crossroads of local and national events. Stories from the inhabitants of Rose Hill, other Frederick County Parks, and our Main Streets will highlight these themes throughout the exhibit while companion exhibits through the county will highlight additional county stories.
“Crossroads: Change in Rural America helps our community connect our past to our current lives and to ask questions about our future,” said Amanda Venable, Museum Manager of Rose Hill Manor Park and Museums. “Frederick’s rural heritage is so important to our community and it’s important that we examine how our rural life has created our identity and what aspects of that identity we want to preserve and what aspects we want to evolve into our growing and diverse community.”
This project was made possible by a grant from Maryland Humanities, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Maryland Humanities.
Crossroads is the eighth Museum on Main Street project brought to small communities throughout the state by Maryland Humanities. 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 and the State of Maryland, and Maryland Public Television is the tour’s Media Sponsor. Rose Hill Manor’s partners are Frederick County Public Libraries, Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, Heritage Frederick, The Delaplaine Arts Center, Frederick Arts Council, Monocacy National Battlefield, Brunswick Heritage Museum, Hood College, and Friends of Rural Roads.
Crossroads runs at Rose Hill Manor March 4–April 14, 2023. Rose Hill Manor is located at 1611 North Market Street in Frederick. The exhibition will be on view daily, from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Learn more at www.recreater.com/crossroads, or by calling (301) 600-1650 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
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 considered urban.
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.
This release was edited at 12:50 p.m. to correct information in the second paragraph about the exhibit.